Banned Baby Names That Can Get You Arrested
One of the first tests of parenthood is naming your new bundle of joy. While this may seem like a simple enough task, you may be shocked to discover that each year, parents across the world are faced with fines, court orders and jail time for choosing the wrong name.
Although banned baby names vary from state to state and country to country, some, like Anus, are consistently bad. But other banned names may surprise you!
In 2013, the parents of a seven-month-old boy went to court to reach an agreement on the boy's surname. Unfortunately for them, the judge attending their hearing was immediately offended by the boy's first name: Messiah.
Since 1986, babies born in California have not been allowed to have diacritical marks, also known as accent marks, in their names. This rule seems to primarily impact people of Spanish or Hispanic origin that live within the state.
Assigning yourself or a child a number in the place of a name is illegal, and you can thank Michael Herbert Dengler for that. In 1978, Dengler unsuccessfully attempted to have his name legally changed to the number 1069.
Gesher may be a strange-sounding name for most English-speakers, but in Hebrew, it means "bridge." Not very offensive, right? The Norwegian government might disagree. In 1998, they jailed a woman named Kirsti Larsen. She had dreamed that her child should be named Gesher, and so he was.
After a certain Australian actor's performance as the Norse god of thunder and lightning, who wouldn't want to name their little boy Thor? Officials in Portugal, for a start. Thor is one of a long list of banned names in Portugal, resting alongside names like James, Jimmy and William.
It's easy for parents to think of their children as tiny princes or princesses, but naming a child Prince, Princess, King, or Queen may not be a great choice, especially in New Zealand. Official or royal titles, including Chief or Judge, are completely banned for use as baby names.
Made ever more popular by famed children's author Lewis Carroll, the name Alice has permeated French and English culture since the 12th century. As a name associated with nobility, truth and childhood curiosity, there doesn't seem to be anything too off-putting about Alice.
Ah, Friday, one of the best days of the week. In 2008, an Italian couple seemed to be thinking the same thing when they attempted to name their son Venerdi (Friday). Italian courts weren't too happy with this, as they believed that a boy named Friday was likely to have a rough time in school.
Who doesn't love a good 1980's action film? The explosions, cheesy dialogue and outrageous villains can make us laugh, cry and cheer. Naturally, parents might be tempted to name their child after one of these larger-than-life heroes, but parents in Sonora, Mexico, must avoid this temptation.
The strawberry is one of the world's most popular fruits, which is why it's so surprising that it's also one of the world's most banned names! Many countries, such as Germany, Denmark and Malaysia, have banned all fruit, plant and animal names, citing the fact that they could cause embarrassment for the child.
It may seem strange that the name Sarah is illegal considering how it has consistently stayed within the top thirty baby names for girls since 1978. This ban gets even weirder when you realize that the country responsible for the illegality of Sarah allows the alternate spelling, Sara.
Parents tend to give their children names that represent attractive qualities, so it should come as no surprise that a family in Hungary wanted to name their little girl after one of the most desirable, brilliant minerals in existence: Diamonds.
Stone may be an acceptable boy's name in the United States, but in Germany, it doesn't fly. Although it's not an offensive name, it's a name without gender in the German language. One of Germany's primary rules concerning baby names is that they must have a gender, and the gender of the name should match the gender of the child.
Chow Tow, meaning "smelly head" in Malaysian, is perhaps one of the strangest banned names in the world. In 2006, the Malaysian government took advantage of the opportunity to ban undesirable names like Hitler, 007 and Chow Tow, possibly saving hundreds of children from lifelong humiliation.
Lionel Messi is one of the most popular, beloved soccer players in the world. Hailing from the small Argentinian town of Rosario, Messi achieved outstanding success but never forgot where he came from. Even so, in 2018, his hometown decided to ban Messi as a first name.
Location-based baby names have risen in popularity over the last two decades, but it seems that some countries aren't buying into the trend. France, for example, would not allow a couple to name their daughter Manhattan. 25 years ago, pretty much any name would have been considered acceptable for French children and citizens as long as it wasn't considered entirely ridiculous.
Believe it or not, a couple in Denmark actually attempted to name their child Anus. In this case, strict Denmark naming laws saved the reputation and livelihood of an innocent child. However, perhaps it was the rigidity of Denmark's laws that led to this wild, disgusting name suggestion.
Judas Iscariot is an essential figure in Christianity. People typically remember him as the man who betrayed Jesus Christ to the Romans, which isn't a pleasant association. The name Judas is even used as a descriptive noun, typically ascribed to a person perceived as a traitor.
For most Americans, the name Akuma probably doesn't instill a sense of fear or dread. Perhaps it should, though, as Akuma is Japanese for "devil," which isn't a particularly friendly baby name. However, this didn't stop parents in Japan from attempting to name their child Akuma in 1993.
Many parents have cute pet names or nicknames for their children like Pumpkin, Crabby Britches or Monkey. Affectionate terms of endearment can make a child feel loved, but these nicknames can be troublesome when they become legal names.
Zoe may be a reasonably popular name in English-speaking countries, but it's a huge no-go for residents of Iceland. The Icelandic alphabet differs from the English alphabet in that it doesn’t include the letters C, W, Q or Z, so any names containing these letters doesn’t make sense in the Icelandic language.
A right-hand man is one thing, but a child named Arm is something else. While naming your child after a part of your anatomy may seem like a cruel and unusual punishment, Arm is a common name in Urdu-speaking regions. This piece of information may help to understand why it's a banned name in Saudi Arabia.
While Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin may have gotten away with naming their daughter Apple, many parents across the world are barred from following in their footsteps. Babies born in Malaysia, Germany, Denmark and Norway will never get the opportunity to have this delicious, juicy name.
The rise of internet culture has given the world a multitude of ways to express laughter and happiness, but perhaps the most well-known expression to come from the digital masses is LOL. As many of you probably already know, LOL is an acronym for "laugh out loud", an expression used to inform someone that you are currently, well, laughing out loud.
In 2016, a woman in Wales attempted to name her daughter Cyanide after the poisonous chemical Hitler supposedly ingested when he committed suicide. And yes, she chose the name precisely because of its morbid link to the dastardly dictator's demise. That, and she thought the name sounded rather pretty.
Some parents choose to name their children after their favorite film or literary characters. Others may decide to call their children Faith, Devotion or Chastity after desirable attributes. And then some chose to name their children after their most-loved vehicles. This is how we've come to the fabulous case of the child who was almost named Minnie Cooper.
Paris is known around the world as the city of love. Also, it happens to be the name of one of the most famed historical Greek characters, Paris of Troy. So if it's a good-enough name for a brilliant metropolitan city and a hunky Greek prince, how could it end up on the banned list?
The name Hermione was a particularly odd choice for parents before 1999. Still, all of that changed in 2001 when J.K. Rowling's massively popular children's books began to fly off of shelves and enter into popular culture. Since then, the name Hermione has blossomed into one of the most popular girl's names in the US and UK.
How are IKEA and Highlander the same? There can only be one. Swedish parents discovered this the hard way when they attempted to name their newborn after the furniture superstore. The company was not involved in the decision to ban the name — rather, government officials felt the name was too awkward and embarrassing to allow.
Pluto may be celebrating NASA Administrator Jim Bridentstine’s declaration that it should still be considered a planet, but it won't be celebrating its position on the baby name charts for some time — at least not in Denmark. While not nearly as offensive as some of the other name Danish parents have proposed (looking right at you, Anus), Pluto was the name of the Roman god of the underworld, which has some less-than-stellar connotations.