back to article Mr and Mrs Renault cannot name daughter Megane

Belgian authorities have decided that it is not a particularly bright idea for a Mr and Mrs Renault to name their daughter Megane, Pravda reports. Quite where Pravda got wind of this insanity we know not, but psychologists apparently intervened to prevent the Renaults' offspring from suffering a lifetime of misery and despair …


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  1. Steve Evans

    misery and despair?

    Surely you mean misery and repair?

  2. Louis


    Just checked the electoral roll, and I am amazed to find that nobody has been named Robin Reliant! What is the world coming to.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This is simply unfair

    If you agree, blow your horn.


    Ms Viva Vauxhall

  4. Brett Brennan

    Megane Renault? Megane Renault!

    I apologize up front for being a dense Colonist here in Yanksville, but could someone from Wallonia please explain this faux-pax? Is there an automobile that we Colonists dodged involved?

  5. Ian Watkinson

    Horse cart, cart horse..

    Surely it should be Mr and Mrs Megane...who can not call their daughter Renault?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Megane Renault?

    I blame Ford Prefect. And amanfromMars.

  7. Andy Taylor

    Could be worse

    They might have wanted to call her Vel Satis, Avantime or "25".

    How about Megan or Cleo?

  8. Nick Pettefar

    I guess

    they'll have to stick to Clio then. Possible with Lane as the middle name?

    Yes, I'm bored.

  9. TEQ

    Not the worst by a long way

    I still think that Brad and Angelina's kid Shiloh has one of the worst names in recent history given the potential spooneristic fun with a surname of Pitt.....

  10. Daniel Voyce


    Why would parents do that?

    I mean if your surname is head you do not name your son Richard and so on

    And dont even get me started on the Estuary Naming conventions which tend to all revolve around cars (Mercedes).

    Are the Renault's from Essex?

  11. Nick Pettefar

    I once met

    a nice German called Berndt Finga - he announced this as he held his hand out for me to shake. I stared down at it and he looked puzzled. I really had to explain it to him. He was in his thirties.

  12. Paul


    If they want to avoid the wrath of "the man" why not just go for Megan. Id still feal sorry for the kid, but it would be alot better.

  13. Dave

    Poor girl

    Shell be prone to having breakdowns all her life

  14. Simon Walke

    Clio would have been better

    I'm surprised Papa didn't favour "Nicole" instead.

  15. Dogbyte

    Papa? Nicole?

    I'm sure little Clio Laguna will be eternally grateful for the decision.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Daniel Voyce

    You'd be surprised what some parents will do, I was at school with a Michael Hunt - Both his parents were doctors, you'd have thought they might of had a bit of sense. We didn't take the mick too much, he was quite tall and broad.

  17. cor

    I knew a girl called Mercedes

    It's not that odd that cars get girls names, and not at all odd that car brands carry the (Family) name of the founder. What about Ford, Rolls-Royce, Porsche, Ferrari, Morris etc..?

    Mégane is a (french) girls name. If this couple come from the french-speaking part of Belgium then it would be quite plausible that they are calling their daughter after say...a relative.

    It does happen that people share their lastname with famous products and cars.

    What about : Minnie Morris?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about all the megan's out there?

    Surely if Renault is an at all common surname there will be people out there called Megan Renault who predate the Megane and are forced to suffer "a lifetime of misery and despair".

    More to the point, what about the unsuspecting people who buy Renaults and are foced to suffer a lifetime (of the vehicle) of misery and despair. (just kidding by the way - I own a Megane and I am mostly happy with it)

  19. Andrew Carpenter

    Car name

    My boss went to school with a Cortina Ford. Also, a friend of mine is called 'Benjiman' after his parents spelled the name wrong when registering his birth.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    great piece

    I, for one, welcome more articles by Xantia III.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Daniel Voyce reply - mick hunt

    Yes I knew one too, so it must be a more common name than first thought, or we both knew the same guy from thurnscoe.....

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    There's an American woman whose first name is Femalia. Her mother saw "Female" on the child's wrist band and thought that was what the hospital had named the baby.

  23. Jon

    I'm changing my name

    to '; drop table;

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    My wife actually knows the little girl named "Female" - this is not an urban legend.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My wife is a social worker...

    ... and the names of abandoned children can be amazing.

    I think the saddest example is a little girl whose mother agreed to terminate rights when the child was born. She was given some paperwork to confirm the birth of her child and it was noted that the child was "Female" along with the length/weight/etc.

