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Surprise in class: student legally named after a punctuation mark

Does '...' as a name convey ‘unlimited potential’ or ‘poor parenting’?

Surprise in class: student legally named after a punctuation mark
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Pavel Danilyuk

Editor's note: This article was originally published on July 29, 2023. It has since been updated.

A teacher was shocked to discover that a boy in her class who had introduced himself as ‘Ell’ was officially listed in her class registry as ‘…’.

'...', pronounced ellipsis, is the ambiguous punctuation mark that indicates a pause, an omission, or an unfinished thought.

Image Source: Reddit | u/CheesewankMcDickhead
Image Source: Reddit | u/CheesewankMcDickhead


The teacher took to Reddit to tell the story. Upon investigation, she learned that instead of the entry being a mistake, as she might have assumed, the student's parents had legally named him ‘...’.

"His parents thought they were really clever,” the teacher said. “It's just inconsiderate in my opinion. On a parent's evening, I asked them about it. They said something about it representing his unlimited potential for greatness."

Image Source: Reddit | u/ValiantSerpant
Image Source: Reddit | u/ValiantSerpant


Parents in the United States take many liberties in picking their children's names. While these differ from state to state, having a numeral in your name is mostly not allowed. Some states also limit the types of characters that can be used, including pictograms, obscenity, foreign characters, symbols, emojis, or offensive language.

Certain states also forbid the use of accents and/or non-English letters, often because their information systems are unable to process vital records that include these characters.


Image Source: Reddit | u/umidoo
Image Source: Reddit | u/umidoo


In Kentucky, parents can name their children whatever they like. In California, they are not allowed to use accents. The Golden State still allows parents to include hyphens and apostrophes in their baby names, as Elon Musk and Grimes did when naming their child X AE A-XII, but no numbers. Unfortunately, this means you will have to refrain from calling your child R2-D2 or C-3PO.

In reply to the teacher’s story about ‘…’, Reddit user u/valiantserpent said: "My cousin teaches high school math, and he had a student whose parent spelled her name with Roman numerals - Caitlin spelled Cviiilyn."

u/thebluecrab quipped, "I'm going to name my kids ______. It's the ultimate clean slate."

u/umidoo wrote, "I did an exam and one of the guys who was trying to join the same college as I was called Xenocrates - beautiful name man."

One more user added: "My aunt is a school attendance secretary and one of the kids in the district (inner city), I kid you not, was named: Wise-Intelligent (first name) Supreme-God (middle name) Allah (last name). While u/thecleaverguy commented, "Just hope they don't get into a bet where they end up having to change their name to 'happy adjustable spanners.'"

These interesting names surely surprise us and make us laugh a little!

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