15 Surprising Names that Are Banned Around the World

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Updated: 13 October 2017
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Naming your newborn is a huge decision, but have you ever stopped to think that some names might actually be banned in your country? We take a look at the wacky, wonderful and downright weird names that have been banned around the world.

United Kingdom – Monkey

The name ‘monkey’ is banned in the UK

The UK has pretty easygoing naming laws (hello, Buddy Bear Oliver!) but there are some names that are too much, even in this relatively liberal country. Don’t even consider naming your baby ‘Monkey’, because it is banned.

Australia – Dickhead

The mind boggles at what these parents were thinking when they tried to name their newborn ‘Dickhead’. Luckily, the Australian authorities intervened and banned the name.

Australia – Ikea

Now, we all love the Scandi furniture store, but naming your child after it? A couple in Australia were banned from naming their baby ‘Ikea’, which is probably for the best.

New Zealand – Queen Victoria

One couple who just wanted to pay homage to the long-deceased British monarch were stopped in their tracks in New Zealand, as the name ‘Queen Victoria’ was forbidden.

Sweden – Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116

In protest against Sweden’s strict naming laws, in 1991 Elisabeth Hallin and Lasse Diding decided to name their newborn ‘Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116’, pronounced, of course, as Albin. Funnily enough, they were not allowed to register the name, and ended up with a 5000 kroner (around $740) fine.

Sweden – Elvis

No matter how big a fan of the King you are, you are absolutely not allowed to name your baby ‘Elvis’ in Sweden. Maybe go for Benny or Bjorn instead?

Germany – Adolf Hitler

The name Adolf Hitler is banned in Germany

In a move that surprises absolutely nobody, Germany has banned the name ‘Adolf Hitler’ for newborn babies. The name is allowed in the United States, however, where one New Jersey couple named their three children Adolf Hitler, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation and Heinrich Hons, named after Heinrich Himmler.

Mexico – James Bond

Daniel Craig as James Bond
©Courtesy Eon Productions

In 2012, the northern Mexican state of Sonora banned 61 names that they thought could cause children bullying later on in their lives. They included ‘James Bond’, ‘Harry Potter’ and – how lovely – ‘Scrotum’.

France – Megane Renaud

The name ‘Megan’, or ‘Megane’ in French, seems perfectly innocent, but a French couple were banned from calling their child ‘Megane Renaud’ in 2000 because it sounded too much like the car Renault Megane.

New Zealand – Talula Does the Hula from Hawaii

Hula dancers

New Zealand again, and this time, authorities found out that a nine-year-old girl who had been calling herself ‘K’ at school had a rather unusual real name: ‘Talula Does the Hula from Hawaii’. She was placed in court guardianship until her name was changed.

Morocco – Sarah

The name ‘Sarah’, which is common around the world and across many different cultures, is banned in Morocco because of its spelling, which is attributed to Hebrew. The Arabic spelling, ‘Sara’, however, is fine.

Saudi Arabia – Alice

In 2014, Saudi Arabia banned 50 baby names, some of which ‘contradict the culture and religion’ of the country. Some banned names include ‘Alice’, ‘Elaine’, ‘Linda’ and ‘Sandy’.

Portugal – Nirvana

Nirvana is banned in Portugal

Portugal has quite strict guidelines on baby names, and no matter how big a Kurt Cobain fan you are, ‘Nirvana’ will never be allowed. Sorry.

Malaysia – Smelly Dog

Luckily, the name ‘Smelly dog’ is banned in Malaysia, which strengthened its naming laws back in 2006. Malaysians are also banned from naming their offspring after colours, animals or foods. No ‘Poppy Honey’ or ‘Apple’ there, then.

Iceland – Camilla

No names beginning with the letter C are allowed in Iceland

Iceland’s Naming Committee evaluates every new name submitted and baby names must adhere to a strict set of rules. For example, the name ‘Camilla’ is banned because the letter C does not exist in the Icelandic alphabet; the baby would have to be named ‘Kamilla’.

Haggis, anyone? Take a look at some of the strangest foods that are banned in different countries of the world.

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