85 Illegal Or Banned Baby Names From Around The World

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Every parent wants to find a unique name for their baby to make them stand out from others. However, some parents go too far and end up picking banned baby names for their little ones. Every country has a set of names that are not allowed to be used for a baby. So identifying them is imperative to avoid troubles and possible trauma for your child. In this post, we list some of the banned names from across the world with reasons why they were banned.

In This Article

Baby Names Banned In The UK

Naming Laws:

  • There are no such stringent rules for naming babies in the UK, perhaps they have the most liberal set rules when it comes to naming babies.
  • Some celebrities have casual names, which are quite unlikely to be found in many other countries. But only if the name is offending someone, will the parents be cautioned. There are hardly any names that the UK government has banned for babies.
  • If you are a citizen of the UK, you can name your newborn baby temporarily and make changes to her name or last name in the future.
  • Under the general naming law in the UK, all that you need to do is name your child in a liberal manner, and non-fraudulently, so that you do not interfere with other people’s rights.

Banned Baby Names:

There are very few forbidden baby names in the UK. They are as follows:

1. Martian

2. Chow Tow meaning ‘Smelly Head.’

3. Rogue

4. Monkey

5. Akuma signifying ‘Devil’

protip_icon Trivia
The Registering Officer in the UK may reject baby names that are obscene, contain numerals or misleading titles, and are impossible to pronounce.

Baby Names Banned In The US

Naming Laws:

  • Just like the UK, the US also has very few rules when it comes to naming babies. It is left to the parents to name their children, upheld by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.
  • There are certain rules which still exist but nothing too strict. These restrictions vary from one state to another.
  • There are certain states where the number of characters that can be used to name is limited as it becomes difficult to maintain official documents for bigger names.
  • Then there are certain states where the use of numerals is strictly banned. A name called 1000 will join the list of illegal baby names but ‘One Thousand’ as a name is acceptable. Some names are disallowed for indecency.
  • Then there is the state of Kentucky where there are no rules at all.
  • The state of California prohibits names that contain letters other than the 26 letters in the English alphabet. A name like José will be unacceptable there.

Banned Baby Names:

Some of the names which are banned in the US are titles, which typically include:

6. Judge

7. King

8. Duke

9. Master

10. Queen

11. Majesty

Baby Names Banned In Australia

Naming Laws:

  • Well, this is a country where there are several naming rules.
  • The first rule, which is same across all over the world, is that a name should not be obscene or unpleasant. There are instances where the parents have named their kids after private parts, and the obscenity enters a whole new level as people here have used the slang for genitalia as names.
  • If the name is unusually long, then it has been restricted in several instances, as it is not practical.
  • Some parents have used symbols in the names which can’t be pronounced properly, and these have been banned.
  • If the baby names bear problems to public interest, then parents cannot use them. Another rule, the same as that in the US is the use of only the 26 letters in the English alphabet. The use of diacritical marks is strictly unpermitted.
  • If there are brackets or blank spaces used in the names, they have to be scrapped.
  • If there are medicare numbers like insurance numbers in the names, which there had been in the past, those names will be unsanctioned by the Australian Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriage.

Banned Baby Names:

Now we move on to those crazy parents and their crazy naming ideas. Some of the names banned in Australia are:

12. D*ckhead

13. LOL

14. Batman

15. Ikea

16. Snort

17. Circumcision

18. Ranga

19. Hitler

20. Spinach

Baby Names Banned In New Zealand

Naming Laws:

  • This country has seen a huge number of names censored over the last decade or so. The sole reason again is parents using impractical and offensive names. Hence, there are quite a few rules for naming kids in New Zealand mentioned in the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act section 18 in the year 1995.
  • There are instances in NZ where the parents have used names for their babies containing more than 100 characters. It’s for this bizarre naming that the government has added the rule, where the number of characters in the name should not cross 100.
  • The name can’t be offensive and also should not bear a resemblance to any official title or rank.
  • Even if you use a different spelling for the names resembling the tiles, those names will be vetoed.
  • Names like 2nd, 3rd can’t be used in NZ. You can’t use symbols to name your children; neither can you use single letters or numbers.
  • If you’re a single mother, it does not matter whether you’re using the last name of the father or yours as long as it’s not indecent or vulgar.

Banned Baby Names:

In the last decade or so, there are as many as 71 names that got banned in New Zealand. Here are some such unapproved baby names in NZ:

21. Lucifer

22. Messiah

23. J

24. MJ

25. II

26. *

27. H-Q

28. L B

29. Royale

30. Knight

31. Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii

32. 4Real

33. T

34. Anal

35. III

36. Minister

37. 89

38. Saint

39. Mafia No Fear

40. Bishop

41. Justice

42. Queen Victoria

43. Justus

44. Mr

45. Constable

protip_icon Quick fact
Every year, there are about 60,000 babies born in New Zealand, of which less than 1% of baby names are personally considered by the Registrar-General (2).

