You Can’t Name Your Child THAT!

Some governments have rules about what you can and can't name your child.

Elon Musk and his partner Claire Elise Boucher, AKA Grimes, have announced that they’ve named their new baby boy X Æ A-12 Musk. 

Grimes took to Twitter to explain the name.


  • X, the unknown variable
  • Æ, my elven spelling of Ai (love &/or Artificial intelligence)
  • A-12 = precursor to SR-17 (our favorite aircraft).  No weapons, no defenses, just speed.  Great in battle, but non-violent


In some countries, they would not be legally allowed to register their baby under this name.


Cyanide and Preacher

In 2016, a mother in the UK lost the right to name her children. At least, she can’t name her twins what she wants to name them: Cyanide for the girl and Preacher for the boy.
Her reasons for wanting the names just didn’t convince the judges.

The Welsh woman told the Court of Appeal Cyanide was a “lovely, pretty name” for her daughter, chosen because it’s a name related to flowers, and because it was “responsible for killing Hitler and Goebbels and I consider that this was a good thing” […]

She chose the name Preacher for her son because she believed it to be a “rather cool name” with a “strong spiritual” message. She said the name would “stand my son well for the future”.

She defended her choices by arguing it was her human right to name her children. But a judge has prevented her from registering the names, and three Appeal Court judges have subsequently upheld the injunction on the grounds that the names could bring harm to the twins. (Source)


In Canada

There are many countries with laws about what you can and cannot name your child. In Canada, it differs on the province. According the Huffington Post, in Ontario, you cannot give your child a name that has a symbol in it. So, Ke$ha wouldn’t be allowed. In BC and Quebec, you can’t name your child something that will be deemed embarrassing to the child.

I wonder if this name would be allowed anymore since most people consider it an infection instead of name!

Found in a baby names book from the 80s. "What parents of the 80s are naming their children"

Found in a baby names book from the 80s surtitled “What parents of the 80s are naming their children”

Breakfast Spread

In France, your choice of name for your child can be struck down if it will lead to mockery and disobliging comments. Baby Nutella had to be renamed Ella. Baby Fraise (Strawberry) was not allowed either because of the phrase “ramène ta fraise,” – “Get your butt over here”. Her parents went with Fraisine instead. 


New Zealand has released a list of banned names.  They include: Messiah, Christ, Lucifer, Justice, King, Mafia No Fear, 4real. Interestingly,  Number 16 Bus Shelter made it through!

In Germany, you cannot use a foreign name that is illegal in the parents’ home country. Thus, Osama Bin Laden was not allowed because it’s illegal in the parents’ home country of Turkey.

“Iceland: Rainbow Volcano” Victor Montol/ Flickr CC license

In Iceland, the rules are rather complicated. A boy named Duncan and a girl named Harriet were not able to renew their passports with those names because “neither of their names are recognised by the country’s strict National Registry of permissible names.”

Parents in Iceland must choose from a list of 1,853 female and 1,712 male sanctioned names when naming their children. If they intend to opt for something more adventurous they must apply for permission from the Icelandic Naming Committee .

The list was created under a 1996 act intended to preserve the Icelandic language. Names are only approved if they can be conjugated in Icelandic, and must be “written in accordance with the ordinary rules of Icelandic orthography”, according to the law. (Source)

Well, that’s confusing.


What’s the story behind your name or the names you chose for your children? 


Title image: Pixabay