In sandy Saudi Arabia, parents can no longer name their children after all that desert dirt. The name Sandi has been banned, along with 50 others, in the latest update to the Saudi government's running list of banned baby names. Saudi Arabia isn't the only place where baby names are outlawed, though. Other nations around the globe have imposed sanctions against certain baby names, too.
According to the Saudi Ministry of Interior, the 51 newly banned baby names are: Malak, Abdul Ati, Abdul Nasser, Abdul Mosleh, Nabi, Nabiya, Emir, Somu, Al-Mamlaka, Malika, Mamlaka, Tabaraka, Nardeen, Maya, Linda, Randa, Basmalah, Tuleen, Arm, Nareej, Rital, Als, Sandi, Rama, Maleen, Eleen, Alas, Ainar, Loran, Malkiteena, Lareen, Kibriyal, Laureen, Binyameen, Narees, Yara, Sitaf, Aileen, Loland, Tilaj, Barah, Abdul Nabi, Abdul Rasool, Jibreel, Abdul Mo’een, Abrar, Milak, Aiman, Bayan, Baseel and Rilam.
The names were published in the Saudi Gazette along with an accompanying statement from the Civil Status Department that justifies the banned names as being not in line with social traditions, not religiously appropriate, or they are of Western origin. Critics of the banned list suggest political intrigue seems to be a factor as well.
Denmark, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, and Sweden won't allow parents to give their children names that are also titles of the local nobility such as Duke, Duchess, Earl, Prince, and King.
Ikea and Veranda are also names not allowed on Swedish birth certificates. Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 — pronounced "Albin" — was rejected, too.
Parents who want to name their baby Majesty in New Zealand will not get that one approved. 4Real and Lucifer are out, too.
Parents in the Land of the Free aren't always free to name their babies what they want to, either. Some parents have been forced by court order to officially change the names of their children. One family faced consequences more far-reaching than merely editing a birth certificate.
In Tennessee in 2013, Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew met with a couple who couldn't decide which last name to give their son: DeShawn or McCullough. When the judge discovered the baby's first name — Messiah — she changed his entire name to Martin DeShawn McCullough, saying there's only ever been one baby worthy of the name Messiah.
The Campbell family in New Jersey first started having problems with baby names in 2009, when a bakery refused to put their 3-year-old son's name — Adolf Hitler — on his birthday cake.
Three other Campbell children followed little Adolf and they were all named after prominent members of Germany's Nazi Party. All the Campbell children have been placed in foster care after reports of domestic violence surfaced. Their father, Heath Campbell, 40, a devout believer in Naziism who wore a full Nazi uniform to a family court hearing, contends there was never any family violence. He's convinced his children were taken away solely because of their names.
Source: Taylor, Adam. "Why did Saudi Arabia ban 51 baby names?" The Washington Post WorldViews. The Washington Post. Mar 16, 2014. Web. Mar 21, 2014.