The Maltese mother of four that came up with the name Dnegel and created a very Maltese meme in the process appeared on Xarabank’s latest episode to defend her idea for a name against a very cruel nation.
“Everyone should be able to name their child as they want, and you only have one chance to name your baby,” the mother said in an interview with host Mark Laurence Zammit.
“But if there’s any bullying happening at school, the first thing that needs to be done is to teach the children from home, so hopefully bullying at school ends. Because, if the kids never heard the name Dnegel, then they hear their parents say it, it becomes a name like any else. That means any problems are coming from parents, and not from the name.”
The mother, who didn’t show her face on screen, also confirmed the correct pronunciation of Dnegel
For the record, it’s with a soft g, just like the word ‘legend’, but backwards – and that the name could be used for a boy or girl, but it would be better for a boy.
She opened up about the day her baby name choice went viral in Malta
“Last week I was on Facebook, and I saw a post by a parent who was asking for uncommon names – in other words, weird names,” she said. “I, like many other parents, wrote the names of my other four children, and I also said that I like the name Dnegel.”
Soon after posting, as she was putting her children to sleep for a nap, her mobile started blowing up – and then the threats and hate mail began, including death threats against her children.
“I didn’t enjoy it – just because I like the name, what do my children have to do with it?” she asked.
Saying she forgave the people who posted offensive messages about her and her family, she also apologised to anyone she might have offended in her angry replies.
Even after the country had made all the jokes about the name, she still said she was ready to name her next son Dnegel
“100% – ħeqq, the legend that hasn’t been born yet!” she said.
Commissioner for Children Pauline Miceli, who was also on the Xarabank panel, gave her two cents on what thoughts you should be having when about to name your child an uncommon name.
“We need to make parents aware of how to choose a name for their children, and an easy test is to say: ‘how would I feel if I was named that name?'” she said.
When asked if she would name her son Dnegel, after a moment, she replied: “If it was me, I wouldn’t name him that”.
However, she spoke against regulating how parents name their children in Malta, saying that it would be hard to define criteria for refusing names.
“Parents have the authority – but they also have the responsibility”
Ms Miceli continued to say that it wasn’t in the interest of the children or parents in naming their child a name that might “boomerang” and result in bullying and give them a hard time.
However, the mother wasn’t having any of it: “We are not saying we’re going to name the child ‘bieb‘ – but what’s wrong with this name? When you say Dnegel, what are you understanding that’s bad?