Choosing a baby name for your child is one of the most fulfilling parts of parenthood. This is especially true if you wish to express a uniqueness through the name.
As heartwarming as this exercise sounds, it can get you in trouble if you choose the wrong name.
You might have written down some top choices, but do you know those fancy sweet names may lead to legal trouble if they are considered inappropriate or even banned?
Wondering what these prohibited names are? I have carefully curated baby names that are illegal in the United States and other parts of the world.
Without much ado, let’s dive right in!
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Illegal Baby Names In The US & Elsewhere
1. Jesus Christ
If you are planning to call your baby Jesus Christ, maybe because you think he’s destined to be the next messiah, then you should consider a name change.
The name is considered derogatory, especially for Christians, it is strictly off-limits while you’re in the United States, whether you’re a Christian or not!
If you must give your child a Christ-like name, then you can go with other names like Emmanuel which means, “Christ is with us.”
This name may sound cool and unique but it was ruled illegal to name your child Nutella after a court ruling in Valenciennes, France ruled that a couple couldn’t use the name for their daughter.
Naming your child after a chocolate hazelnut spread could certainly expose your child to ridicule. Nutella is delicious and all, but it would be totally out of place to name your child this.
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Title names, including King, are banned in certain areas, including the United States. Most times, it instills the “God Syndrome” in a child and it isn’t healthy at all.
Your child might spend the rest of his life trying to live up to his name and be totally ridiculed if he ever falls short of societal expectations. So if you want a name befitting royalty for your baby, you can get creative but remove this name from your shortlist.
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Just like King, Queen is another name that’s totally off-limits for children in the United States. This name is short, sweet, and easy to pronounce but doesn’t make it onto an average baby name list. You certainly don’t want to sound disrespectful to actual royalty.
Aside from that, your daughter will spend the rest of her life trying to act like a queen and be subjected to ridicule if she ever falls short.
If you must call your daughter this name, then make it her nickname but definitely not her actual name.
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It is illegal to use numbers in the name of your child in the United States. Herbert Michael Dengler found this out the hard way when his petition to change his name to 1069 was denied by both the North Dakota Supreme Court in 1976, and again later in Minnesota.
If you plan on calling your child Mary-30 after your thirtieth birthday, now is the time to rethink as those numbers could spell trouble.
Elon Musk, one of the most popular men in the world and owner of Tesla, alongside singer Grimes, had to change their son’s name in 2020 after a California court ruled it unacceptable.
This name, X Æ A-12, was only permitted after the numeral 12 was changed to the Roman numeral XII.
6. Chief Painkhi Akinbaloye
In 1975, when Maurice Lee Thompson applied to change his name to Chief Painkhi Akinbaloye, the New York Civil Court rejected his application because the name had “Chief” attached to it.
The court opined that as much as the applicant’s motives were sincere, it’s illegal for people to bear undeserved titles as it will be confusing to members of the general public.
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As far as royalty names go, Majesty is not a great choice for your baby either, and has been banned in the United States. So if you have this on your list of chosen names, sadly you need to strike it off if you don’t want your child’s peers making fun of him in the future.
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8. Misteri Nigger
This is another illegal name you should consider never calling your child in the United States. This name can be a tool for passing derogatory remarks and setting up your child for bullying and mocking in the future.
In 1992, the California Court of Appeals denied an applicant’s petition to change his name from Lawrence Russell to Misteri Nigger on the basis that the name is a racial epithet and could also be considered “fighting” words.
9. Adolf Hitler
If you are a history fan or an avid traveler, then you probably know who Adolf Hitler is and why naming your child after him is illegal in Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, and New Zealand.
But just in case you don’t know, the bearer of the name was a German leader who masterminded the killings of millions of innocent people. So, it’s out of place to name your baby after the most dreadful man in the world.
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Your child isn’t the Messiah. He or she wasn’t sent to save the world, so, it’s illegal to call your baby Messiah in Australia.
A lot of people are going to ridicule the child in the future and ask silly questions like, “Are you the second Messiah after Jesus Christ?” “Heal me if you’re truly the Messiah” and a lot of other funny and annoying statements.
