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20 baby names declared illegal in other countries

Depending on where you live, your government may have relaxed rules when it comes to baby naming or have stricter policies in place – obviously for the good of that poor baby who would be otherwise stuck with a ‘bad’ name for a long time. Here are some names that have been deemed inappropriate in various parts of the world.

‘.’ (Full Stop)

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New Zealand has a long list of banned names, since practically each one needs government approval. While you would think a name should be made of letters, someone actually wanted to name a baby using this symbol that is pronounced ‘Full Stop’.

Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii

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This one may have slipped through the cracks of the system but the New Zealand government decided to make up for their mistake by assuming guardianship for the 9-year-old girl that was ‘blessed’ with this name to ensure a more suitable name would be found for her.

Anal

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‘Anal’ is another name found on New Zealand’s banned list – I’m sure there’s no need for further explanations in this case.

Sex Fruit

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We get the hint – babies are usually made that way, but surely someone’s name doesn’t have to be so self-explanatory. The New Zealand government agrees.

Nutella

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Every parent thinks their child is the sweetest on Earth, but earlier this year a French couple wanted to make sure everyone knows that as they wanted to name their daughter after the famous hazelnut-chocolate spread.

However, a judge didn’t agree with their choice and said this name will likely cause ‘mockery and disobliging remarks’ and concluded the baby’s name should be shortened to ‘Ella’.

Fraise (Strawberry)

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This one seems pretty harmless, right? People name their kids after flowers, so why not fruits? Well, not in France.

The court declined a couple’s request to name their girl after the savory fruit. The judge highlighted the name could lead to teasing as it will remind people of the saying ‘‘ramène ta fraise’ which translates into ‘get your butt over here’. Since the parents were pretty determined to begin with, they made a small compromise and chose ‘Fraisine’ instead.

Circumcision

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Sonora, Mexico used the state’s newborn registries to curate a list of banned baby names. This odd name was in there as well, so now it’s banned in that state.

Robocop

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This is another name present on Sonora’s list of banned baby names. You know someone already got to name their baby this way!

Akuma (Devil)

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This name made a lot of fuss in Japan, as it went as high as the Prime Minister’s cabinet. Despite the Justice Minister’s plea against banning the name (he considered parents shouldn’t be forced to change their child’s name unless there’s some kind of legal basis), the name got banned in the end.

Venerdi (Friday)

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The Italian government has a transparent stance on baby naming: they reserve themselves the right to reject baby names whey they can ‘limit social interaction and create insecurity’.

Judges considered the name Venerdi would eventually lead to mockery for the young boy. The parents had to change the name, but also they were threatened to name their next child Wednesday (Mercoledi in Italian).

Gesher (Bridge)

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Norway also has rules on how you can name your child. A mother actually went to jail because she didn’t pay the $420 fine for using a banned name. In her defense, she said it came to her in a dream.

BRFXXCCXXMNPCCCCKKKMMNPRXVCLMNCKSSQLBB11116

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This may look like a very strong password, but one couple in Norway wanted to name their child this way. According to them, it’s pronounced ‘Albin’, but it certainly didn’t help their case.

@ (‘at’)

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A couple from China thought of naming their child using the all-too-popular @ (‘at’) symbol. In Chinese, it’s pronounced ‘ai-ta’ which sound like a phrase that means ‘love him’. Sadly, the Chinese government didn’t share their vision.

Linda

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Well, what’s wrong with this one? Too much, if you live in Saudi Arabia. Their government released a list of banned names, back in 2014, and several ones (Linda included) have been added because they’re considered to be part of the Western culture.

Sarah

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Morocco does things the other way around – they actually have a list of acceptable names that reflect the “Moroccan identity”. Sarah with an ‘h’ is banned because this is the Hebrew spelling, but if you’d want to name your baby using the Arabic ‘Sara’ everything would be ok.

Nirvana

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Portugal’s list of banned names is 80-pages long ! Obviously, Nirvana is in there.

Chow Tow (Smelly Head)

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At some point there was a trend in Malaysia to change your given name. This peculiar choice is among the names that got banned then.

Metallica

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I think it’s pretty clear how the Swedish couple that chose this name wanted their baby girl to turn out. Luckily, tax officials had other plans for her.

Chief Maximus

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Hah! Imagine the teacher calling your kid like that during class. You can’t? The New Zealand government couldn’t either.

Harriet

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Icelanders that chose a name for their baby which is not already present in the National Register of Persons can pay a tax and apply for approval. However, the name does need to comply with some Iceland-specific criteria, such as being made only from letters in the Icelandic alphabet and being able to fit the language grammatically.

A family was unable to renew the passport of their daughter Harriet, as her name can’t be conjugated in Icelandic. Furthermore, her brother’s name – Duncan – is also banned, because the language doesn’t have the letter ‘c’.

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Written by Lizzy Wilson

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