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Pretoria - South African citizens name their children after just about anything that tickles their fancy.
With Roman numerals the only exclusion for a name, the sky is the limit for South African names, the Department of Home affairs has said.
While some parents prefer to name their children in traditional African fashion such as Onkgopotse, Dineo, Tebogo and Sipho, others prefer names a little more on the adventurous side such as Holiday, Matric Examsion, Victor Don’t-Worry and Two-Rand.
Names with meaning such as Precious, Goodness, Gift and Remembrance are also favourites.
African names show no specific trend but when it comes to Afrikaans names, Jacoba Wilhelmina and Johannes Jacobus seem to be top of the pops among the older generation.
In some cases, names such as Johannes Jacobus would be abbreviated to JJ and Jacobus Christiaan to JC and so on.
It seems as if the younger generation prefer non-traditional combination names such as Chadré (Charlene and André) and single names such as Melissa, Amia and Elaine.
Jacoba Susanna Wilhelmina de Villiers, a Centurion resident, said she would never burden her children with traditional family names.
De Villiers, known to everyone as Wilma, said her names were a waste of space. “It takes me ages to fill out a form. My children have single names only. The names do not have any specific meaning, I just liked them at the time,” she said.
De Villiers’s daughter is named Anel and her son Jacques.
Departmental spokeswoman Manusha Pillai said first names were limited to 50 characters which included spacing, meaning Jacoba Susanna Wilhemina Gertruida would be an acceptable name.
Pillai said initials such as JJ and JC could be registered as a name and need not be registered as Johannes Jacobus.
At the beginning of this month, the Pretoria News reported on a teenager who sued the Icelandic state for the right to legally use her name, Blaer, which was not registered on the Icelandic state’s official name list.
The Icelandic personal names register is made up of 1 712 male names and 1 853 female names. The Icelandic state has limited the number of names to protect children from embarrassment as pronunciation in Icelandic is tricky.
The Reykjavik District Court ruled last week that the name Blaer can be used.
It was reported that the court’s ruling last week overturned an earlier rejection by Icelandic authorities who declared it was not a proper female name. Up to now, Blaer Bjarkardottir had been identified simply as “Stulka”, meaning girl in communications with officials. - Pretoria News
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