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What Names Are Banned in Different Countries Around the World?

Sometimes parents really want to give their child a rare name, but they aren’t always able to do it. Governments of different countries try to save babies from having awkward situations in the future and even make lists of banned names. However, the criteria vary by country, so for example, in France, you are not allowed to use a curse word to name a child, and in Saudi Arabia, you can’t name a child Queen even though the word itself is okay.

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In many countries, the laws regulating the naming of children are based on one simple principle: a name should not sound like an obscene word and should not cause any trouble for the child in the future. Also, in some countries, names that violate cultural traditions can also be banned.

We at Bright Side want to tell you about some unusual laws in different countries.

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Before 1993, the name choice for children was controlled by a law enacted by Napoléon Bonaparte that outlined which names were acceptable. Today people are supposed to inform the local court about the name they are going to give to their children. If a name can lead to some sort of abuse in the future, the court can ban the name.

  • Banned names: NutellaStrawberryMini CooperPrince William

Saudi Arabia

The government of the country bans foreign names, ones that can be similar to obscene or blasphemous words, and those that violate social and religious traditions.

  • Banned names: Linda, Angel, Maya, Queen, Alice, Ben, Prophet


Parents can choose a name from a list that has about 1,800 options for each gender (the only exception is for parents from other countries). However, if the chosen name is not on the list, a special committee must approve the name choice first. The name should work according to the rules of the Icelandic language in terms of grammar and spelling. For example, if a name contains a Q or a W, it will be banned because the alphabet doesn’t contain these letters.

  • Banned names: Harriet, Dunkan, Zoe, Enrique, Ludwig

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