In the U.S., soon-to-be parents have a lot of wiggle-room when it comes to choosing their baby’s name. Remember the Jersey couple who named their children “Adolf Hitler” and “JoyceLynn Aryan Nation?” While there were other consequences, the two didn’t face legal repercussions for giving their children Nazi-themed names.
Other countries, however, find names as ordinary as John and Peter an outrage — so much so that the countries have banned parents from using those names at all. Here’s a list of a few other surprisingly “offensive” names:
The baby name Zoe is banned in Iceland, along with Harriet, Duncan, Enrique, and Ludwig. Unless both parents are foreign, parents in Iceland are required to submit their child’s name to the National Registry within six months of the baby’s birth. If the name is not on the registry, then the child’s parent must go to the Icelandic Naming Committee and seek approval of the name, which includes paying a fee.
Sorry, Prince George. Both of the royal children’s names (in addition to their father’s name, William) go against Portuguese naming laws. In Portugal, a child’s name must be traditionally Portuguese and gender-specific. To make the name-choosing process easier on parents, Portugal has an 80-something-page document of unapproved names. Other baby names banned in Portugal include Nirvana, Jimmy, and Rihanna.
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Linda is apparently “too foreign” of a name for babies in Saudi Arabia. Like Portugal, Saudi Arabia also has a list of unapproved names that the country deems inappropriate or blasphemous. Other baby names banned in Saudi Arabia include Maya, Malak, Malika, and Binyameen.
Sweden bans first names that have the potential to offend others or the person who has the name. Sweden also bans names that are “unsuitable” as a first name. Similarly to Iceland, parents must submit their child’s name for approval. Parents in Sweden must submit their child’s name within three months of birth to the Swedish Tax Agency. Failing to register the child’s name could result in a hefty fine. Other baby names banned in Sweden include Ikea, Superman, and Metallica.
(Photo Credit: Giphy)
New Zealand’s Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Act of 1995 prohibits parents from naming their children anything that “might cause offense to a reasonable person; or is unreasonable long; or without adequate justification.” In 2013, New Zealand released a list of 71 banned baby names which included Detroit, Fish and Chips, Adolf Hitler, and Satan. Approved names, however, included Midnight Chardonnay, Number 16 Bus Shelter, and Violence.
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