As parents of a new infant, you have the fun task of choosing a baby name for your child! While the name possibilities may seem endless, truth be told, there are actually some limitations to what you can legally call your child. It might surprise some parents-to-be that most countries around the world have lists of illegal or banned baby names. So while you may be able to select creative, unique, and rare monikers for your kid, you can't actually give them any of the following banned baby names in certain countries.
Banned Baby Names in the USA
The United States of America is associated with the concept of freedom, but not when it comes to baby names! Parents living in the Land of the Free have to steer clear of certain monikers like:
- Adolf Hitler (Adolf, once a popular European name, is now banned worldwide).
- Jesus Christ
- Santa Claus
Name bans in the United States are less rigid than some other countries, and the name bans tend to vary from state to state. For example, Kentucky has no legal naming restrictions. Some states don't allow accents in names, and most won't allow a name to be registered if it has a numerical character in it. Other rules include the prohibition of using foreign characters, symbols, and emojis in first names. For a complete list of naming guidelines in America, parents can go to USBirthCertificates.com for a rundown.
Banned Baby Names in Australia
Australia has no shortage of banned names that parents have tried to pass through the Registrar's Office. Many of these names are clearly questionable choices at best, but others are a bit surprising. Thankfully, there are still plenty of darling Australian baby names for parents to choose from that are government permitted. The following are not allowed:
- Chow Tow - Means "smelly head" in Cantonese and is banned in Victoria, Australia.
- Ikea (Also banned in Sweden, home of IKEA)
In Australia, the Registrar can reject a name if it is offensive, too long, contains symbols, is displayed as initials or acronyms only, or contains an officially recognized rank or title.
Baby Names Banned in Spain, Italy and France
The countries of Spain, Italy, and France have lists of illegal baby names for parents to peek at. These are a collection of baby names rejected at a registration attempt.
- Blue (Italy)
- Daemon (France)
- Fleur de Marie
- Fraise (France) - Name means "strawberry"
- Griezmann Mbappe (France)
- Joyeux (France) - Means "happy" in English and is pretty darn cute!
- MJ (France)
- Manhattan (France)
- Megane Renaud (France)
- Nutella (France)
- Patriste (France)
- Prince William (France)
- Titeuf (France) - Name meaning: A Swiss cartoon character and comic series
- Venerdi (Italy) - Means Friday
- Wolf (Spain)
Baby Names Banned in Sonora, Mexico
There are many beautiful Mexican name choices for babies, but not every idea will fly. Sonora is a state in Mexico, and parents registering their baby's birth here must refrain from using sixty-plus banned baby names when deciding on the perfect moniker. The reason behind the long list of naming no-no's is reportedly to aid in the reduction of childhood bullying. After looking at some of these selections, we can see why officials banned these baby names.
- All Power - (Children in this region cannot have more than two names)
- Burger King
- Christmas Day
- Harry Potter
- James Bond
- Marciana - Means martian
- Robocop - Banned in the country of Mexico
Surprising Baby Names Banned Around the World
Most countries have their own lists of banned names, as well as the reasons behind why certain names are not permitted. Some name requests are denied for obvious reasons, but other names that get turned down are a bit surprising.
- Ashanti (Portugal) - This country favors traditional Portuguese names, and Ashanti refers to a tribe of people originally from Ghana.
- Enrique (Iceland) - The country doesn't encourage foreign names.
- Gersher (Norway) - The name means "bridge" and doesn't appear offensive or meaningless. Still, Norway only allows parents to choose baby names from an approved list, and Gersher isn't on the list.
- Harriet (Iceland) - The name can't be conjugated in Icelandic.
- Justice (Australia) - The name Justice is not uncommon in the United States, but it is banned from usage in the Land Down Under, since the definition can refer to a recognized title or rank.
- Aryan (Worldwide) - The name is banned worldwide because of the word's association with the Nazi movement.
Whackiest Banned Names in the World
Babies are not allowed to rock these names, and thank GOODNESS for that. We are all for freedom of creative expression, but these names go too far.
- Cyanide - A Wales woman tried justifying her desire to name her daughter after a deadly poison.
- Fish and Chips - A couple in New Zealand attempted to name their twins this odd pair.
- Monkey - You can call your baby your little monkey, but you can't write "monkey" on the birth certificate in Denmark.
- Spinach - Baby names relating to food are nothing new, and some of them, like Cocoa, Hazel, and Colby, are pretty cute. Spinach... not so much. An Aussie parent's request for the name was officially denied.
- Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii - So outrageous that the New Zealand Government got involved!
- Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 - A Swedish couple rallied for this 40+ letter baby moniker claiming it was pronounced "Albin." It was a no-go!
Reasons Countries Create Banned Baby Name Lists
The reasons behind why some names are allowed and others are not are vast and depend on the country banning the names. Each country has its own logic behind its list of illegal and banned names.
- Parents in Saudi Arabia can't name their children a moniker related to royalty. No babies named Prince here!
- In Denmark, parents must choose from a list of 7,000 approved names; otherwise, seek naming approval from church and government officials. Because of the strict rules, many unique options will be a no, including naming babies after body parts.
- In Iceland, parents can't name their babies something seemingly common, like Caroline, and the reasoning is pretty simple. The Icelandic alphabet doesn't contain the letter "C" in it.
- Deeply religious parents in Australia are prohibited from giving their infants names that are explicitly tied to religion, so names like Bishop and Deacon are out of the question.
- Saudi Arabians might have a problem naming their baby Western names like Linda, a banned name in the country. The Middle Eastern country frowns upon foreign names for babies.
- Germany has several restrictions on baby names, including giving last names, offensive terms, products, and objects as first names. The country has also banned unisex names like Matti.
- Morocco supplies parents with a list of naming options considered government-approved and of Moroccan identity. The name "Sarah" is banned in this country because it is not traditionally Moroccan.
Choosing a Name for Your Baby
When choosing a baby name, you can aim for something traditional or get unique with your selection. Sure, some names are too out there, hence the banned baby name lists, but still, there are lots of options available to parents looking for something outside the box. When deciding on a name rarely heard, go with one that is meaningful and nonoffensive. Don't opt for a baby name that might put your child at risk for bullying or ridicule. Settle on a name that sets them apart, but that they can grow to love in the years to come.