The Hungarian Academy of Sciences received 300 proposals for new and unusual given names last year, as hvg.hu reports. Declined proposals this year included Kopasz (Bald), Felhő (Cloud), Eső (Rain) and Kiwi, but now you can name your newborn child Néró, Napóleon, or Medina in Hungary.
The Linguistic Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences receives about 10 to 15 requests each week, as Judit Raátz, a member of the committee told Magyar Idők. Last year, only 38 male given names and 18 female given names were accepted by the five-member committee, among whom there is a historical linguist, a sociolinguist, and an expert of onomatology (the study of proper names) and stylistics. Before making their decisions, they consult historians, literary scholars, and linguists, too.
The list of registered and legal Hungarian proper names now consists of 4000 names, and the influence of recent pop cultural developments shows on the proposals.
While earlier, Latin American soap operas gave a lot of ideas to more creative and daring parents, now it shifted to Turkish TV shows.
The main criterion is that a Hungarian citizen can only have a name that complies with the official rules of Hungarian orthography, which are also set by the Academy of Sciences. Moreover, boys can only be given male names, and girls can only have female ones. They are also wary about names they feel could give a hard time for its bearer (which is why, for instance, Táblácska, meaning ‘little board’, or Kopasz, meaning ‘Bald’, was rejected).
So what are some of the most eccentric names that have been declined? Well, no one can be called: Mazsola (Raisin), Elizabeth, Kiwi, Erdőcske (Little Forest), Hattyú (Swan), Zene (Music), Balaton, Cukorka (Candy), or… Bogyó and Babóca (influenced by the fictitious names of a popular children’s book of the same name that many parents read to their children, which can be roughly translated as Berry and Little Bean).
But there are some interesting items on the list of those names that were accepted.
As a boy, you can now be called: Néró, Napóleon, Timoti, or Bentli (as in the car brand Bentley, which is apparently an existing proper name in English-speaking countries). For girls, new options include Nea, Medina (meaning ‘the person coming from the prophet’s town’), Norella, or Hannabella.
Amongst those born since 2010, the most popular boy’s names include Bence, Máté, Levente, Dávid, Balázs, Ádám and Milán, while for girls it’s Jázmin, Anna, Hanna, Nóra, Zsófia and Boglárka.