@ doesn’t just seem right to call your baby no matter how rare and original the name may sound. The name has been banned in China and other countries as well.
With a name like that, many people are not going to take your child seriously which will affect him or her in the long run. So, please, kill the idea of naming your child after a symbol.
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This is another wrong choice for a child’s name in the United States. You should consider choosing names without numerals. States like New York, Ohio, and Texas have a ban on using numbers as baby names.
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13. Harry Potter
While Harry might be a sweet name for your baby boy, naming him Harry Potter is illegal in Mexico and Iceland. And that is because it could result in bullying and embarrassment among his peers.
No matter how much you love the name, having your child grow up in Harry Potter’s shadow doesn’t make sense. Your child should create his own identity.
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The name is pronounced as “Albin” and is an illegal name to give to your baby especially if you’re from Sweden. In 2016, a court ruled against this name given to a baby by her parents on the basis that the name was offensive and could cause trouble.
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15. Chow Tow
Chow Tow means “smelly head” in Malaysia and is certainly not a good name for your child. The name will only expose him or her to more ridicule from society.
Whatever your attraction is to monkeys, it doesn’t make it on the list of cute names for your baby. So if you consider calling your child Monkey, you could be breaking the law in Denmark or the UK.
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17. Names outside the 26-letter alphabet
If you are considering adding a character outside the twenty-six letters of the alphabet while in California, this is considered illegal. Honestly, just stick to the 26 standard alphabet letters and craft your baby’s name from there.
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18. Sex Fruit
Courts in New Zealand have declared this name a prohibited baby name in the country. And the reason is quite obvious; the name alone is very offensive and cringe-worthy.
This is yet another name that’s totally off-limits for your child if you are living in New Zealand. This name sounds posh and short but it has a connotation to the royal line which can be offensive.
No, your child isn’t anyone’s master and this is definitely an illegal name in New Zealand. Calling him that will only install a God-like behavior in him and there’s every tendency that he might start bullying his peers just to assert that he’s their master.
Or, if the child is not very outspoken, he might end up being subject to ridicule among his peers.
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While this might be an inside joke for you, it is inappropriate and illegal to give it as a baby’s name in Australia. The name is considered offensive and can cause the child to be mocked or bullied.
This might be your favorite chat abbreviation but it has to stop at that. You cannot name your baby after an abbreviation, especially in Australia. You might want to sound funny but making your baby an object of scorn or crude jokes is a definite “no”.
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Cyanide is a deadly poison and a potent drug that killed Adolf Hitler. The name is a prohibited baby name in the United Kingdom.
A mother once gave this name to her daughter to honor the poison that finally killed the world’s most wanted man.
However, the Court of Appeals disagreed and banned her from giving her daughter such a name as the child might suffer emotional abuse and be prone to suffering in the future.
24. Trademarked names
Names that are trademarked, especially a company or business name, are strictly off-limits for your baby if you’re in the United States. It’s okay to trademark your child’s name if it’s special to you but avoid other names that have been trademarked by the owners. It will certainly land you in trouble.
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It’s normal to crave a superhero in your family. The harsh truth is that your child can never be Batman so there is no need to attempt to give him that name especially if you’re in Mexico. It’s okay to name him Bruce Wayne but naming him Batman is just putting the young lad on the wrong path.
This brand name is off-limits for your baby if you’re based in Australia. You might have to pick another name if Ikea was your only name choice.
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You can’t possibly give your child a name that means forceful breathing from the nostril. Snort isn’t only an offensive name for your baby but also derogatory and can cause mockery for your child. The name is illegal in Australia.
Yes, I know your baby’s circumcision might have been an evergreen experience but that doesn’t mean you should name him after it.
This is because it connotes a nasty allusion to the genitalia. Names with euphemistic references to offensive body parts or phrases are off-limits for parents in Australia.
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Naming your child after your favorite food might be a great idea but Spinach certainly doesn’t make the list. This name is straight-up inappropriate for your kid if you’re living in Australia.
You cannot name your child after “The Devil” in New Zealand. Not only will it expose him to mockery among his peers but it will also drive people away from him. I mean, who wants to associate themselves with someone named after the devil?
