These 11 Baby Names Are Actually Illegal in Parts of the World

Here in the U.S., we know a thing or two about out-there baby names. It’s fair to say that every time a celebrity has a baby, the internet explodes over the funky the actress or singer has chosen for their newborn’s moniker.

But while we might be used to unique names like North, Apple, and Blue Ivy, not every country has the freedom to name their baby WHATEVER they want. These are just a few examples of names that are illegal in countries outside the States.

1. Nutella

Illegal in: France

If you love the famous hazelnut chocolate spread as much as we do, you might be tempted to give your child this super sweet name. But you won’t get too far if you live in France.
Two years ago, a French couple decided to name their daughter Nutella because they hoped she could emulate the sweetness and popularity of the chocolate spread. One French judge insisted that the name could only lead to “mockery and disobliging remarks.” It was ruled that the child’s name be shortened to the considerably more conventional “Ella.”

2. Gesher

Illegal in: Norway

Norway is just one country that regulates what parents can name their child – and the rules are harsh.

One Norwegian mother was sent to jail after failing to pay the $420 fine for using an unapproved name, Gesher, which means “bridge” in Hebrew. She protested saying that she had been instructed to name her son Gesher in a dream she had.

3. Mona Lisa

Illegal in: Portugal 

Art lovers, beware. If you want to name your little girl after Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting, you can’t be living in Portugal. A cute way to keep the meaning and get around the law? Use the name “Mona” instead as an adorable nickname.

4. Akuma

Illegal in: Japan

The parents that wanted to name their babu Akuma, which means “devil” in Japanese, stirred such a frenzy that it even caught the attention of the Prime Minister’s cabinet. The Justice Minister at the time spoke out on the government trying to intervene, but the name “devil” eventually became illegal in Japan nonetheless.

5. @

Illegal in: China

Yeah, we can kind of see this one, even the parents that incited the law had a different meaning in mind.

Like many countries, China doesn’t allow symbols and numerals to be included in baby names. The “at” symbol is pronounced “ai-ta” in Chinese, which sounds similar to a phrase meaning “love him.” One couple felt the symbol was a fitting name for their son, but the Chinese government did not agree.

6. Facebook

Illegal in: Mexico

While plenty of millennial parents might like the sound of this funky, albeit controversial, name, the government of Mexico is not having it. The law, like others in various countries, is because you cannot have a name of a major product or corporation.

7. Venerdi

Illegal in: Italy

When one couple tried to name their baby Venerdi, meaning Friday, the Italian government rejected the name because it was “likely to limit social interaction and create insecurity.” The parents were forced to change the name, but in response threatened to name their next child Mercoledi, the Italian word for Wednesday.

8. Metallica

Illegal in: Sweden

The Swedes apparently don’t appreciate anything too, uh, heavy when it comes to naming babies. Although one baby girl from Sweden was baptized under this heavy metal name, her new moniker inspired tax officials to eventually deemed it inappropriate.

9. Linda

Illegal in: Saudi Arabia

This one might have you raising your eyebrows, but the cultural context makes this issue a little clearer. In 2014, Saudi Arabia released its own list of banned baby names. Several of them, like “Linda,” claimed spots due to their association with Western culture.

10. Robocop

Illegal in: Mexico

This one seems a little self-explanatory.

11. Apple

Illegal in: Germany

Don’t tell Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, but their first daughter’s name isn’t illegal in Germany. Why? Because of that same law preventing parents from naming their kids after any product or company. Sorry, Gwen.

12. Monkey

Illegal in: Denmark

Denmark is another country that requires parents to choose baby names from a pre-approved list. Parents need permission from the government to choose outside the list of 7000 names, and each year approximately 250 are rejected. In addition to Monkey, the names Pluto and Anus also didn’t make the cut.

13. Fraise

Illegal in: France

When a couple attempted to name their child after a strawberry, the French courts intervened. The judge claimed that the name Fraise would cause teasing due to its connection to the idiomatic phrase “ramène ta fraise,” which means “get your butt over here.” The parents insisted that they were only trying to give their daughter an original name, and eventually went with a different variation, “Fraisine.”

14. Nirvana

Illegal in: Portugal

Portugal has 80 pages dedicated to listing which names are legal and which are not. One of our favorites on this banned list, Nirvana, is among the more than 2,000 names that are included in the banned section.

15. Sarah


Illegal in: Morocco

Like Saudi Arabia, this name is not on the Moroccan list of acceptable names because the moniker doesn’t align with “Moroccan identity.” Sarah with an “H” is banned because it’s considered to be the Hebrew spelling, but the Arabic “Sara” is perfectly fine.