Naming your new bundle of joy is a huge responsibility. After months of impassioned arguing with your partner about why you don’t want to name your baby after a vegetable/mineral/his high school crush, you finally settle on a name you both don’t hate.
But what if you find out that this name is on the banned list? Or that there is a banned list in the first place?
It turns out that we can’t always have the name we want – and usually for good reason.
Here are some of the names that have been banned around the world.
Why do I have such a crap name???
In Victoria, Australia (home of Stuck On You HQ), there are restrictions in place forbidding names that are obscene, offensive, or are established by repute and usage – presumably the latter being the reason that Ikea was vetoed.
You also cannot use a name that refers to an official title, e.g. Prime Minister, Colonel, Princess. I wonder if ‘Crew Captain’ make the cut?
The parents apparently wanted a name that would represent the attributes the child would ideally possess – sweet and popular, like Nutella. However, the judge ruled that the name would not be in the child’s best interests, so the parents went with Ella instead.
This is another name that was proposed with the best of intentions. In China, people call this symbol “ai-ta,” which sounds very similar to a Chinese phrase meaning “love him.” Unfortunately, China bans names that contain symbols.
Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii (New Zealand)
A poor young lass was saddled with this moniker for NINE WHOLE YEARS before her parents were ordered to change it on the grounds that the name placed her at the target of ridicule.
What is more fascinating is the fact the name got approved in the first place.
The name Matti was rejected on the grounds that it was deemed too gender-ambiguous. In other words, you couldn’t tell if the bearer of such a name was male or female (apart from looking at them, possibly).
You also won’t find any Germans named Merkel, Schwarz or Kohl, because surnames as first names are banned.
Lucky for the Coopers, Jacksons and Harrisons out there, this rule does not apply here.
No, I didn’t pass out on the keyboard. This rather interesting, if long-winded, choice of moniker represents the parents’ protest against the country’s strict naming laws.
In case anyone is interested, it was to be pronounced Albin – obviously.
My name is Albin. ALBIN.
It’s mind-boggling that the name shared by my best friend, former landlord and the guy who serves me at Domino’s could be banned in an entire country.
This is actually because Hungary insists on native spellings for names, meaning that you can use Stefán but not Stephen.
Names in Iceland may be outlawed if they cannot be conjugated in Icelandic or include letters that the Icelandic alphabet doesn’t have an equivalent for, such as the C sound.
I guess that would make Crew Captain illegal too.
Still on names that we consider normal but are banned elsewhere, Morocco forbids the name Sarah because it doesn’t conform to Arabic spelling (and therefore Moroccan identity). ‘Sara’ is fine, though.
Circumcision (Australia and Mexico)
Ummmmm… no words.
Number 16 Bus Shelter (New Zealand).
Only kidding – this name was actually NOT banned. This means that somewhere in NZ (or wherever he or she has fled to to escape persecution), there is some poor unfortunate who was named after the place their parents met and/or conceived them. I say good on them. ‘Paris’ and ‘Rome’ are so passe anyway.
… From the archives…
Before we start lamenting about young people these days and their crazy naming conventions, bear in mind that strange names are nothing new. Census records from the 18th and 19th centuries reveal people named King’s Judgement, Noble Fall and Cholera Plague.
Looking for a unique name that isn’t on the no-go list?
Here are some ideas.
NEED A NAME LABEL?
Here at Stuck On You, we are an open-minded bunch and will happily provide labels and other personalised items for just about any name – including (gasp!) Stephen.