After a Quirky Name Change, Now They're Stuck With It

Taiwanese lawmakers debate rules change for those who adopted 'Salmon' moniker for restaurant promo
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2022 1:52 PM CDT
Updated May 29, 2022 5:20 PM CDT
Here's Why Changing Your Name to 'Salmon' Might Be a Bad Idea
I mean, this does look good, but....   (Getty Images/Metkalova)

(Newser) – Is the free fish really worth it? A bunch of people in Taiwan who legally changed their name to "Salmon" to take advantage of a restaurant promotion are about to find out, because the government isn't letting some of them change their names back, reports the Guardian. It started in March 2021, when the restaurant chain Sushiro ran a gimmick in which anyone who used the two characters for "giu yu" (which means "salmon") could earn a free, all-you-can-devour sushi meal for themselves and a handful of friends. Of course, most people weren't given such a name at birth, so sushi lovers who wanted in on the promotion did the next best thing: They paid a small administrative fee and had their names changed. Salmon Dream, Dancing Salmon, and Explosive Good-Looking Salmon were among some of the picks.

Many apparently figured they'd just change their names back after the promotion had ended, even though government officials complained that the "salmon chaos" was causing a ton of paperwork, and despite the fact that the law in Taiwan only allows for three name changes in total over one's lifetime. And it appears that while some who went through with it were able to simply transition back to their regular names afterward, others didn't take that three-time cap seriously or miscalculated how many times they'd changed their names in the past, because now those already at the limit can't change them back.

Which brings Taiwanese lawmakers to their "I told you so" moment. On Thursday, legislators in the nation's parliament brought to the table amendments that would include help for those now stuck with a fishy name, as well as other measures such as cooling-off periods and increased fees. The general public, meanwhile, doesn't seem to have much sympathy for their name-shifting compatriots. "How can we amend the law for those who sell their personality for the sake of benefits?" one irked commenter complained. Another piped in: "Be responsible for your own life, Salmons!" (Read more Taiwan stories.)

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