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.


Elaine, as well as Alice, Sandy, Laura and Linda are specifically tagged in Saudi Arabia, fitting into the category of names that ‘offend perceived religious sensibilities, are affiliated with royalty or are of non-Arabic or non-Islamic origin.

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