What's in a name? If the name is Friday, shame and ridicule, according to Italian judges who forbade a couple from naming their child like the character in "Robinson Crusoe."
"They thought that it recalled the figure of a savage, thus creating a sense of inferiority and failing to guarantee the boy the necessary decorum," the couple's lawyer, Paola Rossi, said Wednesday.
The couple are considering appealing the decision to Italy's highest court, she said.
Mara and Roberto Germano, whose son was born on Sept. 3, 2006, had the boy named and baptized Venerdi, Italian for Friday.
Even though the boy was not born on a Friday — it was Sunday — his parents liked the name, said Rossi.
"They wanted an unusual name, something original, and it did not seem like a shameful name," Rossi said in a telephone interview. "We think it calls to mind the day of the week rather than the novel's character."
Since city hall officials are obliged by law to report odd names, the matter ended up before judges in Genoa, the northern Italian city where the couple live.
Last month, an appeals court stated that Friday falls into the category of the "ridiculous or shameful" names that are barred by law, as it recalled the native servant in Daniel Defoe's novel.
The judges wrote that naming somebody Friday would bar him from "serene interpersonal relationships" and would turn the boy into the "laughing stock of his group," according to a report in La Repubblica this week.
According to the daily, the judges also said that, as a day of the week, Friday raises a sentiment of sadness and penitence, when not being associated with bad luck outright.
Rossi said the court, which upheld a previous ruling made in June, also ordered the boy to be named Gregorio after the saint on whose day he was born.