23 Jan 2024

The most rejected baby names of 2023

11:49 am on 23 January 2024
the little boy, the child king is laughing on a summer evening

A child may be a king or queen in their parents' eyes but neither can be used as an official name in Aotearoa. Photo: Valendina.ru / 123rf

Prince, King, Princess, and even Prynce and AazyahRoyaal are among the baby names that didn't pass muster with officials during 2023.

Te Tari Taiwhenua / Department of Internal Affairs has released the names most often turned down by the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages in 2023.

The most declined name in 2023 was 'Prince' (five applications). For the previous 13 years, 'King' was the most declined name - this time it was rejected three times.

Other names that failed to impress officials included: Isis, Judge, MissTaunese, Notoriety, Pope, and Sovereign-Kash.

All up, 64 registrations were turned down throughout the year.

Guidelines are in place to ensure that names don't cause offence, are a reasonable length and don't represent an official title or rank, the department said in statement.

The law allows the Registrar-General to reject names being registered which fail to comply with those guidelines.

"Names are a gift, and they are an important part of a person's identity. We encourage parents to think about their child and how they might feel about their name later in life," the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages Russell Burnard said.

"When a name is in review, we give parents the opportunity to present the reasoning for the name. Then we make a decision, considering the balance of how the name may be perceived by the public and the department's obligations under the law."

The Registrar-General's tips for ensuring a baby's name can be registered:

  • Don't use official titles or ranks, or names that resemble one
  • Don't use numeric characters or symbols, like a backslash or a punctuation mark
  • Avoid names that might be considered offensive
  • Limit the name to 70 characters, including spaces.

Names can be registered online here.

Earlier this month the department released its annual list of the most popular baby names.

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