6 Jan 2019

Right Royal rejections: baby names that didn't make the cut

1:01 pm on 6 January 2019

The Royals enjoyed renewed popularity last year, and not just for their weddings.

angry upset sad indignant baby boy girl

Photo: 123RF

The Department of Internal Affairs annual list of rejected names shows the name Royal - or variations thereof - was the most commonly rejected name for 2018.

Names are refused if they resemble an official rank or title, are excessively long, use numbers or symbols or are offensive to a reasonable person.

Six people attempted to call their child Royal, while several others attempted variations of the name, attempting to spell it Roil, Royaale, Royelle or Royale.

There were also requests for Royale-Bubz, Rhoyal-Kahurangi and Avaya-Royal.

Registrar General of Births Deaths and Marriages Jeff Montgomery said the name Royal has been rising in popularity in recent years, partly since Lorde's award winning 2013 song 'Royals' and a resurgence of interest in the royal family.

He said while there were a number of variations on the spelling of the word royal or royalty, it was rejected because it was felt to too closely resemble an official title.

Other rejected names in last year's list included Heaven-Princezz-Star, Kyro-King, Princess-Dixie-Rose and Zdiam-Bishop. The names Gunner and Sire were also rejected because they were, or too closely resembled, official titles.

Last year 64 names were rejected, up from 43 the year before.

Mr Montgomery the number of rejected names fluctuated by about that amount each of the past 10 years, so last year's figure wasn't a statistically significant increase.

Fewer than one in a thousand names appear on this list, and most parents managed to choose names that don't come to the department's attention, he said.

With about 60,000 births each year, and 64 names questioned, that represented 0.1 percent of all names submitted for registration.

Prince Harry and Meghan talk to some schoolchildren outside Maranui Cafe.

The royals - Harry and Meghan - talking to schoolchildren outside Maranui Cafe, Wellington, on their New Zealand visit in October 2018. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Mr Montgomery said when a name did come to their attention they spoke to the parents and asked them why they had chosen it.

"Sometimes it's just a matter of the order of the names, sometimes a name or a word might be title if it's the first name, but if it's moved to being a second or a third name then it's not such a problem.

"Often we do find that we can find a compromise with parents that means that they can keep the name that they want for their baby, but just change the order a little bit," he said.

Mr Montgomery said in some cases the department would accept the explanation and in others suggest the parents find a different name.

Most commonly rejected names in 2018:

  • Royal (6)
  • King (4)
  • Prince (4)
  • Royalty (3)
  • Saint (3)
  • II (2)
  • Messiah (2)
  • Miss (2)
  • Royale (2)