10 Surprising Baby Names That Have Been Banned Around the World (Video)
Learning that you’re going to have a baby is a moment that’s filled with emotion. But once the shock wears off, it’s time to get to work planning for the little one — things like getting their room ready, preparing yourself for their arrival, and picking out a name. However, the latter may be a bit trickier than you think because there are more than a few names that people are outright banned from giving their offspring.
In the United States, we’re lucky to have the right to name our children just about anything we want. Sure, you may not want to name your child something crazy, but it is within your legal rights. Just look at the 2009 court case in New Jersey where the parents of a child named Adolf Hitler Campbell wanted to have a cake decorator write their child’s name on a cake for proof. The cake decorator refused service and eventually won the case, but the parents were able to keep their child’s name. According to New Jersey law, parents can give any name to a child so long as it doesn’t include obscenity, numerals, or symbols.
“If the Campbells had named their son ‘R2D2,’ state authorities would have intervened,” Carlton Larson, a law professor at the University of California, Davis wrote in a 2011 study of U.S. baby names, according to TIME. “‘Adolf Hitler Campbell,’ by contrast, presented no legal impediments.”
So sure, go ahead and name your kid whatever you want. But, if you plan to live abroad, you’ve got to be careful. Here are 10 baby names that are banned in various parts of the world.
Nutella is banned in France
Apologies to all you chocolate-hazelnut lovers, but the name Nutella is banned in France. In 2015, the French courts banned parents from naming their child after the brand. So, they went with Ella instead.
There’s only one Ikea in Sweden
Akuma is (almost) off-limits in Japan
Sure, Akuma may sound cute, but it actually means “Devil” in Japanese. Though the name isn’t outrightly banned, the government does encourage parents to name their children something nicer.
Lucifer is off the table in New Zealand
Taking a cue from Japan, New Zealand has banned the name Lucifer (and a host of other potentially offensive names) as well.
There are no RoboCops in Mexico
This country banned the name RoboCop (along with the name Facebook) as they felt it could lead to bullying.
Sorry, no Toms allowed in Portugal
While you can name your child Tomás, he or she can’t go by Tom in Portugal. That’s because the country has banned the shortened versions of names as official names.
Apple won’t fly in Malaysia
Malaysia has rather strict rules for names. In 2006, the nation clamped down on a number of monikers, including children’s names that are also fruits or vegetables. Sorry, Gwenyth Paltrow, but your baby's name is out in Malaysia.
Friday is only a day in Italy
When a man attempted to register his new baby as Venerdi, the Italian word for Friday, he was told no. According to reports, officials believed the name fell into the category of "ridiculous or shameful" names. Ouch.
No Guccis in Switzerland
The Swiss also have some rather strict rules on naming children. For example, you can’t name your kid after a pre-existing brand. Sorry Gucci, Mercedes, and Chanel, but you’re banned in Switzerland.
Linda is an absolute offense in Saudi Arabia
In 2015, the Saudi Arabian government banned a wide list of names that it found to be offensive, including the name Linda. The government found it “non-Arabic, non-Islamic or simply contradictory to Saudi Arabian culture.”