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Top 25 Banned Baby Names

Updated on November 19, 2018
Faceless39 profile image

I'm a dental hygienist, pyrography artist, avid gardener, writer, vegetarian, world traveler, and many other things!

Society and governments limit baby names in order to protect children from bullying and unnecessary judgment and scrutiny.
Society and governments limit baby names in order to protect children from bullying and unnecessary judgment and scrutiny. | Source

Naming a child is one of the most personal decisions a parent can make. The name a child is given directly (or indirectly) affects all aspects of his or her life. Will the child get teased in school? Will their name be mispronounced? Will they adequately represent their family line and whatever relative they were named after?

In some cases the question becomes, "Will this child's name incite hatred, bullying, and cause undue problems in their life based solely on the name they've been given?"

Many governments have taken an upfront position when it comes to baby names. Just about every country has at least a few names on the forbidden baby names list, with each country having different reasons for such choices. Some countries limit the length of the names allowed, while others limit the available names to those historically used in the region and nothing outside of it.

Reasons for Banning Baby Names

Most parents would assume they could name their child anything they want, since they are the parents and are responsible for making decisions for him/her. However, the government and society has stepped into the equation, somewhat limiting the official names you can give to kids. What you call someone in your own house is one thing, but when it comes to government forms, politics, and social norms, not all names are created equal. So what are the main reasons a baby name could be banned?

1. Political

Obviously some names in history are connected with such heinous acts that naming an innocent child after them would potentially taint their entire life. These names can be infamous mass murderers, those who practiced genocide, tyrants, dictators, and other political characters that the State (country) doesn't want to associate with. Not only does the State not want to associate with those characters, but they don't want anyone in their territory to associate with them. Examples: Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong.

2. Social

These are names that paint an unbecoming picture of the children who possess them based on physical shortcomings, racist terms, stereotyping, and the like. This also includes anti-religious names and curse words. This category of names puts the child down, reflects negatively on their abilities or biology, or otherwise causes others to "judge" the child based solely on their name. Examples: Jim Crow, Fuck Jesus.

3. Societal

With the growing trend toward the heavy use of hashtags (#), at (@) signs, and emoticons, these names involve special characters that are unpronounceable, including numerals. In addition to being hard to pronounce, these names don't fit into the systems society has built, such as the driver's licensing system rules, social security card rules, and so on. Basically these names are ahead of their time, and in many countries, aren't viewed as acceptable. Examples: P@tty 1Sabel, #Awesome, #BestSonEver.

At what point does government hold too much control over personal choice?
At what point does government hold too much control over personal choice? | Source

When Does Protection Become Control?

Some governments limit the length of each name allowed, or limit the child's entire name (first, middle, last) to a certain number of characters. Other countries do not allow "foreign" names, or names that do not use that country's characters.

That's fine, but at what point does government hold too much control over personal choice? As always, there's a fine line between protection and control. Telling us we must choose names that are a certain number of characters is fine, but in some cultures names are all extremely lengthy and some people have 8 middle names, all very meaningful. Could the limit of name length not be seen as discriminating against certain cultures? What do you think?

While some of the names are obviously offensive, others just seem to be axed because the government says so. For example, somebody wanted to name their child "J." The government denied this name because they felt it would make life difficult for the child because kids wouldn't know whether to put a period (.) after the "J" or not. Are you kidding me?

No matter what, it's our duty to protect children from unnecessary bullying from completely preventable things, like names. But just as importantly, we need to keep our governments in check to some degree.

All of these baby names were officially denied somewhere around the world.
All of these baby names were officially denied somewhere around the world. | Source

Top 25 Forbidden Baby Names

All of the forbidden baby names listed below are names that parents officially attempted to register around the world. In these cases, however, the names were declined (the reasons are usually pretty obvious.) How many of these banned baby names do you agree with?

