60 banned baby names from around the world

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baby american flag Reuters/Carlo Allegri Naming your baby "Facebook" won't fly in certain countries.

  • In the US, parents can name their children pretty much whatever they like.
  • But other countries around the world are more strict about baby names.
  • Some names are banned because officials believe it will harm the child, and other names are banned to maintain the country's cultural identity.


Parents in the US have a lot of leeway when it comes to naming their children.

Just look at siblings Adolf Hitler, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation, and Heinrich Hinler Hons as an example. Though you could argue there were other repercussions , their parents were totally within their legal rights according to New Jersey law to give their kids these Nazi-themed names.

And though some states do have restrictions on what parents can name their children for certain practical reasons, the US Constitution affords parents a great deal of autonomy in raising their kids.

Other countries, however, take a different view, many feeling that if a parent doesn't have their child's best interest at heart when naming them, it's the government's responsibility to step in. And other countries are particularly concerned about maintaining cultural identity.

Here are some of the names banned around the world:

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Names that are considered 'too foreign' or blasphemous will not fly in Saudi Arabia

Names that are considered 'too foreign' or blasphemous will not fly in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi government has banned more than 50 names it deems "too foreign," inappropriate, blasphemous, or not in line with the country's social or religious traditions.

Portugal has an 82-page list of names that denotes which are accepted and which are not

Portugal has an 82-page list of names that denotes which are accepted and which are not

In Portugal, children's names must be traditionally Portuguese, gender-specific, and full, meaning no nicknames.

To make things easier on parents, the country offers an 82-page list of names that denotes which are accepted and which are not.

Parents in New Zealand who want to give a baby name with more than 100 characters are out of luck

Parents in New Zealand who want to give a baby name with more than 100 characters are out of luck

In New Zealand, parents are barred from giving names that would cause offense, that are longer than 100 characters, or that resemble an official title and rank.

One part of Mexico has a list of explicitly banned names that are considered derogatory, lacking in meaning, or mockable

One part of Mexico has a list of explicitly banned names that are considered derogatory, lacking in meaning, or mockable

A law passed in Sonora, Mexico, explicitly bans 61 first names that are either considered derogatory, lacking in meaning, or mockable.

Authorities say the objective is to protect children from being bullied because of their name.

Malaysia considers names that are animals, insults, numbers, royal or honorary names, and food 'undesirable'

Malaysia considers names that are animals, insults, numbers, royal or honorary names, and food 'undesirable'

Malaysia has a list of names it considers "undesirable" and that are subsequently banned.

On the list of unacceptable names are animals, insults, numbers, royal or honorary names, and food.

Sweden bans names it considers 'obviously unsuitable' as a first name or offensive

Sweden bans names it considers 'obviously unsuitable' as a first name or offensive

Sweden bans first names that could cause offense to others or discomfort for the one using it.

It bans other names that would be considered obviously unsuitable as a first name.

Parents must submit the proposed name of their child within three months of birth to the Swedish Tax Agency and could face fines for failing to register a name.

In most cases, Norway won't allow you to use a last name as a first name

In most cases, Norway won't allow you to use a last name as a first name

Norway has loosened its baby-naming laws in recent years, but it has kept two key provisions.

The name won't be accepted if it is considered to be a major disadvantage for the person or for other strong reasons.

And you cannot choose a first name that is already registered in Norway's Population Register as a last or middle name (in Norway, middle names are essentially second surnames). The exception is if the name has origins or tradition as a first name in Norway or abroad or has tradition in a culture that does not distinguish between first and last name. So naming your baby one of the most popular last names in Norway, like Hansen or Haugen, would not be allowed.

Denmark only allows names from a pre-approved list

Denmark only allows names from a pre-approved list

Denmark has a list of about 7,000 approved baby names, and if your name choice doesn't make the cut, you have to seek permission and have your name choice reviewed at Copenhagen University's Names Investigation Department and at the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs.

More than 1,000 names are reviewed every year, and almost 20% are rejected, mostly for odd spellings.

In Iceland, baby names must align with the linguistic structure and conventional spelling system of Iceland

In Iceland, baby names must align with the linguistic structure and conventional spelling system of Iceland

Unless both parents are foreign, parents in Iceland must submit their child's name to the National Registry within six months of birth. If the name is not on the registry's list of approved names, parents must seek approval of the name with the Icelandic Naming Committee.

About half of the names submitted get rejected for violating Iceland's strict naming requirements. Among these requirements, names must be capable of having Icelandic grammatical endings, may not conflict with the linguistic structure of Iceland, and should be written in accordance with the ordinary rules of Icelandic orthography.

So, for example, if a name contains a letter that does not appear in the Icelandic alphabet (the letters C, Q, and W, for example), the names are banned.

Switzerland has a list of strict rules, too

Switzerland has a list of strict rules, too

Like Germany, Switzerland also has a number of baby-naming restrictions, and the Swiss civil registrar must approve all baby names.

In general, if the name is deemed to harm the child's well-being or be offensive to a third party, it will not be approved. Other rules include no giving a boy a girl's name or a girl a boy's name, no biblical villains, no naming your child a brand name, no place names, and no last names as first names.

Germany has a number of strict baby-naming rules

Germany has a number of strict baby-naming rules

Germany has a number of baby-naming restrictions, including: no gender-neutral names; no last names, names of objects, or names of products as first names; and no names that could negatively affect the child's well-being or lead to humiliation.

France won't allow a name if the courts agree it will lead to a lifetime of mockery

France won't allow a name if the courts agree it will lead to a lifetime of mockery

In France, local birth certificate registrars must inform their local court if they feel a baby name goes against the child's best interests.

The court can then ban the name if it agrees, and will do so especially if it feels the name could lead to a lifetime of mockery.

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