Banned Baby Names: No Toms in Tomar

If you were Anderson Cooper and you had been born in Germany, you wouldn’t be Anderson Cooper, because Germany is just one of a surprising number of countries with strict baby-naming rules and regulations. In some instances, as in Italy and Sweden, the motivation is humane—trying to spare the child embarrassment, ridicule and bullying in the increasingly wild and wooly international baby-name environment. In fact, some of these are not long-standing strictures, but relatively recent ones.


In Morocco, it’s no for the Sarah spelling, viewed as the Hebrew version, but yes for Sara, as that is the Arabic version: for the most part Arabic names must be used in Morocco—although a fee can be paid to use certain off-list names, such as Adam.

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