    The mother interpreted this as the name the dept of social services had selected for the child, and agreed with this selection by choosing to write "Female" as the childs name.

    People now pronounce the girls name like "Tamale" with an "F."

    I've also heard of children named things like "Onesa, Twosa and Threesa"

    Apparently the parents never heard the Johnny Cash song "A Boy Named Sue."

  26. Sampler

    But does she have a nice arse?

    Coat already on, leaving the building...

  27. Ian Yates

    @I knew a girl called Mercedes

    The originally Mercedes engine was named after the chief engineer's daughter, I believe.

    So, chicken and egg all round.

  28. micheal

    Mercedes, cars and names

    Karl Benz named the car after his daughter, Mercedes is a fifteenth century spanish name jeez some ppl are thick, google it if in doubt

  29. John Dow

    A close shave

    Given that the birth years of my three children have coincided with a major release of windows (1995, 1998, 2000), I had thought that suitable tribute names would be "Apple", "Linux", and "Google".

    Sadly, my wife was having none of it.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I knew a Michael Hunt once

    He went by his middle name. According to there are 561 of them in the uk.

  31. Cyberspice

    It hasn't hindered...

    ...Minnie Driver too much.

    Although it's never been clear whether she's drives a new or classic one.

  32. Fluffykins

    Thank you Sampler

    you brightened my day.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Renault megane

    That word has left in belgium a nasty taste. In 1997, they closed a plant and around 4000 people got fired (Renault plant workers and suppliers and subcontractors).

    I remember that Renault and the megane in particular got written off as the devil itself:

    The announcement in February 1997 by French car maker Renault, of the closure of its Belgian plant has generated an unprecedented storm of protest and raised questions over the ability of European legislation to prevent multinational companies from enforcing economically motivated decisions on the location of production, without prior workforce consultation. It has also generated a much-needed debate on the use of Structural Fund resources in the relocation of business activities to areas of lower labour costs.

    How could they not remember: Renault = devil = Megane = spawn of devil

    *shaking fist wildly in the air*

  34. Matt

    For the yanks......

    It's a name of a car, in case you hadn't guessed by now. I know in the UK you can do whatever psychological damage you like to your kids by calling them Mike Hunt and so on. However, in Belgium your generally expected to use names already in existence.

    A Wallonian may use a Flemish name and visa versa, if they want but nothing like 4real etc. I think the commune (local council) is allowed some discretion, but that's basically how it works.

    Seemed strange to me at first, but most people are happy with the way it works and if it stops some poor kid being called Shrek, then it's OK by me!

  35. Matt Thornton

    My history teacher...

    's name was Mr. Poustie. We begged with him to call his son Cornish.

    Sadly, he was having none of it.

  36. wim


    Not so fast Matt,

    didn't one stupid celebrity called her daughter Lotus Elise because she wanted to have the car but could not afford it ?

    can not remember who the mother was though.

  37. Nigel Rook

    It could've been worse...

    ...Espace Renault is clearly a fat-girl name

    * hides

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Daft names

    I met a photocopier repair man called Wayne Carr once. And my dad met a James Bond - that must be seriously embarrassing when checking-into hotels, reserving restaurant tables, etc.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Colin the dog

    It should be made European law that all dogs are called Colin, and anyone trying to name their kids Colin should have them taken away.

  40. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Not so sure about this one

    Belgium is normally all about breaking rules and Mégane is far from being extreme. Reckon this might be more of a myth. In Germany the authorities frequently do intervene. :-(

    I was in the Netherlands at the weekend and there was a girl running around in a t-shirt that said "Ik ben Feline", ie. "I am feline". The Dutch love giving their kids slightly weird or trendy names.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wan Kim

    He resigned last week:

  42. Mike Moyle

    Re: A close shave

    "Given that the birth years of my three children have coincided with a major release of windows (1995, 1998, 2000), I had thought that suitable tribute names would be "Apple", "Linux", and "Google".

    "Sadly, my wife was having none of it."

    I know the feeling.

    When we were expecting, I mentioned to She Who Must be Obeyed that, if the sprout was a boy, I thought that "Nicholas Richard" flowed well and might make a good name.

    Unfortunately, she thought about it for a moment (she knows me too well, it appears) and replied that there was no way that we would have a son named "Nick Dick Moyle" (The Jewish readers just blorted coffee on their monitors, I expect. Sorry.)

