Fifteen months ago, a baby boy was born in Genoa, Italy. He was registered and baptized with the first name Venerdi (Italian for Friday).
A few months later, an Italian tribunal ordered Friday’s parents to change his first name.
The parents refused, so the court went ahead and ordered that the boy be renamed Gregorio because he was born on the feast day of St. Gregory (September 3).
The parents appealed the decision, but lost.
Friday/Gregory’s mother said that a forced name-change such as this would never have happened “to the child of parents who are rich and famous.” (Certain famous Italians have used names like Ocean and Chanel for their children.)
Update, 10/23/2008: Italy’s top court of appeals has upheld a ruling that prevents a Genoan couple from naming their son Venerdi (the Italian word for Friday).
The judges claimed the name was reminiscent of the Robinson Crusoe character Man Friday, who is “characterized by his role of subjection and inferiority.” The judges went on to say that such names are of “a ridiculous nature” and make their bearers “susceptible to irony and scorn.”
In arguing for the right to use Venerdi as a name, the couple cited soccer player Francesco Totti, whose daughter is named Chanel, and Fiat industrialist John Elkann, whose son is named Oceano (Italian for, you guessed it, Ocean).
The boy will now be known as Gregorio, in honor of the saint on whose feast day he was born.