Facebook, Nutella...Harriet? 20 illegal names you can't give your children.

I can only imagine how hard it must be to name your child.

So much pressure: will they like it? Will we like it? What happens if they become Prime Minister? What happens if people pronounce it incorrectly? Does it mean something rude in another language?

But it seems that some people have really buckled under the pressure.

Judging by their, um, unusual choices; these parents either panicked or were absolutely off-their-face drunk when they selected their children’s unique baby names.


Case in point? Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin naming their firstborn daughter, ‘Apple’.

But what they might not have realised it is actually illegal to call your child ‘Apple’ in some parts of the world. In fact, in Malaysia it is illegal to call your child after any fruit or vegetable. (Seems fair, to be honest.)

Yep, different countries have varying rules about what names are and are not legal to name children.

So if you’re flicking desperately through the phone book for ideas for your new bub’s name, make sure you cross these off the list.

1. Medicare number

No, we’re not talking the words ‘Medicare number’ — we mean the identifying string of numbers that relate to your health insurance. This was just one of many names the Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriage banned this year, and probably for good reason.

While it’s a sure-fire way to memorise your Medicare number for times you forget your card, we recommend just writing it down somewhere you’ll always see it, rather than on a child’s birth certificate.

2. [Blank Space]

We have a feeling this name was around even before Taylor Swift’s hit song; regardless, the Australian registry didn’t quite like it. Aside from the difficult of actually verbalising ‘blank space’, the registrar refused this name because it contains symbols or numbers — a big no-no in their guidelines. They can also refuse if they think the child will be bullied as a result of the naming choice.

3. Hitler

This one is rather self-explanatory. Worryingly, though, this name is not illegal in the US — a supremacist family in the States named a number of their children after Nazi figures.

4. Panties

We don’t even know where to begin with this one. Incredibly, Australian parents also tried to name their children D*ckhead, Virgin, Scrotum and Circumcision. Thankfully they were all banned for being offensive and obscene.

5. Pieandsauce

Anyone else a little disappointed this one got the cut? #Patriotism.


2016’s 10 worst baby names. (Post continues after video)

6. Facebook

A great way to pass the time? Yes. A good name for your baby? Ah, not so much. A family in the Mexican state of Sonato were devastated after the state civil registery listed Facebook among 60 names that were made illegal.

“The law is very clear because it prohibits giving children names that are derogatory or that don’t have any meaning and that can lead to bullying,” registery director Cristina Ramirez said.

7. Nutella

Despite how much you love the world’s most delicious hazelnut spread, it’s not going to cut it as a baby name.

Earlier this year a French court ruled a baby girl could not be named Nutella, arguing that it would make her the subject of derision. Instead, he said she could be called Ella.

8. @

Ah, the digital age. Despite how ridiculous it looks, there’s actually a sweet story behind this one.

A couple in China wanted to name their son ‘@’, because in Chinese the symbol is pronounced “ai-ta”, which sounds very similar to the phrase “love him”. However, most countries (including Australia) do not allow numerals or symbols in or as names. If you’re really, really set on the idea, you can just spell them out.

9. Talula Does The Hula For Hawaii

Poor Talula Does The Hula For Hawaii (TDTHFH) was stuck with this name for nine years before a New Zealand judge learned she hated her name and made her a ward of the state to allow her to change it. In Australia this would probably be banned for being too long.

10. Apple

Sorry, Gwyneth — had Apple been born in Malaysia, this name would have been a no-go as naming children after animals, fruits and vegetables is banned.

11. Duke

Same goes for King, Duchess and Queen; official titles and ranks are illegal as first names.

12. Elaine

No it’s not because of the Seinfeld character’s terrible dancing; in Saudi Arabia, many western names are banned because they “contradict the religion or culture of the kingdom.”


Don’t worry, if you mess up you can always change it. Post continues below.

13. Tom

In Portugal, it’s illegal for parents to register their children with nicknames. So Tomas would be ok, but Tom? No can do.

14. Devil

In Japan, a couple tried to name their newborn son ‘Akuma’, which is Japanese for ‘devil’. The Japanese courts became involved with a Government intervention, and the name “devil” eventually became illegal in Japan.

15. Anal

Seriously now – what is going through people’s heads when they decide on a name like ‘Anal’?! New Zealand added the name ‘Anal’ to their banned baby names list in 2013.

16. Osama Bin Laden

A couple, originally from Turkey but living in Germany, tried in 2002 to name their child after the notorious terrorist. Thankfully, the German government intervened, pointing out that the national guidelines state that a name "must not be likely to lead to humiliation."


Sheesh, there's always one, isn't there? A couple in Sweden protested against restrictions set in place in the early 80's which stated that “first names shall not be approved if they can cause offense or can be supposed to cause discomfort for the one using it, or names which for some obvious reason are not suitable as a first name.” So they went with the above, because ~protest. Needless to say, it was rejected.

18. Monkey

'Monkey' is a damn cute nickname for your toddler, but in Denmark, it ain't going to fly as a formal name. Denmark has a list of pre-approved names that parents need to choose from. Monkey, unfortunately, was not on that list.

19.  "." (FULL STOP)

Among New Zealand’s 2013 list of banned names was the symbol for full stop, pronounced - surprise surprise - 'Full Stop'.

20. Harriet

Boy oh boy did I save the best for last. 'Harriet' is a totally normal name, right? Um, not in Iceland. Because some of the letters used don't exist in the Icelandic alphabet, Harriet (and many other anglo names) are banned on the National Register of Persons.

In *real life* a child called Harriet was unable to renew her passport because her name can’t be conjugated in Icelandic. She also had a brother, Duncan, and because 'C' doesn't exist in Iceland; both kids instead now carry passports that list their names as “Girl” and “Boy.”

Alright, folks. Back to the drawing board.

Want your cute fix? We've taken our favourite shots of Guy + Jules Sebastian's little ones, Hudson and Archer, below. 

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