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Silly car names : Mitsubishi

    Reminds me of the Mitsubishi "Pajero" that existed in the UK, but they had to change the name since one of its meanings in Spanish is masturbater ...

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    there's a trend in Singapore...

    for some girls to choose a nice sounding english name to help them generally interact with folks from the west. The most popular were the names of flowers (i.e rose, etc.). However I did once meet one poor girl who had just chosen the lovely sounding "Chlemydia" for her english name.

    I didn't have the heart to tell her.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ... and

    the company I work for has a customer called 'Wayne King'

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It isn't the worst

    Your parents could really hate you and call you Jet-Li Angellusz Cosworth Pentecost. Unfortunately some poor little nipper has been.

  47. Alan Gregson

    I knew a guy called...

    Peter Nutt who's wife was called Hazel.

    I also once met a guy who went by the name of Peter Niss

  48. Enric Martinez

    Pravda is good informed?

    I’m not quite sure, as I Belgian civil registers are very liberal with respect of registering babies with strange names:

    This reads: “Belgians give baby the name Rolex”

    As you can read (if you understand Dutch), in Belgium names like Dijamant (Diamond) and Bahrain (the country)... and there is even a Chukwunonyelum (it’s as difficult to spell in Vlaams/Dutch or French as it is in English).

    <i>Mégane</i> with and w/o accent is a surname and also a word in Japanese (dunno what it means). Thus Mégane is in no way a name worst than Rolex and it sounds a lot like Megan, a perfectly normal name.

  49. Nick Pettefar


    To quote the indubitable Wikipedia on the origins of the car name Mercedes: "An automobile dealer and racing enthuiast, Jellinek had been racing DMG automobiles on which he had the name—Mércédès—painted for good luck after his daughter, Mércédès Jellinek."

    Somehow Mercedes Jellinek doesn't sound so swish...

  50. Adam Barajas

    Governments should mind their own business...

    I’m not saying the names are not stupid, but do we really think governments getting involved in this stuff is a good idea? Who cares what they name their kid... I cannot believe people are not more upset about the government imposing its own standard on these people.

  51. John Watts

    Not for the French market

    I've been told and presume it to be true as the source was a Toyota Fan Club member, that the aforementioned company never released the MR2 in France ... (emm-air-dur). It's a good story even if it isn't true.

  52. Demian Phillips


    In Japanese it means eye glasses.

  53. Tomas

    My wife once worked with...

    Ida Baulder in a government office.

  54. Stratman

    'Tis true

    Of course there's the former England scrum half Austin Healy.

    And who remembers the Triumph Acclaim?

    Or the "Zieg Heil" as it is in Germany.

  55. Mike Morris

    Yet another lame example

    Friends of my parents, whose name was Apple, named their kid Justin.

    Serial killer for sure...


  56. Timothy Slade

    but some peoples parents really love them

    Met a guy called Leong Wang. Tried not to stare.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At Work...

    A colleague has a newspaper clipping from the Birth Deaths Marriages section celebrating the fifth birthday of one Mercedes-Porsche Lewis.

    I don't think you can get more chav

    Poor Kid!!

  58. Jacob J

    Un nom pas comme les autres

    @ Ian Watkinson; in France one often renders the family name first (and indeed in all caps) thus "RENAULT Megane".

    There's a number of groups on Facebook of the type "If 100,000 people join, my [S.O.] will let me name my [child] [debilitating name]". Spiderman and Spiderpig appear to have passed the threshold of sanity, if one is to believe the groups' creators.

  59. Luther Blissett

    Clio should be fine

    as it's not originally French. She was the Muse of History. All Greek to me.

    However, the point of the Pravda story is this. The Russians want to draw attention to the fact that it is not only in Lithuania that there are ethno-cultural divisions, but also in the middle of the EU in a little country like Belgium, where the French part hate the Flemish part and vice versa. If the story is true it would be because of some such tribal mentality by some beaurocrat somewhere.

  60. Neil Docherty

    Stupid names / child abuse

    A Star Wars fan with the surname of Walker called his kid, yep you guessed it, Luke Sky Walker.

    That really should be classed as child abuse!