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Names with connotations to the Royal house or Royalty are usually restricted and off-limits especially if you are not from royal lineage. Just like King, Queen, and others, these names also make it to the list of names you shouldn’t give your baby in New Zealand.
If you are thinking of giving your baby a grandiose name with high prospects, you should avoid calling them Knight. Not only is the name banned in New Zealand but such a name also set the child up for a lot of societal expectations which they may not meet in the future.
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33. Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii
This name became a subject of interest when a nine-year-old girl was awarded the right to change her name after facing embarrassment at being called ‘Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii’.
She refused to tell anyone her real name, simply taking up the initial K. If you are considering taking up this name or finding something similar, you could face legal restraint in New Zealand.
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This name is banned in New Zealand and won’t be a great choice for your baby as it contains a numeral. You can opt for ForReal if this is the only name you want to give to your child.
Just like your child can not be called Duke, Judge, or Master, it is equally illegal to call your baby Minister in New Zealand. This might be your way of showing a pastoral background or a cherished name you want for your child but sadly, you can’t go ahead with this choice.
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36. Anus or Anal
Names related to sexual body parts are totally unacceptable and worthy of being banned. Thankfully, the name has been banned in countries like Denmark and New Zealand. Names like this will certainly expose your child and make him the butt of jokes. How sad!
Titles are not allowed as a name choice for your child in New Zealand. The only way your child can have this name attached to theirs is if they truly become a Bishop or if they decide to adopt it as their nickname.
Your child can not be called Judge, and most certainly not Justice, in New Zealand. If this is your dream baby name, you should opt for a name change as it is illegal to call a baby by this name.
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39. Queen Victoria
You can choose to call your little girl Victoria, but you cannot attach the prefix of Queen to her name, especially if you’re based in New Zealand. This name might lead to scorn or embarrassment on the royal family and thus is highly illegal.
40. Special Constable
While naming your child in New Zealand you should also avoid this name. Special Constable is one of the Kiwi names that were rejected because they were just too offensive for babies.
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You should think of your child’s career before giving him or her a befitting name. Metallica doesn’t come off as a perfect name for your newborn and is banned in Sweden.
This is an illegal baby name in Mexico. I understand that you’re a superhero fan but don’t put pressure on your baby boy to be one in the future. No, your child cannot be Superman, no matter how strong he might appear. You should come up with something more original.
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With the inclusion of the numeral, this is a poor choice of name for your baby if you are in Sweden. Your baby can either be Kathryn, Katherine, or even Katelyn.
44. Allah Akbar
This is another illegal name choice for your baby especially if you’re in Sweden. This is mostly because of its religious connotation. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Christian or Muslim, the name is off-limits.
With the name Thor, your child has a lot of expectations to live up to, and is certainly not a healthy lifestyle. The name has been banned in Portugal.
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If you’re based in Japan, this baby name is totally prohibited. It’s important to consider the meaning of a name before picking it for your child. In Japan, Akuma means “Devil” so it’s quite obvious why the name was declared illegal.
47. Osama Bin Laden
This baby name has been banned in Germany primarily because the name is offensive and will cause ridicule to the child in the future. In 2002, a couple was left disappointed when the court ruled that they cannot name their newborn Osama Bin Laden.
I know it’s quite surprising that this name made it to this list but the naming rules in Iceland are super strict. Camila is a prohibited baby name simply because “C” isn’t part of the Icelandic alphabet. If you must stick to this name, then, it has to be “Kamilla” which isn’t bad.
This is another surprising baby name that’s illegal. However, the name is only prohibited in Morocco and that’s because the “H” at the end gives it a Hebrew connotation. The name is only acceptable if it’s simply “Sara.”
Elvis is an illegal baby name in Sweden. According to their 1982 Naming Law, non-royal families are banned from giving names of royal families to their babies.
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Your child is going to be given the gift of individualism at birth through the name you choose for them.
While you are excited at the thought of naming them after your favorite soup, tree, or soap opera, bear in mind that some names are off-limits and criminal.
Some of these names are banned primarily because they are derogatory and offensive. Your child is precious and their name shouldn’t be an opportunity to expose them to scorn or bullying in the future.
So, try as much as you can to avoid the names reviewed above.