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France bars parents from naming baby 'Nutella'

The Local · 26 Jan 2015, 10:23

Published: 26 Jan 2015 10:23 GMT+01:00

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Strawberries and Nutella. Two words usually associated with the French breakfast table.
But two sets of French parents were so fond of the treats they officially applied to name their children after them. But they were denied by a court ruling.
Parents in Valenciennes, northern France, requested permission to name their child Nutella after the hazelnut chocolate spread from Italy, but a judge ruled that it "wasn't in the best interests of the child" and that she would risk "being mocked".
The parents did not attend the court hearing and the judge decided in their absence to rename the baby Ella.
"The name 'Nutella' corresponds to the commercial name of a spread. And it is against the child's interest to be saddled with a name that could only lead to mockery and unkind remarks," said the judgement.
Another set of parents, meanwhile, found themselves in a jam after applying to name their child Fraise (strawberry). 
The couple, from Raismes, were told by a judge that the girl could also face mockery, especially by people using the expression "ramène ta fraise" - a slang phrase roughly meaning "get your ass over here". 
This girl will instead get the moniker "Fraisine", a name that's been around in France since the 19th century.
It was only in 1993 that French parents were allowed to name their children as they pleased, however a registrar can still step in if he thinks the name is a bit too creative or could subject the child to mockery.
In the 18th century French parents were restricted to naming their offspring after a number of popular saints or famous figures. These laws were relaxed slightly in 1966, allowing for alternative spellings and foreign names among others.
Unusual names have long been ruled out by French courts. In 2009, a family was told that their child couldn't be named after the cartoon character Titeuf, with a judge suggesting that such a name could have both personal and professional ramifications later in life.
Story continues below…
More recently, French parents have flocked to name their children after characters in the wildly popular Game of Thrones series. Maternity wards have noted a number of Khaleesis, as well as a number of Joffreys. 
Meanwhile in Denmark, a court also put the kibosh on the name "Superhero", after a Danish man applied to have his name legally changed. 
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