As a parent, you get this incredible responsibility of picking a name for your child that is supposed to carry them through life. And when it comes to unusual or unique baby names, well the gates are open. In fact, some parents have gotten so wild with their children’s monikers that countries have started their own naming laws and creating long lists of illegal baby names. Yes, all around the country, leaders are banning certain monikers, be it for religious reasons, cultural basis, or simply to save a child from potential embarrassment.
Now, I’m not a fan of government intervening in my personal life, but I can get behind the non-embarrassing name movement. It’s fine if you, a parent, are into pilots and inspectors, but why do you have to saddle your kid with that name? (Yes, Jason Lee, I just called you out.) That being said, not all illegal baby names deserve that title. I’m all for banning “@” as a child’s moniker, but some of the banned baby names seem pretty harmless and innocent. At least, the do in the United States. These 11 names may not seem like a Hollywood style stretch, but they are banned in a few countries for various reasons. So, you know, don’t plan any big international moves or anything unless you’re willing to sign over a name change.
Morocco is a city rich in culture and wants to keep it that way. The country banned the name Sarah, but will let you name your baby Sara. By dropping the H, the name goes from being Hebrew to Arabic. Your poor kid will just have to clarify for everyone.
A sweet and popular choice in America is now banned in Saudi Arabia. Turns out the name Linda is either considered foreign or contradicts the religion or culture of the kingdom.
One of the most popular names ever, and one of the simplest, is actually banned in Portugal. The name Tom seems totally innocent, but the country has a ban on nicknames as monikers. Instead, you’ll have to pick a more formal name as the official handle of your kid.
Germany apparently prefers all of its baby names to fall in either the pink or blue camp without further explanation. Any gender neutral names are banned in Germany, so no Taylor for your little babe. Instead, you’ll have to find something more obvious like This-is-a-girl and This-is-a-boy. (Those are probably banned, too. Maybe Mary and Harry?)
Another country’s language restrictions never came to me when wondering about name laws, but that’s exactly why Iceland has banned names like Caroline. Because the Icelandic language has no letter C, it’s impossible to pronounce any name boasting this letter.
Another ban from Saudi Arabia includes the name Elaine. Because this popular Western name doesn’t seem that inappropriate, I assume that it falls under the ‘foreign’ category of Saudi Arabia’s naming laws or it’s banned because it’s non-Arabic and non-Islamic. Either way, do a little Elaine jig if you’re a rebel with the name.
Germany has another naming rule — no surnames. So say goodbye to that maiden name of yours being carried on if you want to live in the land of beer and schnitzel.
Malaysia has some pretty strict name laws and that includes naming your child after any animal, fruit, vegetable, insect, number, or color. Basically, half the celebrities in Hollywood would have to change their kid’s name if they lived in Malaysia.
The Swedish government ruled that the name Elvis, for a little girl, was not suitable as a first name because it’s too ‘masculine’. Ain’t nothing but a hound dog and totally controlling, Sweden. IKEA has obviously made you crazy, too.
This spunky name was banned in Iceland, even though it doesn’t include the letter C. The name can’t be conjugated into Icelandic, therefore it’s not on their list of approved names. Sigurfljóð, however, is totes allowed.