Depending on who you ask, relaxed laws on naming babies are the norm across many states. In most states, the only things that are off the table are obscenities, symbols, and numbers. If the name isn’t “Sh*t,” you’re pretty much good to go. That’s how a family of white supremacists in Pennsylvania got away with naming their children, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell, and Adolf Hitler Campbell.
The family caused quite the stir with the names after a local grocery store wouldn’t personalize a birthday cake for little Adolf. Good for the Greenwich Township ShopRite’s bakery department! Now, we couldn’t believe the Campbell family got away with naming their children these names. So, we decided to do some digging and see what names have actually been banned. Woo boy, buckle up! Here are 25 banned names from around the world that you will not believe.
A couple in Sonora, Mexico named their newborn Robocop. Robocop! Officials in the town were outraged and thought one baby named Robocop was too many. They outlawed the name. No more sequels to Robocop now.
24. Sex Fruit
Officials in New Zealand intervened before a couple could name their beautiful bundle of joy Sex Fruit. Thus saving local registrars offices from having to legally change the name in the future, we think the Kiwis did the right thing.
In Denmark, parents are required to choose approved names from a list of 7,000 names. Special approval has to be granted to use a name not on the list. About 250 names are rejected each year. Monkey is one such name.
Parents were interested in naming their Swedish child after the Swedish furniture giant, IKEA. Unfortunately (fortunately?), the name violates Sweden’s strict naming laws.
21. Prince William
This one is a two-parter so be sure to read the other name a set of parents from France chose as well. Two maniacal new parents wanted to name their French baby Prince William. A court intervened and the couple was told to choose another name for their son.
20. Mini Cooper
After the devastation of not being able to name their child Prince Harry, the same parents came up with a new name for their baby boy: Mini Cooper. The same court said no once more saying that the parents couldn’t name their child after a car either.
We’re so #blessed that New Zealand releases lists of names that they’ve banned every year. In 2013, the country released its list and one really stood out to us. A parent there tried to name their child Anal. The government of New Zealand deserves a special award for saving that poor child from a life of humiliation.
18. Osama Bin Laden
Shortly after the attacks on the US on 9/11, a Turkish couple living in Germany wanted to honor the man behind the attacks by naming their child Osama Bin Laden. German officials stopped that from happening because the name violated part of the country’s naming guidelines that state a name “must not be likely to lead to humiliation.”
17. Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii
What are they drinking down in New Zealand? The government stepped in and assumed legal guardianship of a 9-year-old girl who was named Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii. They took the action to find the girl a proper name after she complained of being “mocked and teased.”
A couple in France wanted to name their child Nutella after the sweet, chocolate, and hazelnut spread. A French judge ruled the name would result in “mockery and disobliging remarks” and forced the couple to change the name to Ella.
15. Akuma [Devil]
Akuma is the Japanese word for “devil.” In the 1990s, parents in Japan named their child Akuma and a media frenzy followed which caught the attention of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet. A Justice Minister ruled that the government couldn’t force the parents to change the name. But, they did ensure that no other children would be given the name. Akuma was outlawed in Japan.
Swedish parents somehow got away with naming their boy Metallica and he was even baptized under the name. However, a tax official came across the name and alerted officials and the parents were forced to change the name to something more appropriate.
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13. Chow Tow [Smelly Head]
Malaysian authorities received a huge influx of applications for name changes several years ago which motivated the government to publish a list of banned names to keep that from happening again. One name that made the list was Chow Tow which means “smelly head.”
Here’s another two-parter. New Zealand is clearly over its citizens’ bullsh*t. Parents decided to name one of their children Fish. Fish! As if that weren’t bad enough, Fish had a twin brother. Please read on below.
Chips is Fish’s twin brother and the parents intended to name their twins Fish and Chips. New Zealand said ‘not on our table!” Parents were forced to change the names.
A stoned throw away from New Zealand, in Australia attempted to name their child after food as well. The government stepped in and banned the name Spinach.
Not many of us look to various poisons as baby name inspiration. But, one woman in Wales is an exception. She tried to name her daughter Cyanide but a court intervened. She took it to trial and gave the explanation that Cyanide was “responsible for killing Hitler and Goebbels and I consider that this was a good thing.” The British Court of Appeals did not let the little girl receive the name.
Another banned baby name from the fine residents of Sonora, Mexico was banned after being found in the registries. Mexican authorities couldn’t stop a baby from being named Circumcision but they did ban the name so that no other babies can receive it in the future. Thank heavens.
China doesn’t allow symbols for baby names. One couple, challenged that rule, arguing that the “@” symbol which is pronounced “ai-ta” in Mandarin and sounds similar to the phrase “love him” makes it an appropriate name. The government didn’t see it that way and the name @ is banned.
You’re looking at this in disbelief, but Saudi Arabia banned the name Linda in 2014. They released a list of names that are unacceptable and Linda made the list because it was too closely associated with Western culture.
In case you were wondering, the ‘name’ Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 is banned in Sweden after parents tried to convince authorities the name is pronounced “Albin.”
Sonora, Mexico really had a time trying to get a handle the names there. In addition to Circumcision, the name Scrotum was also banned.
Officials in Germany had a similar problem as officials in Japan after parents tried to name their child Lucifer. They argued that the Lucifer is Latin for “light-bringing” but the Association for the German Language said the name was unacceptable.
In Iceland, the letter “C” isn’t in the Icelandic alphabet and due to this fact, you can not name children with the letter “C.” The former Mayor of Reykjavík found this out the hard way after he wanted to name his daughter Camilla. It’s a no go. The Mayor called it an “unfair, stupid law against creativity.”
Can you believe Tom is a banned name? Portugal has some odd rules about names. All names must be Portuguese and a couple there was denied naming their child Thor because it’s not Portuguese. Additionally, shortened names or nicknames are also unacceptable. A couple tried to name their child Tom, but they were forced instead, to name him Tomás.
Some names are just really awful and should not be allowed. Portugal has an 82-page list of banned names. We’re torn over the restrictive naming rules of some countries because they do seem a bit draconian. However, you don’t want Scrotum and Circumcision showing up in the same classroom, so there’s that.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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