  61. Curtis W. Rendon

    famous Texans

    The Limies probably won't be too surprised:

    Ima Hogg

    Ima Hogg (1882-1975), philanthropist and patron of the arts, daughter of Sarah Ann (Stinson) and Governor James Stephen Hogg, was born in Mineola, Texas, on July 10, 1882. She had three brothers, William Clifford Hogg, born in 1875; Michael, born in 1885; and Thomas Elisha Hogg, born in 1887. Ima was named for the heroine of a Civil War poem written by her uncle Thomas Elisha and was affectionately known as Miss Ima for most of her long life...

  62. Mike Banahan


    My old boozing buddy John Kettle swore that if he ever had a daughter he would call her Lydia.

    My mum had a friend called Eva Upjohn.

  63. bob

    I almost forgot....

    my son's name is daemon aloysius! XD

  64. bob

    I have a baby girl due....

    ... and my girlfriends suggestion was Ima. And i said, " if you to pick ima, the middle name is going to be roflcopter".

  65. Dave Driver

    My Dad wanted to call me Lawrence...

    but my Mum was having none of it.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where I work...

    some unfortunate individual allowed himself to be quoted in a corporate "Take It To The Top" teleconference transcript with the following:

    "Hi, I'm Randy Tosser". An American, he's in for an interesting time if he ever comes to the UK.

  67. Pete

    This should be under the ROTM section...

    Readers getting confused over who is human, who is machine. Who to trust

    [....dons tin-foil balaclava, zips up foil suit.]

  68. RK

    @ daniel voyce

    actually, there was a guy near where i lived not so long ago whose name was indeed "Richard Head," and he insisted on being guessed it.

    perhaps it was a point of pride, he was a right bastard. or he was a closet masochist.

    also knew a "Justin Case" for awhile, and yes, he'd heard that one before.

    thanks to Matt for clearing up the confusion for us yanks. never heard of the Renault Megane before now.

  69. b166er

    Fishy pancakes

  70. Outcast

    Profession ?

    My Father in Laws name is...

    Robin Holmes

    Wonder if his Mum ever knitted him a stripy jumper ?

  71. salman ali

    pretty obscure article without the comments

    Name seemed perfectly normal to me (grew up in south asia, now living in canada).

    Even if the name is the name of a car, it hardly sounds comparable to something like "4real". Are Belgian's really that touchy about car names? If my parents were Mr and Mrs Diablo, I certainly wouldn't mind my first name being Lambourghini (no I don't know how to spell that correctly, sorry).

  72. wim

    dutch name

    I knew a guy called Piet Uitdebroeck

    well the translation would be something like Dick Outofpants I guess.

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Knew a guy called....

    Garth Vader once.

  74. tony trolle

    all over the place.

    The pub landlady called Mary Christmas,

    Years ago there was a fake entry in the yellow pages of 'Wong Number'.

    One of my old friends sister was goes to be called Apple second name Orchard, called Gyilian in the end.

    The sisters April, May, June, and the brother Devlin (dev from devcember Russia ?)

  75. Andy Worth


    I have no sympathy.....why would anyone name a child after such a shit car? Oh sorry, they're French so they have no idea what a decent motor is like.

    I do remember seeing something about a missing persons register and there being a couple of people with the first name "Arse" on there.

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I kewn a guy at University called Christopher Moss, fairly ordinary type of chap, quite religious, and actually enjoyed the "Hahahaha, happy Chris Moss", type gibes. Well, at least they aren't really going to get too offensive, unlike my ex's father Mickey Hunt. (Yes, I know it's been done before, but it's true, and he was).

    I don't think it ever really bothered him until he joined the Catholic preisthood in fact, thus becomign "Father Chris Moss".

    You'd think he would have seen it coming.

  77. daniel

    Already happened in France...

    The Officer of Civil Status refused the name "Mégane" (which is a perfectly valid girl's first name in any French speaking country), due to the fact that the family name was Renault (or Renaud). This happened in the late 90's IIRC.

    French law (and I guess Belgian law also) allows the state to refuse to register any name that could cause the child prejudice in the future...

    Thank god that this is not in America, where the parents would have probably sued car maker - even if the car was one of the most sold cars on the market for the last 8 years...

    The universe may not be infinte, but human stupidity probably is...



  78. Dr Stephen Hogg

    I've just started reading

    this so thanks to all for starting my day off so well. I know it's late and there's been so much good stuff but I just have to let you know that I went to school with Peter Knight.


