You will not find any LemonJellos in Malaysia

As reported by the BBC, Malaysia has banned “unsuitable” first names. An excerpt from the article:

Parents will not be able to call their babies after animals, insects, fruit, vegetables or colours.

Numbers are also not allowed, so little James Bonds cannot flaunt their 007 status on their ID cards.

Other restrictions stop parents giving children royal or honorary titles as names or calling their little ones after Japanese cars.

The most amusing part of the link, actually, is not to the article itself, but to the list of other BBC articles under “see also” in the upper right-hand corner of the webpage. It seems the Malaysian government has been quite busy handing out bans recently: no botox for Malaysian muslims, no suicides in movies, no plays mentioning “Volkswagen,” no lesbian kissing on screen, and a warning to tourists about kissing in public.

By the way, we are still looking for OrangeJello and LemonJello. Despite many good leads, we have not found them. If you know how to find them, please contact Dubner and Levitt. There is a small gift for you if you lead us to them.

(Thanks to Amitabh Chandra for the BBC link.)

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  1. Snopes lists a “Mark Lemonjello” as “a pitcher for the Houston Astros in the 1970s.” A google search for M.L. doesn’t bring up many hits, but does make it seem he existed – weird!

    http://www.snopes.com/racial/language/names.htm

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  2. Snopes lists a “Mark Lemonjello” as “a pitcher for the Houston Astros in the 1970s.” A google search for M.L. doesn’t bring up many hits, but does make it seem he existed – weird!

    http://www.snopes.com/racial/language/names.htm

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  3. Lea says:

    That is toooooo funny. I can’t believe they would need to ban those names… who would name their child Celery, 007, Banana, Mosquito, Yellow… and what’s so bad about doing that!?? (other than devastating the child when he/she begins school)

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  4. Lea says:

    That is toooooo funny. I can’t believe they would need to ban those names… who would name their child Celery, 007, Banana, Mosquito, Yellow… and what’s so bad about doing that!?? (other than devastating the child when he/she begins school)

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  5. joeholmes says:

    The original BBC article never claims that a single Malaysian actually sought to name a child “007″ — only that numerical names are now banned, so 007 — if it came up — would not be allowed. The article is accompanied by a photo of Sean Connery as James Bond, and there are several 007 references, but no evidence that such a name is anything more than a example dreamed up by the author to make Malaysians look silly.

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  6. joeholmes says:

    The original BBC article never claims that a single Malaysian actually sought to name a child “007″ — only that numerical names are now banned, so 007 — if it came up — would not be allowed. The article is accompanied by a photo of Sean Connery as James Bond, and there are several 007 references, but no evidence that such a name is anything more than a example dreamed up by the author to make Malaysians look silly.

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  7. toml says:

    The French also officially practice name-banning, and a prostitute in Italy cannot call herself Maria.

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  8. toml says:

    The French also officially practice name-banning, and a prostitute in Italy cannot call herself Maria.

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