Babies have the right to be given proper names by their parents. Some countries have laws protecting newborns from having ridiculous names that can cause them to be taunted or bullied when they grow up.
When a Malaysian couple tried to christen their baby Chow Tow, a court intervened and did not allow it. The name translates to smelly head. After that incident, Malaysian authorities included Chow Tow in the list of the country’s banned names.
Mexico also has such list. In 2014, the name Robocop made it to the list of 61 forbidden names after a mother tried to give the name of the cinematic cyborg cop to her child.
In another case, a British court stopped a mother from naming her baby Cyanide for obvious reasons. A French judge prevented a couple from naming their child Nutella, the chocolate sandwich spread known for its sweetness.
In 2013, an American judge ruled against a Tennessee couple from naming their baby Messiah. Later, the ruling was overturned for religious bias.
In China, a couple tried to name a baby @, the character on a computer keyboard. Authorities forbade it. A New Zealand couple tried the same tact, naming their child after the period symbol. It was rejected by the court and included in the list of banned names.
Denmark has 7,000 names on its own list, including Monkey after a local couple tried to give that name to a child.
In 1996, a Swedish couple tried to give the name Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllm to their son, claiming it was pronounced Albin, a common Scandinavian name. The government told them to choose a different name.
Another Swedish couple’s proposed first name for their newborn son recently did not get the approval of Sweden’s tax authority. The agency cited rules that names should not cause offense or distress to the person carrying it.
Moreover, first names should not have surnames or names that resemble surnames, the authority said, citing new rules issued early this month.
With that decision, the parents cannot call their son Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation.
with READER’S DIGEST/AFP