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German Town Shoots Down Father's Plan To Name His Son 'Wikileaks'

from the leaked-birth-certificate-confirms! dept

One of the great unwritten rules of parenthood is that the right to name your offspring should be treated as a privilege. The temptation is to give the child a "unique" name that sets him or her as far apart for his/her eventual peers as humanly possible, thus living up to the common parental delusion that each child is its own special flower, unlike the millions born before it or after it.

Unfortunately, a "unique" name is often just an unwieldy name, if not simply embarrassing. And the unlucky child has to bear that clumsy moniker until he or she hits the legal paperwork-filing age and changes it to something that won't trigger an inadvertent laugh from college staff and potential employers. The intervening years will pass excruciatingly slowly as the child awkwardly orbits his peers like a gatecrasher at a menage a trois, trying desperately to find somewhere to fit in. This is generally made worse by the "unique" parents, who somehow view intense shunning as more "evidence" of their child's one-in-a-million qualities.

This unwritten rule holds true even if (or especially if) the abusive-by-proxy moniker holds some deep and special meaning to the parent attempting to sabotage their child's future before the ink on the birth certificate is dry.

Hajar Hamalaw wanted to name his son, who was born on March 14th, after the online whistleblowing platform as it “changed the world”, the Passauer Neue Presse reported.

But the 28-year-old failed to get the name past authorities in Passau, Bavaria.
Hamalaw's heart is in the right place, at least in terms of having a decent reason to name his new child "Wikileaks." But first he had to convince local officials, which went just about as well as could be expected from any place where newborns' names get run past local officials.
But Wikileaks did not make it onto the birth certificate. "The registrar said that this was not a first name. He thought it was a series or TV show," said Hamalaw.
Beyond the out-of-touch registrar, there's another rule on the books that keeps Passau parents from saddling their offspring with ridiculous names.
A spokesperson for the town of Passau said the decision by the registry office was based on legal rulings which state a child’s name should not be granted if it could endanger their welfare.
I don't agree that any government entity should keep you from naming your child whatever you want, but if you're going to have a stupid rule like this, at least have one that looks out for the child's best interests. When "Dako" (the "Plan B" name, apparently) hits legal age, he'll have the option to change his name to "Wikileaks" or "Full Metal Havok More Sexy N Intelligent Than Spock And All The Superheroes Combined With Frostnova" if he'd like and no one, not even a person who thinks "Wikileaks" went downhill after its third season, will be able to stop him. But until then, he's got several years of pre- and post-pubescent awkwardness to live through that will have nothing at all to do with his father's love for leaked documents.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 12:23am

    When "Dako" (the "Plan B" name, apparently) hits legal age, he'll have the option to change his name to "Wikileaks"


    FYI in german speaking countries it is even harder to change a name than to get one in the first place. You need to present a good reason and your chosen name must be a common one.

    So no Wikileaks for Dako

     

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      PRMan, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 10:18am

      Re:

      He needs to move to the US, where he can have freedom™. Of course, as soon as he changes his name, he'll never fly again...

       

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      btr1701 (profile), Apr 11th, 2014 @ 12:13pm

      Re:

      I've never understood these jurisdictions that purport to regulate people's names. It's not like the parents can't actually call the kid whatever they like. If they put a government-approved name on the birth certificate, but then proceed to call the kid Wikileaks every day of his life, his name will effectively become Wikileaks. It's how he'll be known to everyone around him except for some government databases and who cares about that?

       

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    Known Coward, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 12:26am

    Name him Julian Assange followed by the surname.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 1:26am

    Certainty worse names then "Wikileaks", a story from a few years ago noted that some person in New Zealand got the name "Number 16 Bus Shelter" and another got the name "Violence"

     

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    zip, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 1:27am

    no children allowed for thoughtcrime suspects

    It may be worse here in the US.

    Although there are no regulations that cover the naming of children, parents in New Jersey discovered that naming their son "Adolf Hitler" gave the state's government-sanctioned child snatchers an excuse to immediately swoop in.

    http://reason.com/blog/2009/01/16/are-neo-nazi-nincompoops-autom

     

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    •  
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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 11:57am

      Re: no children allowed for thoughtcrime suspects

      CPS is the worst agency, its evil by its very design. Its only function is to kidnap kids for any excuse to get more funding from the US government.

       

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    spodula, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 1:38am

    But...

    TBH, I would consider that if you want to name your children something like "Wikileaks" or "Trixibel", you should probably consider not becoming a parent at all.

    I don't normally go in for the "Think of the Children" thing, but you are opening your child up for a lifetime of problems with other children, People thinking they are taking the p*ss and lots of other problems, and its totally irresponsible.

     

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      zip, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 1:57am

      Re: But...

      "I don't normally go in for the "Think of the Children" thing, but you are opening your child up for a lifetime of problems with other children, People thinking they are taking the p*ss and lots of other problems, and its totally irresponsible."