Illegal Baby Names In Canada

Naming Laws:

  • Like the US or the UK, there are no naming laws in Canada and the leniency in the laws is quite apparent.
  • There are some state-based laws, which mean that they vary from one state to another. When it comes to the state of Ontario, the leniency level is perhaps the highest. You can name your kids almost anything.
  • The people here are from various cultures and backgrounds, and this is why the naming laws are not so stringent.
  • There’s only a small restriction though that you can’t use any numbers or symbols within names.
  • Then we move to the other states of Quebec and British Columbia which are not as lenient as Ontario.
  • If they feel that the names might cause embarrassment for the kids in future or can be the reason for them getting bullied or made fun of, they will ask the parents to change the names.
  • Funny thing is if the parents don’t respond to their request and change the names, kids won’t even think a moment to drag the matter to court.
  • Saskatchewan is another such Canadian province where the laws are quite strict. If the name contains any swear words or there is the presence of symbols or numbers, or if the name might cause problems for the child later, then the authority will never allow the couple to use that name. There is no list of illegal baby names in Canada.

Baby Names Banned In England

Naming Laws:

  • As already discussed, the laws holding true for the UK apply for England.
  • The names chosen should not be the reason for embarrassment for the kids in future, nor should there be any offensive or swear words in the names.

Banned Baby Names:

There are hardly any names banned in England, and thus, a list containing banned baby names in England is quite hard to find. Recently one name was termed as illegal, and the mother was forced to change it, and it was:

46. Cyanide

Illegal Baby Names In Sweden

Naming Laws:

  • When it comes to naming laws, Sweden has one of the toughest sets of legislation in the world. The government agency the name you give to your child. In 1982, the government passed the naming law.
  • The reason behind this is that the country prevents the naming of non-noble families with noble names or names from the noble families.
  • Within three months of the birth of the child, the parents have to submit the name they intend to name their child with to the Swedish Tax Agency, which decides whether the parents can use the particular name or not.
  • This agency gives you the chance to use multiple first names but in case you want to change, it’s mandatory that you keep one of the first names.
  • Also, the name can be modified only once. If you still want to change the name, you will need to take approval from the Swedish Patent and Registration Office.
  • The law has been made slightly lenient in 1983 where the male can take the name of his wife or partner and vice versa.
  • Besides keeping noble and non-noble names separated, the names can also be considered a taboo if they are indecent or lewd and may cause problems or embarrassment for the children in future.
  • Also, use of a single letter as the name is outlawed.
  • In December 2009, a committee was formed to come up with the new set of naming laws and it was implemented in 2013.

Banned Baby Names:

There are several banned baby names in Sweden. The most popular illegal baby names are:

47. Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116: Not sure how or why but the Swedish parents pronounced this name as Albin. The name got proscribed for all the right reasons, and the parents had to bear a fine of about 5,000 kronor (roughly US$740 in the value of 1996 dollars).

The other names which are banned in Sweden are:

48. Metallica

49. Elvis

50. Superman

51. Veranda

52. Ikea

53. K8lyn

54. Q

55. Allah Akbar

56. Peniskin

Baby Names Banned In Saudi Arabia

Naming Laws:

  • Just like Sweden, Saudi Arabia is also known for their strict naming laws. Recently, there were as many as 50 names which were verboten as the officials felt they were either too foreign or deviated from their rich tradition, religion, and culture.
  • These names were either profane or non-Islamic. If the names have a royal connection, then they’re also considered unlawful.
  • Some of these names mean ‘highness’, ‘king’, and ‘queen’; same is with certain religious names that are off-limits just because the religious sentiments or faiths are violated. Some of these names mean ‘worshipper of’, ‘slave of’, ‘messenger’, ‘prophet’.
  • Then there are names, rather the Arabic versions of foreign names which you cannot use, if the leaders of those foreign nations are at war against or not having a cordial relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Banned Baby Names:

Some of the 50 names which are banned in Saudi Arabia are:

57. Malaak

58. Abdul (besides the meaning of ‘worshipper of,’ the other reason for this name being banned is that it was the name of the famous Egyptian leader Abdul Naser who did not have an affable relation with the Saudis.)

59. Binyamin (this is the Arabic for Benjamin, and relations between Israel and Arabia are tense)

60. Naris

61.Yara (along with the name Eman, nobody has any idea why these two names were considered illicit, although these are quite accepted names in the lands of Middle East).

