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Choosing the name of your baby can be a difficult decision. It goes beyond just picking a name that you and your partner like the sound of. You’ll need to find a name that doesn’t get your child bullied at school, and that won’t make them resent you forever.
However, it seems that some parents didn’t get the memo. With instances of grown adults trying to call their children “Adolf Hitler”, or “Nutella”, it’s clear that not everyone knows what kind of name is appropriate to put on a birth certificate.
We aren’t really sure why or how these parents came up with these choices. Either way, to save more children from suffering a similar fate, we’ve compiled a list of illegal baby names from the USA and around the world. Let’s check them out!
While the United States of America has somewhat lax naming laws, there are still some names that you aren’t allowed to use for a child. While these differ from state to state, having a numeral in your name is mostly not allowed.
This means that a name such as “Mon1ka”, wouldn’t be permissible as your chosen moniker (pun absolutely intended). Unfortunately, it also means you’ll have to refrain from calling your child R2-D2 or C-3PO. If that discourages you from having a child in the first place, we don’t blame you.
Some states also limit the number of characters that can be used, as well as the inclusion of pictograms, obscenity, foreign characters, symbols, emojis, or any offensive language. Certain states also forbid the use of accents and/or non-English letters, which is oftentimes due to the inability of their information systems to process vital records including these characters.
California is one of the states that don’t allow the use of accents, but they do permit the inclusion of hyphens and apostrophes. This explains why Elon Musk and Grimes were able to charmingly name their child “X AE A-XII”.
Very few specific names are actually banned in the United States. These liberal naming laws are partly due to the fact that many courts have interpreted specific parts of the US Constitution as supporting a parent’s right to choose their children’s names.
While certain states have stricter naming laws, a few states, such as Kentucky, have none in place. Regardless of these relatively lenient naming regulations, there are still a handful of names that were ruled illegal by courts within the US. Some of these are listed below:
While the US has relatively lax naming regulations, many other countries have much stricter naming laws. In certain parts of the world, governments require parents to choose from a pre-approved list of names, and to include new names on the list, citizens may make an official petition.
Some countries also have laws banning names that could be ridiculous or cause children problems in social interactions. Below is a list of names that are illegal across the world, alongside where exactly they aren’t allowed:
Related: How to legally change your name