      Wasn't that was the main reason given for governments outlawing inter-racial marriage? (and anyway, a strange name can easily be changed, a strange physical appearance cannot)

       

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      John Fenderson (profile), Apr 11th, 2014 @ 9:58am

      Re: But...

      "but you are opening your child up for a lifetime of problems with other children"

      I'm not so sure. There are so many children with strange names nowadays that strange names can almost be considered normal. Perhaps it will be the Johns and Janes that will be singled out for particular ridicule in the future.

      Also, when children want to cruelly taunt other children, it doesn't matter what their name is -- kids will find a way to turn it into an item of ridicule regardless.

       

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        Pragmatic, Apr 14th, 2014 @ 7:02am

        Re: Re: But...

        True, but I wouldn't name one son Moon Unit and the other one Jonathan, and overfeed him, just to see which one got bullied the most.

        I thought the idea of good parenting was to give the child the best possible start in life, not to hamstring him before he's out of the gates, so to speak.

        *Plays "A Boy Named Sue," by Johnny Cash*

         

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    The Old Man in The Sea, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 2:13am

    If you look at most names in use today, they are based on some meaningful concept for the parents or even the society around them.

    They are not just a name but actually have a meaning which the recipient may not actually appreciate if they found out. I know a number of people who have changed their names because they did not like the meaning associated with their names.

    Some examples are below

    Timothy - Honouring God
    Warren - animal enclosure
    Patrick - nobleman
    Marnie - of the sea (one meaning) or rejoice (another meaning)
    Caleb - dog (one meaning) or whole heart (another meaning)
    Adolf - noble wolf
    Wolf - wolf

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 2:23am

    First time for everything

    All names were "unique" the first time they were used. The only difference new and old names is when someone first decided to call their kid John, governments had more important things to oppress.

     

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    NakkiNyan, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 3:42am

    I normally hate the state stepping in on things but when a parent is doing something so stupid that it can be considered child negligence, it is time. Naming a kid something stupid like that should count.

    FOr the guy saying names can easily be changed, no they can't, just ask a 12 year old kid getting beat up and harassed over his name how easy it is to change. This is borderline child abuse.

     

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    any moose cow word, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 4:41am

    I know that these "creative" parents tend to give such uncreative names, but "Wikileaks" is just dumb. Luckily, someone not only stepped in on the child's behalf, but Hamalaw's stupidity will be immortalized on the internet. The years of ridicule he'll receive is a just punishment.

    A more inspired person in this case would have simply named his son "Julian". Something fairly nondescript, but when the boy becomes old enough to ask about his name, his dad will have an interesting story to tell. "Julian Assange" might raise some eyebrows of the authorities, but the child's peers would not know, nor care, about it. However, even children don't need to know what Wikileaks means to tell it's a ridiculous name, which says a lot about Hamalaw.

     

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    DB (profile), Apr 11th, 2014 @ 5:27am

    How's this for a rule-of-thumb: if you can't buy a "personalized" bike license plate at Disneyworld, you should really reconsider the name.

    Adjust for your language/locale.

    A child's name isn't a billboard. It's really just something easy to remember until they are old enough to memorize their social security number.

     

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      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Apr 11th, 2014 @ 9:21am

      Re:

      "if you can't buy a "personalized" bike license plate at Disneyworld, you should really reconsider the name."

      'Bort' it is then.

      I would point out that my real name is vary common in the US, but it's almost impossible to find pre-made stuff with my name on it.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 7:27am

    " Wiki Leak " is a nice first and second name. The parents would have resorted to calling him "Wiki" anyway.

    "Wiki, your dinner is ready."

    Sounds sorta cute, even with a german accent.

     

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    AricTheRed (profile), Apr 11th, 2014 @ 8:25am

    I am shocked and offended!

    As a person with a funny spelt' name, glasses and curly red hair I am deeply shocked and offended! Who does that pompus gov't official think he is stopping some "poor kid" from getting the snot beat out of him until his leg muscles develop enough for him to run like the wind?

    It's discriminitory I say! All of the offspring of weird parents deserve equal treatment in the school yard!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 6:32pm

    If I recall correctly, Germans had actual list of legally allowed names at least from 19th century onward. Then, they had immigration issues and turned blind eye for the most part. Still, sometime there is ordnung and blind obidience in their DNA (2/3 spied on remaining 1/3 for Stasi).

     

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    Anonymous Cowherd, Apr 12th, 2014 @ 2:38am

    Words have meanings

    Names are words just like any other word and very few are made up specifically to be a person's name. Most have a meaning. It just happens most common names in western countries in our time are derived from foreign and/or dead languages. Sometimes a long string of derivations through different languages.

    That does not mean a name is "stupid" or "weird" just because you know what it means without looking it up.

     

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