Menu

As evidenced by the latest batch of baby names data from the Social Security Administration, American parents aren't afraid to get creative when naming their babies: Last year alone, 1,100 completely new names were bestowed upon babes born in the United States.

But elsewhere? There are actually more regulations around what parents can write down on birth certificates. In fact, many countries have lists of banned baby names.

Some would-be baby names have been blacklisted in places because officials believe they would cause the child embarrassment or because the name degrades the country's culture. For example, you will not find a baby named Saint, Prime Minister or even Prince in Australia.

FEATURED VIDEO

In France, as much as they love the spread itself, "Nutella" is a no-go for a child's name. Germany is also strict about banning the use of object names as baby names, frowns upon gender-neutral names and actually had to say that "Adolf Hitler" is an unacceptable title for newborns.

Other countries have even more limits around acceptable baby names. The Icelandic Naming Committee, for example, rejects about half of the names submitted to it that fall outside their approved 1,800 girl names and 1,700 boy names. Grounds for immediate dismissal include names that feature the letters C, Q and W, which are not part of the Icelandic alphabet. (Exceptions can be made for children with two foreign parents.)

In the United States, though, it's a constitutionally protected right to have autonomy when naming babies—despite what others may think about it.

This was upheld in a high-profile case from 2013 where a Tennessee judge ordered that parents change their son's name from "Messiah" to "Martin." Although the judge defended her decision, saying, "labeling this child 'Messiah' places an undue burden on him that as a human being, he cannot fulfill," other legal experts disagreed and baby Messiah's name was restored.

Besides, little Messiah is far from alone: According to the Social Security Administration, 1970 children were granted that name last year, making it the 198th most popular boy's name. If you want to talk creative, look to the legally self-titled Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop.

You might also like:

They say a watched pot never boils, but every pumping mama knows the expression should really say "a watched bottle never fills."

When I think back to those early days of pumping, I remember settling in front of the TV to attempt to distract myself from the tedium of being hooked to a machine. It never worked: I'd always pay little attention to whatever I was watching, opting instead to stare at the bottles I was pumping into and wonder why they were filling so slowly.

Keep reading Show less
News