The name George might be fit for a prince, but the lovely sounding moniker isn’t welcome everywhere. In fact, Portugal specifically bans parents from using it, along with other popular picks like Emily, William and Michael. Although our government doesn’t interfere with the crazy things parents name their kids, a lot of other countries won’t put up with it.
The republic’s not alone. Denmark, Iceland, Hungary and Saudi Arabia also enforce specific naming conventions where certain cognomens might not make the cut. Here’s some of the names that just didn’t make the cut.
While Caterina gets the thumbs up, the Anglicised version is another no-go in Portugal. To keep all of the strict laws straight, the government maintains an 83-page list of approved and unapproved options.
Denmark is another country that maintains a specific register. Both countries prefer monikers that fit their native languages and cultures, so expats might be out of luck if they’re hoping to give their children family names.
Not to be outdone, a special naming committee determines the ‘introduction of new given names into the culture of Iceland’. While Sarah’s not on the official list, parents can fill out a special form and request it get added to the register.
In 2014, Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry released a list of 51 banned names reportedly not in line with ‘social traditions’. While most selections appear to have religious connotations, foreign-sounding options like Linda also got prohibited.
Sorry, Prince George. Both of the royal children actually go against Portuguese naming laws, along with their dad William.
There are currently no Icelandic babies with the English name meaning ‘home ruler’ – at least not yet.
It’s the most popular boy’s name of the last 500 years in the States, but Denmark omits it from its official list.
Hungary also maintains a registry of approved names that adhere to its native language. So while Stefán gets approved, the predominant English spelling won’t work.
Tom, Thomas and Thomás all get denied under Portuguese law.
Saudi parents need to steer clear of this trending girl’s name as well.
It’s unclear if it’s officially banned, but a couple in Germany wanted to name their son Lucifer and a judge quickly put a stop to that. The name is also forbidden in New Zealand.