YOU GONNA CALL ME WHAT ?!

surprised baby

In the UK or U.S., liberal rules on baby names mean that some of the offsprings can end up with more colourful entries on their birth certificates. If the name is not offensive, you can call your baby Apple, Brooklin, or Toe Nail, whatever comes into our mind. But that’s not the case everywhere in the world, whether it’s for a good of the child, cultural tradition or some political reasons, some countries impose their own restrictions on baby names. Let’s take a look at a few examples.


  • China: In China giving your child a name depends on ability of the computer scanners to read the names on national identification cards. Numbers and non-Chinese symbols and characters are not allowed. Out of over 70,000 Chinese characters, only about 13,000 can be represented on the computer.
  • Sweden: A few changes to the law have been made since 1982 when the naming law was created to prevent non-noble families from giving their children noble names. The law reads: “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.” You can change your name in Sweden only once and you have to keep one of the originally given names to you.
  • Germany: Germany law states that- one must be able to tell the gender of the child by the first name. A chosen name also must not have a negative affect on the well being of that child. Using names of objects or products as a first or last name, is also forbidden.
  • New Zealand: The registrars of births in New Zealand will successfully talk parents out of giving their children weird names. Names like Stallion, Yeah Detroit or Fish and Chips were already tried and did not and will not get their approval at the moment. The law doesn’t allow to name their children anything that: might offend a reasonable person, is unreasonably long, doesn’t have adequate justification, or includes or resembles, an official title or rank.
  • Japan: In Japan, officials make sure that all names can be easily read and written by the Japanese. You are allowed one name and one surname, except for members of the imperial family who only receive given names. With a few exceptions, it is usually obvious which are the surnames and which forenames, regardless of in what order the names have been given. The Japanese Law also restricts names that could be deemed inappropriate.
  • Denmark: Denmark’s very strict Law on Personal Names makes sure to protect young Dutch nationals from their parents whims of giving them some weird names. To name your child in Denmark you have to choose from a list of 7,000 pre-approved names for girls and boys. Naming your child something that isn’t on the list, requires special permission from a local church which than is reviewed by government officials. Same as in Germany, the law states that girls and boys must be given names that indicate their gender, you are also not allowed to use  a last name as a first name.


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