Odd Baby Names Banned Around the World
What’s in a name? A lot it seems…
If you thought everyone could name their children anything they want, you thought wrong. Depending on where you live, there might be some regulations or restrictions on what you can and can’t name your kids. Names can be banned for different reasons, such as language, religion or the wellbeing of the child. Here are some popular ones.
Names: Nutella, Strawberry/Fraise, Mini Cooper, Prince William, Joyeux
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In January 2015, A French couple tried to name their newborn daughter Nutella. Their explanation was that they wanted her to be like the chocolate spread in the sense that she would be sweet and popular. The French judge wasn’t convinced and said that it could only lead to mockery and disobliging remarks. It was ruled that her name gets changed to “Ella” instead.
In a similar case, a judge stopped the use of the name Strawberry, or “Fraise” in French, because he believed the child would be taunted by others as the word is used in the popular French phrase “ramène ta fraise” which means “get your bottom over here.”
Similar reasons were cited to a couple who tried to name their children Mini Cooper, Prince William and Joyeux (Happy).
Names: Harriet and Duncan
In Iceland, parents must give their child a name from the National Register Persons list. Otherwise, they can pay a fee to apply for a name approval from the Icelandic Naming Committee. The name must not be a potential source of humiliation, grammatically correct and it can only include letters from the Icelandic alphabet.
Harriet cannot be conjugated in Icelandic and Duncan contains a C which doesn’t exist in the Icelandic alphabet. So what happens if your kids were named Harriet and Duncan? Well, two parents found out the hard way when they tried to renew their children's passports and the authorities refused to recognise their names. The solution? Their first names were written as Stúlka and Drengur, meaning Girl and Boy. We couldn’t make this up if we tried!
After years, the family finally won their court case to have the actual names officially recognised.
Soon after, the Icelandic Interior Ministry had announced it started the process to abolish the Naming Committee.
Names: Ikea, Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116
No, we didn’t just randomly hit the keyboard bottons! This was an actual name a Swedish couple attempted to give to their son. Apparently, it is pronounced “Albin” but we’re not really sure how that works. The parents said it was an act of protest against Sweden’s naming laws.
Funny enough, after the name was rejected, the parents tried to name him “A” (apparently also pronounce Albin), but it was rejected again. And no matter how much you love Ikea, you still can’t name your kid after it.
Names: 4Real, Fat Boy, 2nd, King/Duke/Princess, Stallion, Fish and Chips, Tulula Does the Hula from Hawaii
Some New Zealand parents certainly get creative with the names they pick! All these names are on the forbidden list because they were at some point proposed by parents.
In 2008, a nine-year-old girl named Tulula Does the Hula from Hawaii complained that she was embarrassed by her name and she was put into the court guardianship so they could change it for her.
Names that would cause offense or ridicule, are longer than 99 characters or resemble an official title or rank are all banned.
Names: Osama Bin Laden, Adolf Hitler, Matti, Kohl
Germany has several restrictions on names, such as no gender-neutral names (like Matti), no last names as first names (like Kohl), no object or product names and no names that could lead to humiliation of the child.
In 2001, a Turkish couple living in Germany felt it was appropriate to call their son Osama Bin Laden and naturally it was rejected. Germany also prohibts names that are illegal in the parents' home country, which is the case with this name in Turkey.
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Names: Nirvana, Rihanna, Jimmy, Sayonara
In Portugal, the names can’t be gender-neutral or nicknames and they must be traditionally Portuguese. There are over 200 names on the banned list.
Names: Binyameen (Benjamin), Malak (Angel), Amir (Prince), Linda, Elaine
The Saudi government has banned some names that are deemed too foreign, inappropriate, has royal connotations or goes against their social and religious traditions. Unlike most other countries that ban names that are somewhat ridiculous, most of these names are very common ones in both Arab and Western cultures.
Names: Facebook, Rambo, Superman, Batman, Rocky, Pocahontas, Harry Potter
There is a law in Mexico that bans certain first names that are derogatory, mockable or lacking significance. Think you can name your kids after your favourite fictional character? Think again!
A Chinese couple attempted to name their newborn Wang @ (At). They claimed that it represented their love for the child since the character @ is pronounced “ai-ta” which is similar to “love him.” The name and their explanation were firmly rejected.
Names: Venerdi (Friday), Dalmata (Dalmation)
Friday might be your favourite day, but it definitely can't be your name in Italy! In 2008, an Italian court banned a couple from naming their child Venerdi as the judge believed it would lead to mockery and insecurity. Similarly, the name Dalmata was also rejected of the same reasons.