1. II

2. Batman

3. Burger King

4. Constable

5. Cyanide

6. D*ckhead

7. Duke

8. Hitler

9. Ikea

10. James Bond

All of these names are banned somewhere in the world.
All of these names are banned somewhere in the world. | Source

11. Judge

12. King

13. LOL

14. Lucifer

15. Majesty

16. Master

17. Martian

18. Monkey

19. Osama Bin Laden

20. Queen

21. Robocop

22. Rogue

23. Satan

24. Superman

25. Terminator

Can you imagine naming your child "Cyanide"?
Can you imagine naming your child "Cyanide"? | Source

Do You Agree That Some Baby Names Should Be Banned?

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© 2018 Kate P


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    • Faceless39 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate P 

      7 months ago from The North Woods, USA

      @Patricia Scott, I completely agree with you. I think government needs to get out of just about everything, including this. Thanks for the nice note.

    • Faceless39 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate P 

      7 months ago from The North Woods, USA

      @Tim Truzy, You raise a great point. I hadn't even thought about the copyright issue, believe it or not! I knew a "Duke" once and could see how, when traveling worldwide, that name could become an issue.. or perhaps a perk!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      7 months ago from North Central Florida

      Interesting....not sure it is something I am in favor of....allowing government contol /looking to the government to 'fix' such issues gives away our voice. Thank you for sharing. Angels on the way this morning. ps

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      7 months ago from U.S.A.

      Great article. I can see why names like Batman and Superman are banned, they are copyrighted names. With Osama Bin Laden, I wonder what a parent would be thinking to do that. Yes, I've met some "Dukes" in my life, but there are no royal titles in America, so it must be o.k. Great work.

    • Faceless39 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate P 

      14 months ago from The North Woods, USA

      @Linda A, I remember (I believe) my Mom actually had a friend named Duke growing up. I like the name too. On a side note though, name laws vary by country, state, and province. In many places that name is probably perfectly legal. I guess the problem with it is that it's a "royal term," like Queen. My opinion is, who cares? But some overarching governments seem to think it would cause undue stress to the child and/or confusion about whether or not they're royalty. !

    • Faceless39 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate P 

      14 months ago from The North Woods, USA

      @Tarrin Lupo, I have seen firsthand how someone's name has negatively affected their life (but it was actually their last name.) Thankfully, it's something the kid can eventually change. If we make names illegal, what sort of State control comes next? It opens the door to all sorts of power plays and governmental restrictions. Also: parents who would name their kids in such a way will likely do all manner of other destructive things to the kid that are legal. You can't regulate being an asshole parent.. it's perfectly legal to be a selfish idiot. They will exist no matter what the laws are. Sad but true!

    • profile image

      Linda A 

      14 months ago

      I think Duke is a cool name for a kid. Geez.

    • LupoTV profile image

      Tarrin Lupo 

      14 months ago from New Hampshire

      Wow some of these names are so awful, but parents do all kind of dumb stuff to hurt their kids, it shouldn't be illegal.

    • Faceless39 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate P 

      14 months ago from The North Woods, USA

      @Lori Colbo, I agree that many of these names are potentially damaging. And sadly, my research is sound and these are all real names that parents applied for and were denied. I keep thinking nothing surprises me anymore, and yet I seem to be surprised on a daily basis. Maybe "shocked" is a more appropriate term than surprised at this point! Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      14 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      Parents who name their kids these names are not considering the damage these names can cause. They are being negligent and cruel. I'd like to believe your research is wrong, but nothing surprises me anymore...well almost nothing.

    • Faceless39 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate P 

      14 months ago from The North Woods, USA

      @Rochelle Frank, While I poo-pooed the idea of "J" being a banned name, with your example of R B Smith it becomes more clear why that name would become difficult later in life. That said, though, I wonder at what point outright banning of such a name is appropriate. I mean, ugly and terribly outdated names might also be considered "difficult to live with" to some, but should they be banned just because they're ugly? I guess you could say I'm still undecided on this topic. Thanks for your comment!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      14 months ago from California Gold Country

      The “J” example reminds me of an (supposedly) true story of a kid named R B Smith. He always had a problem because people would want him to write out his full name which was R B. When he applied for his drivers license, he wrote “R(only) B(only) Smith. His license came with the name “Ronly Bonly Smith”.


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