  79. Glen Goergen

    Screw the Goverments

    I think it's about time all these goverments get their noses out of the citizens business. Ifr someone wishes to name their child "Fuck you" that should be their right ( Wish I had been named that LOL ) Can you imagine the local constable asking your name and standing before the Beak as you brits call him telling him Fyck you when asked your name?

    We have a clown on this side of the pond that legeally changed his name to "Trout fishing in America" Just no telling what folks will do or what they want to do. The point is they are all free sovergin citizens of the planet and no goverment should have dominion over the naming of their children

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I once heard a rumour

    of an american chap naming his son FORTRAN.

    Nobody would mess with someone called FORTRAN.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Where I work...

    The Randy randolf stunt is very common when you have american researcher presenting their work :)

    Comitee member : I have the great pleasure of introducing Randolf ... ... ... ...

    Randolf : Hi, I am randy. I am going to ... * stops talking -- enlish audience red and respectfully laughing *

    This is a good way to proceed though, as you can be sure that none of the brits are going to ask any question, fearing to burst in the middle of it. A great trick if you have a bit sub par work, condidering that brits' questions are often more precise and harder to escape.

  82. Daniel Voyce

    @ RK

    "actually, there was a guy near where i lived not so long ago whose name was indeed "Richard Head," and he insisted on being guessed it."

    Richard? Please say it was Richard?

    Some people are beyond help!

  83. Ian Murphy


    I'm not making this up - we have a person at whose first name is Earthling...

    I also heard of a "Randy Strongman"!

  84. Leo Stretch

    My old boss...

    once told me that the company he worked for had a German by the name of (phonetically, at any rate) Minge. First name began with an E. Imagine the mild merriment coupling that up with "Herr"

  85. Tony Humphreys

    I blame

    Mike Hunt - its his fault - he started the trend.

  86. Simon Greenwood

    Where's Randy Bender when we need him?

    Hmm, I've got that Friday feeling.

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More stupidity

    "What about : Minnie Morris?"

    Only funny if she has an older sister and they both attend the same public school...

    (for those who haven't worked it out: Morris minor)

    Buffy fans should remember one of the crew was called Thomas Wanker. Turns out the USians mangled the surname Wanamaker generations ago and we were obviously too annoyed with the colonials breaking away to point it out.

    I knew a married woman whose first name was Winter. Very pretty (ambiguity intended). Then I found out her maiden name was Snow...

    Used to provide web services for a bloke called Joe Kerr...

    Oh, and Méganes are crap. Especially the automatic Scénic versions.

  88. RK

    @ daniel voyce


    "You can call me 'Dick'."


    forgot about the fake white pages listing in a town in which i used to live: "Heywood Jablomey"

    that one still cracks me up every time i think about it.

  89. Pete

    Bartender calls across crowded pub...


  90. Kate

    I know a kid...

    called Harley Honda Howe. And what's worse, his father is David so he is actually Harley David's son...

  91. John Tayleur


    had a survey of US names; one was pronounced 'Shih-teed' but spelled 'shithead' - so nice not to have these old fashioned European laws

  92. Tim Keck


    Names are like opinions:

    Everybody gets one

    Yours can be whatever you want

    Some are just silly

  93. Mike Prosser


    ...we've got a Joe King here at work. He's a very serious man.

  94. Grayson Berry

    what a fuss about nothing

    Why should legislators decide what I call my kid? The world has become a global village, we are all more exposed to other cultures and ideas, and that ought to be reflected in our world society. If I decide my child should be named after an ancient Chinese sage (eg. Confucius), a Bible character (Hosea), or a famous musician (Symbol), what of it?

    I myself have an unusual name, I have only met two others, and I pretty much revel in it. Better still, I would have loved to have been called "Moonunit" or "Solarflare", but not "Frodo" or "Stinkbomb".

    But then there's could be to the rescue!

    When I was working for a Microsoft Outsourced partner, a guy called in 'cos his server wouldn't register. His name kept on being rejected by the MS servers ... it was a banned word. I won't say it here ... i might get banned meself.

    Finally, I know two brothers, one called Wayne King and the other called Bourne King. hmmmm. bet that generated laughs at school. they both have the reputation of having turned out normal balanced individuals. i guess they took it on the chin, and the experience just might have been character building.

    where will all the nanny legislation take us?

  95. Ed Zuiderwijk

    Megane Renault?

    That model gets better with age. Could be a great drive in 18 years time.

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