62. Sitav

63. Nabi

64. Eman

65. Sandy

66. Elaine

67. Inar

68. Amir

69. Alice

70. Lareen

71. Tabarak

Illegal Names In Germany

Naming Laws:

  • Germany has one of the strictest set of laws in the world. You just can’t choose any name for your kids; they have to be approved by the local registration office, which is known as the Standesamt.
  • They have a list of names for the son of the soils and consult with foreign embassies in case there’s a requirement of foreign names.
  • The main point in providing names is that they should clearly indicate the gender of an individual. If the parents choose a neutral name, then there has to be a second name which will indicate the gender of the kid.
  • Only for the name ‘Maria’, there has been some leniency. Boys often acquire Maria as their second name in Germany.
  • The name chosen should not be silly and in no way can cause harm or negativity to the kids in future.
  • You cannot name your child after the name of any products or objects.
  • If a name gets canceled once, you can appeal or may try with a new name. Each submission bears a cost of its own.
  • The names need to be approved by the registry office of the place where the child is born.
  • If you want to give your child an uncommon name then you need to take prior approval from the local registry office.
  • If one of the parents or both of them come from foreign lands, then the laws are slightly soft.

Banned Baby Names:

There is not a long list of names banned in Germany. But names of controversial world leaders are a big no. These names are:

72. Osama bin Laden

73. Adolf Hitler

Another name in the list of banned names is

74. Matti (1)

protip_icon Trivia
In Iceland, a pair of twins named Duncan and Harriet were not issued passports because their names could not be conjugated in Icelandic. Their names would be Drengur (boy) and Stúlka (girl). Their parents filed a suit against this naming law and eventually won the case in 2016, after which the names were accepted.

Banned Names In Mexico

Naming Laws

  • Just like Germany, the naming laws are quite stern in Mexico. Here also the government decides what name to choose for the new born baby.
  • There is a new set of laws which can bar any name that is considered as insulting, deprecatory, unfair or has no proper meaning.
  • The Mexican officials feel that bullying can impact a child’s future, and these names will be the prime reason for them to get bullied or mocked.
  • Technology has gone to great heights in the last few decades, but those names also get banned in Mexico; the same can be said about the names directly or derived from the comic-book superheroes.
  • The other types of names which are banned are products and the names of controversial leaders of the world.
  • Names containing some swear words or has words denoting privates of an individual or dresses related those parts, they are illegal.

Banned Baby Names:

As many as 61 names have got barred recently. Some of the names are:

75. Batman

76. Terminator

77. Juan Calzón (the word ‘Calzón’ means panties in Spanish)

78. James Bond

79. Rolling Stone

80. Rocky

81. Hitler

82. Hermoine

83. Christmas Day

84. Circuncisión (which also means circumcision in Spanish)

85. Burger King

Other Countries With Strict Naming Restrictions

Some of the other countries with strict naming regulation are:

  • Czech Republic: Under communism, a Czech guardian had to name their newborn child with the specific names included in the listing of ‘name days’ in the Czech calendar. But with the emergence of the new constitutional body from 1989, the rules have been eased. The naming rule of the country specifies that the baby name should never insult or demean somebody. Even to this day, the registry office can reject the unusual names.
  • Denmark: The country strictly adheres to the naming laws, and the parents need to choose the name of their baby from a list of 7,000 pre-approved names. If the parents name their child with a unique baby name that is not present in that list, they may need to obtain permission from the local parish church and then from the government. The naming law in Denmark further states that the name of the baby must indicate the gender and one can never use the last name as a first name. Every year almost 10-20% of the baby names get rejected in Denmark.
  • Portugal: The country has moderately strict naming laws, and it protects the kids from ridicule and misunderstandings. Parents have to choose their baby’s name from the list of officially approved names. The names should be traditionally Portuguese, and the spelling of the names should be in Portuguese orthography like Philipe spelled as Filipe. Moreover, the country does not allow the parent to use a nickname or shortened names for their children.

Discover More Names

When you have to choose a name for your baby, a few hundreds of names may not be just enough. Keep digging our mine of baby names until you find that one precious gem.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who determines which names are banned?

It is usually countries’ governments or courts that decide if a name should be banned. In some cases, local civic or administrative bodies may ban a name within their operational region.

2. Can I choose a name from a different culture or language that is not banned in my country?

Yes. If the name is not banned in your country, you may use it to name your child, even if it comes from another culture or language. However, remember to check the meaning or connotations of the name in your resident country to avoid slang or inappropriate words.

It may come as a surprise, but actually, there are so many names that are banned. This article enlists many such names that are not allowed in different parts of the world. You may consider scouting through the article so you avoid picking names that may cause any trouble in the future.

Infographic: Different Laws Associated With Naming A Baby

Choosing the perfect name for their child is an exciting and challenging experience for parents. To help you with that, we bring trendy, fun names that aren’t too traditional. So, check out the infographic below and pick the best name for your bundle of joy!

unique naming laws in different countries (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Some countries around the world do not permit parents to use specific names for their children due to various reasons. This video lists 45 such prohibited names.

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Banning Baby Names.
    https://blogs.loc.gov/law/2013/05/banning-baby-names/
  2. List of declined baby names for 2018
    https://www.dia.govt.nz/press.nsf/d77da9b523f12931cc256ac5000d19b6/d1288ac08d7758c2cc25838200107411!OpenDocument
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