Top 25 Banned Baby Names
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
3. Burger King
10. James Bond
19. Osama Bin Laden
Do You Agree That Some Baby Names Should Be Banned?
© 2018 Kate P