What's in a name?

Home Affairs says it cannot dictate to parents on how to name their babies.

Home Affairs says it cannot dictate to parents on how to name their children. Picture: Stock.XCHNG

CAPE TOWN - The Department of Home Affairs says it cannot dictate to parents on how to name their children.

Celebrities are known not to go the conventional route when naming children.

Recently, actress Kate Winslet named her child Bear and she has been forced to defend the name on numerous occasions.

However, some ordinary parents have also given their children unusual names, such as Good Enough, Hurricane and Panda.

In some cases this lead to children being teased at school.

The department's Norman Ramashia told 567 CapeTalk that they try and advise parents when it comes to naming their children.

"We have acts that govern the registration of birth in Home Affairs. We always advise people to choose names that are appropriate for children. But they should also be reasonable enough to give names that everyone can cherish."

However, Home Affairs says in exceptional cases, such as if parents name their children Adolf Hitler or Jesus, they will be forced to intervene.