Forbidden Baby Names

Names so outrageous they wound up in court

How crazy does a name need to be to get banned, spark a legal battle, or find itself relegated to the list of forbidden baby names? Not very, depending on where you live, though many names on this roster would be judged totally outrageous anywhere in the world.  Sometimes, a name is so extreme — or local baby name laws are — that the courts have to step in. Here are 15 real-life baby names that sparked actual legal battles in the last decade.


Iceland, like several other Northern European countries, has strict rules about the names that can and cannot be given to children. There's an official list of permitted names in the country, with just under 2000 girls names on it -- but Blaer, meaning "light breeze," was not one of them. So the authorities said that a girl with that name would have to change it. She and her family fought them in the courts for over a decade, and finally won the right to use the name in 2013.

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14 Responses to “Forbidden Baby Names”

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Sky85 Says:

November 24th, 2017 at 12:20 am

I see nothing wrong with Blaer or Wolf. Both are lovely!

elifsu Says:

January 5th, 2018 at 3:04 am

There is nothing wrong with Wolf or Friday.

IslandMoon Says:

January 5th, 2018 at 4:11 am

The issue with Blaer if I remember rightly, is that in Iceland its a boys name, and they don’t allow boys names on girls, or vice versa. The appeal was on the basis of Blaer having been used historically by a woman, I think.

Desdemona Says:

January 5th, 2018 at 7:26 am

That sounds like naming rules got it wrong, ouch!

Scorpio Says:

January 5th, 2018 at 9:37 am

Some of these names are perfectly fine, but others really make you wonder.

classicbookworm Says:

January 5th, 2018 at 10:43 am

It’s my opinion that the government shouldn’t set such strict naming laws. Do I think parents SHOULD name their child Lucifer or Cyanide? Absolutely not. But it isn’t really any of the court’s business. At that point, it is imposing its own opinions on someone’s family. (The nazi family seems like an exception… sounds like there was a lot of messed-up stuff going on there that went way beyond names!)
That said, Blaer, Wolf, and Friday seem like perfectly normal names to me! (The rest of the names make me cringe, with the exception of J and possibly Marseille.) Funny how different naming trends are around the world!

Maerad Says:

January 5th, 2018 at 1:53 pm

I thought Tallula changed her name to ‘Kay’ but I’m not sure where I heard that.
All fair enough things I suppose, the ones that succeeded in their appeals, it makes sense. Though I’m not sure what was wrong with Preacher (even if Cyanide was bad) and I can’t quite work out Friday would be associated with “subservience and inferiority”?

Seanachaidh Says:

January 5th, 2018 at 2:28 pm

The character Friday in Robinson Crusoe was a captive slave who escaped only to become a servant to the title character, so that explains the “subservience and inferiority” connotation. The parents specifically meant to name the child after that character; otherwise that association probably wouldn’t have come to mind (for me anyway, maybe it’s different in Italy).

Heival Says:

January 5th, 2018 at 9:38 pm

IslandMoon is right, Blaer (traditionally spelled Blær with an Æ(æ)) wasn’t allowed for girls because it was a boy’s name. It’s now allowed for both genders and a few more name have been approved as unisex. The girl actually had no legal name and therefore was called “Girl” (Stulka in Icelandic) on legal documents until she was 15!

mill1020 Says:

January 6th, 2018 at 7:23 pm

I’m surprised at how much I’m siding with the French gov’t on this one. It should totally be illegal to name your kid something that will be so likely to cause emotional turmoil in the child! And I kind of wish Iceland had held firm, although Blaer isn’t too awful and could be officially re-categorized as unisex

Bassilly Says:

January 7th, 2018 at 12:21 am

Wow, the majority of these rulings are just silly! Marseille? That’s pretty.

Susette Says:

January 7th, 2018 at 1:55 pm

I wish the USA had laws about names. It’s getting ridiculous what people are naming thier children.

Stilyaga Says:

January 9th, 2018 at 7:46 pm

Jihad is a normal Arabic name, and it means “struggle” in any sense, such as struggle against one’s sins or for justice. The name could make the kid’s life difficult, but it shouldn’t be forbidden by the government.

Wandarine Says:

January 10th, 2018 at 9:25 am

Why does the picture say “Wolf” when the forbidden name was Lobo? That’s misleading.

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