What’s in a name?
Every country in the world has slightly different laws when it comes to what names you can and can’t legally give your offspring. These 13 sets of parents ran afoul of their nations’ governments with their wacky, cringe-worthy, and even untranslatable name choices.
Messiah (United States)
Well, sort of. For better or worse, the USA is very, very lenient when it comes to baby names – unlike many other nations. Baby-naming regulations vary by state. Some states (yes, only some) forbid using obscenities. Other states ban the use of numerals in baby names. Kentucky, meanwhile, has no regulations whatsoever. One particularly controversial baby-naming case occurred in 2013, when a Tennessee judge ruled that a couple couldn’t name their baby Messiah, saying that that name should belong to Christ alone. But the ruling was overturned. There are no official laws banning religiously affiliated names, and a chancery court determined that the judge couldn’t make decisions based on religious biases.
Hey, we love Nutella as much as anyone, but…naming your child after it? Seems a little extreme. Two French parents claimed that they’d chosen the name because they hoped that their daughter would be sweet and popular, just like the chocolate-hazelnut spread. French lawmakers, however, weren’t having it. One judge claimed that the name was “contrary to the child’s interest” because it would “only lead to mockery and disobliging remarks.” They ruled that the parents had to change her name to Ella.