Why Some Names Are Banned

Sometimes a name simply is not permitted because it is obscene, could lead to bullying, violates cultural norms or just doesn’t seem right to a bureaucrat.

In many cases, you have to wonder what some parents were thinking. Who looks at their child and thinks Lucifer, iMac or Hitler might be the perfect name?

Governments around the world have taken it upon themselves to outlaw certain offensive, confusing or downright ridiculous baby names to save kids everywhere from decades of embarrassment, confusion and bullying.

We found no banned names in Canada. Perhaps the government is more tolerant of unusual names, or perhaps parents in Canada are more sensible than elsewhere.

In the United States, we found a couple examples of odd names, numbers actually, that were disallowed. New Jersey would not allow “50″ because it is a number, not a name, and California would not allow “III”, meaning three or third, because it is confusing. California also requires both a first and last name and only allows names written using the 26 letters of the alphabets – that is, no special characters, numbers or accents.

Offensive names are often banned. “Adolph Hitler,” for example is banned in Germany, Malaysia, Mexico and New Zealand. Germany also bars use of :Osama bin Laden” and Australia takes issue with “Bonghead.” The meaning of that one seems to mean somewone with a water pipe for a noggin.

Names considered obscene are no nos in a lot of places.

“Anal” is banned in New Zealand, “Anus” is banned in Denmark, “Panties,” “Shithead,” and “Virgin” are not allowed in Australia and “Woti” – meaning sexual instercourse – is banned in Malaysia.

Some governments will not allow names referring to the devil, to God or to titles of royalty or leaders.
In Japan, “Akuma” – meaning Devil – is not allowed. “Prince” is a no go in Saudia Arabia as is “Malek” – meaning king – and “Prophet”. “Prime Minister” and “God” are out in the Australian state of Victoria, as are Saint, Jesus, Bishop, Christ and Satan. New Zealand says no to “Lucifer.”

Governments draw the line at product names or brand names in some nations. Australia says no to “iMac” and “Ikea”, France tosses “Nutella” and Mexico’s state of Sonora boots “Facebook.”

Perhaps it would be easier for parents to stick with tried and true names like John, Mary, Joe, Jose, Maria and Ann.