In Britain, pretty much any baby name you want is up for grabs. But not all countries are so liberal. Around the world some parents’ baby name choices have been banned for being unclear, too long, or just plain silly
Did you know that us lucky Brits have no restrictions on what we can name our babies? It’s true. Just ask Gandalf, Scab and Hashtag.
Other countries have great fun putting names on the no-go list – ones they deem to be human rights violations, confusing or just ridiculous.
Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii – New Zealand
This nine-year-old New Zealander had her name changed by the courts, who criticised her parents for giving her such a ‘bizarre’ name.
She told her school friends she was called ‘K’ as she was so embarrassed by being Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii. The judge said, ‘It makes a fool of the child.’
Whether Talula could do the hula from Hawaii is unknown.
Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 – Sweden
No, a toddler didn’t just run riot with the keyboard.
This name was given to a Swedish child whose parents were rebelling against the country’s strict naming laws that mean tax authorities have to give their blessing before names can be used.
Unsurprisingly, they didn’t ok this one, even if the pronunciation is – get this – ‘Albin’.
Smelly Head – Malaysia
Malaysian parents will no longer be allowed to name their child Chow Tow, which translates to ‘Smelly Head’.
Unlike other countries relaxing their naming laws, Malaysia is tightening up – Smelly Head was on a 2006 government-issued list of ‘unsuitable’ names.
@ – China
It’s important in Chinese culture to give your child a unique name, but in the most populous country in the world it’s getting more difficult, especially since the Chinese government only allows names which can be read by computer systems – and out of the 70,000 Chinese characters, computers can only read around 13,000.
As silly as it seems that a couple called their baby @, the symbol actually looks a bit like the Chinese one for ‘love him’.
A lovely sentiment, but the authorities rained on @’s parents’ parade by banning the name and publicising it as an example of people trying to bring bizarre monikers into Chinese.
Gesher, AKA ‘Bridge’ – Norway
Eccentric mother-of-13 Kristi Larsen spent two days in prison in 1998 for refusing to pay a fine for giving her son an ‘unapproved’ name.
She was ordered in a dream to name her child Gesher, Hebrew for ‘bridge’
She said she was ordered in a dream to name her child Gesher, Hebrew for ‘bridge’. Norwegian authorities weren’t impressed.
The country has some pretty stringent naming laws, banning anything featuring swearing, sex or illnesses. And, apparently, structures.
Devil – Japan
Baby Akuma, which means ‘Devil’, became the centre of a long court battle in 1993. Japanese authorities felt calling a child ‘Devil’ was an abuse of a parent’s naming rights, and eventually the name was changed.
Woodstock – Germany
Germany loves to ban names. They have a whole department called the Standesamt that’s dedicated to deciding if names really are appropriate.
Woodstock is just one of many names they rejected – Huckleberry was also refused on the grounds that the Mark Twain character was considered to be an outsider.
They had no problem with Nemo, Jazz or Speedy, though.
Anus – Denmark
The Danes have a government-issued list of about 7,000 names to choose from. Anyone who wants to deviate needs special permission – different spellings and ethnic names are forbidden, and so are compound surnames.
So Anus was never going to be accepted really, was it?
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