How do you pronounce it?
We recently discovered that what used to be some of the most common baby names are at risk of becoming extinct, and now it seems there are some names you simply cannot name your baby, at all. Yes, that’s right, there are banned baby names.
Last year a mother in Wales tried to call her new born baby Cyanide, but was banned from doing so by the Court of Appeal. Despite her arguments that Cyanide was a ‘lovely, pretty name’ the court ruled that the ‘unusual’ choice might harm the child growing up.
Now a couple are finding themselves at the centre of a storm of online criticism after turning to the popular online forum, Mumsnet, to ask fellow parents for advice about the name they had chosen for their baby girl.
The couple wrote on Mumsnet: ‘My husband and I like the name Felicia. But we would pronounce it ‘Fuh-liss-ee-a’ rather than like ‘Feleesha.’ What would you think if you saw a baby with this name? Would people always pronounce it wrong?’ They asked.
However, their name choice did not go down well with fellow users.
‘I’d hate you for it,’ responded one. ‘You can’t go using a name and choosing your own random pronunciation for it and not expect your child to be properly pissed off with you. Don’t give your child a name you are going to deliberately mispronounce.’
Another said, ‘Don’t give your child a name you are going to deliberately mispronounce.’
Although the choice of name hasn’t been banned, it isn’t uncommon for judges to permanently ban names they feel could harm the child.
Back in 1995, New Zealand decided to rule out a whole host of baby names. In accordance with the Births, Marriages, Deaths and Relationships Registrations Act’s rules, parents were not allowed to give their child a name that implies rank, resembles official titles, causes undue offence, and as a full name is no longer than 99 characters.
Below we have the list of banned baby names from countries around the world, along with the top 25 names rejected in New Zealand. We warn you now, some of these are down right bonkers.
Banned Baby Names
Given that Chow Tow roughly translates to ‘smelly head’ we think the Malaysian government made the right choice by banning this name.
Yes. Some poor child in Denmark was very almost named after this part of the human anatomy. Thankfully the application was denied.
It was only a matter of time before someone tried to name their child after the popular social networking site. However, it seems Mexico were sick of silly baby name applications and decided to release a list of names that were banned for being ‘derogatory, pejorative, discriminatory or lacking in meaning’. Unsurprisingly, Facebook made the list.
The department of internal affairs in New Zealand decided to ban this name, and we can kind of see why.
Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii
We wish we were joking, but a young girl in New Zealand was really named this. Thankfully she was made a ward of court in 2008 so she could change her name.
This one is kind of sweet, the symbol is pronounced ‘ai-ta’ in China and carries the meaning ‘love him’. Would have been a bloody nightmare on Twitter, though.
The Californian Court of Appeal banned the name ‘three’ in 1984 as they classified this name to be a symbol. However, after the success of Stranger Things we imagine there might be a sudden uplift in babies named after numbers.
Again we kind of get this one, as Venerdi translates to Friday in Italy – and who doesn’t love Friday? Nonetheless, judges in Italy banned a couple from calling their little boy this as they believed he would be exposed ‘mockery’.
Banned Baby Names New Zealand
9. / (symbol in name)
10. () name in brackets
Speaking to Stuff.co.nz about the unusual names parents have wanted to call their children, Jefferey says: ‘Most parents are serious. They think it’s a name that fits their baby. They think it’s a nice name. There’s not normally anything nasty about it. They’re not intending it to be offensive.’
He also adds, that while you can’t have the name on legal documents, you still have the freedom to call yourself whatever you want.
‘People can call themselves whatever they like. We might not approve of Messiah, but you can call your children what you like.’
Brilliant. Sarjant it is then.