Monday, December 17, 2007

First Names

An Italian court has ruled that a couple could not name their son "Friday" and ordered that he instead be called Gregory after the saint whose feast day he was born on. Friday/Gregory Germano was born in Genoa 15 months ago. The parents registered him as Friday in the city hall and a priest even baptised him as Friday -- unusual in Italy since many priests insist that first names be of Christian origin.

"We named him Friday because we like the sound of the name. Even if it would have been a girl, we would have named her Friday," the boy's mother, Mara Germano, said.

When the boy was about five months old, a city hall clerk brought the odd name to the attention of a tribunal, which informed the couple of an administrative norm which bars parents from giving "ridiculous or shameful" first names to children. The tribunal said it was protecting the child from being the butt of jokes and added that it believed the name would hinder him from developing "serene interpersonal relationships".

The Germano family appealed but lost their case this month and the story was carried on the front page of a national newspaper on Tuesday. When ordered to change the name, the parents refused and the court ruled the boy would be legally registered as Gregory because he was born on that saint's feast day.

"I really doubt this would have happened to the child of parents who are rich and famous," the boy's mother told Reuters, recalling that some famous Italians had given their children unorthodox names such as "Ocean" or "Chanel".

The appeals court ruled against Friday because it recalled the servile savage in Daniel Defoe's novel Robinson Crusoe and because superstitious Italians consider Friday an unlucky day.

"I am livid about this," the boy's mother said. "A court should not waste its time with things like this when there is so much more to worry about. My son was born Friday, baptised Friday, will call himself Friday, we will call him Friday but when he gets older he will have to sign his name Gregory."

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From the things I have read about Italy and the goverment, this really comes as no surprise, althought it is really very silly. I know this would not happen in America. Case in point, there is a child that one of my friends teaches, this little girl's name is Abcde (pronounced ab-see-dee)! I am sure you have run across tons of very strange first names. Share them with me in the comment section, I would LOVE to hear them!

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