A Brussels city official refused to accept ‘Hannes’ as the name for a Flemish couples newborn baby boy, saying that it ‘sounds like donkey.’
Hannes, short for Johannes (or ‘John’ in English) is a popular boys name in Flanders.
But the city official thought it sounded too much like “ânesse,” the French word for a female donkey, according to VRT.
Arguing that the name would prompt future bullying at school, the official rejected the name and it took the intervention of Ans Persoons, the city cabinet member for Flemish affairs in the City of Brussels, to have the name accepted.
Another Flemish politician in the city, Mathias Vanden Borre, said incidents like this involving city officials with little to no knowledge of Dutch, are a regular occurrence.
“This is unbelievable – an official who has no Dutch or no affinity with the Dutch language, in this day and age,” said Vanden Borre.
“It shows there is no respect for the bilingual character of our capital. This was supposed to be a wonderful day for the parents and it turned into a disappointment.”
The Brussels Times