Most parents choose traditional names for their children – if it’s not a name inherited from ancestors, it might be inspired by names of friends, literary characters or even celebrities. However, there are enough parents with “unacceptable” ideas for baby names that many countries have complex procedures for the approval of names and they frequently deny certain requests.
Scandinavian Baby Names Particularly Bad….
For one reason or another, Scandinavian countries rank very high on the index of the most meaningless or offensive names, forcing the authorities to regulate the process very carefully.
In Denmark citizens are given a comprehensive list of 7000+ names approved for use, with special permissions necessary to use even ethnic names not included in the list. Sounds totalitarian, but what would you do if you received an application from parents who wanted to name their child “Anus”, like the Danish authorities did.
Sweden Bans Some Baby Names
Danes are not alone in this regard. How about a couple from Sweden which in 1996 decided to name their son Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116, claiming it is pronounced “Albin”. It was an act of defiance against the longstanding practice of the Swedish government rigorously overseeing the naming of children – they famously banned such names as IKEA and Metallica (perhaps to prevent copyright infringement). Whether strict procedures will help to prevent other outrageous ideas in the future remains to be seen.
Norway Regulated Too….
Norway is not very far behind regarding the control of baby names, although it recently replaced its list of allowed names with a general ban on the use of words related to sex or illnesses. Norwegian courts actually went a step further in 1998, sending a woman to jail for two days after she failed to pay the fine for attempting to give her child an illegal name. The woman claimed that she got inspiration to name her son Gesher, meaning “Bridge” in Hebrew, from a dream. Not the most ordinary name in the world, but is it really worthy of jail time?
Ten Illegal Baby Names From Around the World
Whilst there’s some terrible Scandinavian baby names, hundreds of ridiculous and offensive names are rejected by authorities around the globe every year. Yahoo recently highlighted this problem by publishing this list of illegal baby names:
- Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii (New Zealand)
- Venerdi AKA Friday (Italy)
- Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 (Sweden)
- Gesher AKA Bridge (Norway)
- Chow Tow AKA Smelly Head (Malaysia)
- @ (China)
- Miatt (Germany – rejected because the gender is unclear)
- Anus (Denmark)
- Ovnis AKA UFO (Portugal)
- Akuma AKA Devil (Japan)
KIDSEN Says: Making names illegal obviously isn’t great in a free society, but at least the children are spared the burden of having to explain their parents’ creativity to everyone they ever say hello to for the rest of their lives!