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Worldcrunch

What's In A Name? Banned Baby Monikers From Around The World

Worldcrunch

WASHINGTON - As the list of 2012's most popular baby names in the U.S. was unveiled this week, it appeared that King and Messiah were among the fastest growing names for boys, said the AP. Major was another fast-rising name.

Last week, however, New Zealand released its annual list of banned baby names and King, Messiah, and Major were all on it. 

New Zealanders are required to submit the names that they want to call their child.

Is New Zealand the strictest country in the world when it comes to naming your child? Maybe not. We had a look at the rest of the world and while some people may think that these governments are stifling creativity and originality, others just see some wacky parents.

1. "Emperor"

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NEW ZEALAND

2013-05-09 Read Later
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Usually, new parents choose to conform to the guidelines set by the governemt and most have done so since 1995.

Though very stringent in its requirements, some quirky names have managed to slip through. Once, the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages names even let Violence through. And somebody is walking around today bearing the name Number 16 Bus Shelter. In 2008, a pair of twins in New Zealand was named Hedges and Benson which happen to be a brand of cigarettes.

A girl named Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii was taken away from her parents by local authorities. The state took the initiative to change her name to something more acceptable.

Aside from the banned names mentioned before, here are some from the 2013 list: Emperor, President, Queen, Queen Victoria, Princess, Prince, Duke, Knight, Lady, Royal, Royale, Majesty, Bishop, Saint, Eminence, Sir, Master, Constable, J, T, I, E, V, G, V8, H-Q, using brackets around middle names, using back slash between names, II, III, and V.

2. "Metallica"

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SWEDEN

2013-05-09 Read Later
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Sweden has a law that bans monikers such as Metallica and Superman.

Most famously, Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 was rejected in 1996. It's pronounced Albin in case you were wondering. The parents claimed that it was "a pregnant, expressionistic development that we see as an artistic creation."

3. "Major"

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UNITED STATES

2013-05-09 Read Later
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If all the celebrities can name their children “original” names, why can’t everyone else? Not many names have been banned in the U.S. but some of the previously original ones are becoming more and more popular so people are having to look further and further to really stand out.

"We're seeing a total revolution in terms of the diversity of naming," Laura Wattenberg, author of "The Baby Name Wizard," said, according to the AP. "Parents are really focused on choosing a distinctive name that will make their child stand out." 

"I have no doubt Major's rising popularity as a boy's name is in tribute to the brave members of the U.S. military, and maybe we'll see more boys named General in the future," said acting Social Security Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin. "We've pretty much run out of presidential names, all the Jeffersons and Jacksons and Madisons, so we're moving on to the aristocracy, I guess, or to the military."

4. "Spatula"

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CANADA

2013-05-09 Read Later
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In the past, the Canadian registrar has had parents reconsider giving their children such names as Goldorak (a robot in a Japanese animé), Boom-Boom, Salaud (a French rude word for "jerk"), Lucifer, or Jazzouille. 

A widely publicized challenge occurred in 1996, when a couple wanted to call their child “Spatule,” which is French for a spoon-billed bird but also translates as spatula, a kitchen utensil.

The child was not named Spatule in the end.

5. "Light Breeze"

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ICELAND

2013-05-09 Read Later
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Fifteen year-old Blaer Bjarkardottir won the right to use the name given to her by her mother earlier this year, after a court battle against the authorities. Now she can legally use her first name, which means “light breeze,” according to the BBC

Icelandic authorities had objected, saying it was not a proper feminine name. The country has very strict laws on names, which must fit Icelandic grammar and pronunciation rules.

6. "Anus"

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DENMARK

2013-05-09 Read Later
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In Denmark, rather than banning names, parents are given a list of about 7,000 names to choose from. Any names not on the list need special permission from the parish church – and that includes any ethnic names, unusual spellings, or compound names.  However, this law applies only if one of the parents is Danish. 

Anus was not approved.

7. "Adolf Hitler"

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GERMANY

2013-05-09 Read Later
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In Germany, the name Miatt has been rejected for not clearly denoting sex.

Osama bin Laden and Adolf Hitler were rejected too.

8. "Bottom"

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ITALY

2013-05-09 Read Later
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In Italy, a judge stopped a couple from using the name Venerdi (which means Friday in Italian), in association with Robinson Crusoe, because the child may be mocked, and because the character Friday is associated with “subservience and insecurity,” reports La Stampa.

Bottom was another name rejected in Basilicata in 2008. Maybe they didn't understand the English meaning?

9. "Devil"

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JAPAN

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Akuma was refused in Japan, which means Devil. Rejected for obvious reasons. 

10. "Smelly Head"

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MALAYSIA

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Chow Tow ("Smelly Head") and 007 are not allowed in Malaysia, says Yahoo. Lots more Chinese efforts such as Ah Chwar ("Snake"), Khiow Khoo ("Hunchback"), Sor Chai ("Insane") have previously been refused . Malays should also steer clear of Woti, which means "Sexual Intercourse."

11. "@"

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CHINA

2013-05-09 Read Later
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Trying to have a unique name in China is pretty difficult. So difficult, in fact, that one couple decided to steer clear of characters and letters altogether, just going the symbol route: @.

In their defense, in Chinese characters it apparently looks a bit like "love him."

12. "Bridge"

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NORWAY

2013-05-09 Read Later
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Back in 1998, a woman was put in jail – albeit for just two days – when she failed to pay a fine for giving her son an unapproved name. His name is Gesher, which is Hebrew for bridge. 

13. "Tom"

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PORTUGAL

2013-05-09 Read Later
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There are more than 2,000 names on the reject list here, including Ovnis, which is Portuguese for UFO. Suprisingly, Tomas is OK for boys, but Tom isn’t. 

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