A major Japanese naming case in the ’90s revolved around parents who wanted to call their son Akuma, which means “devil.”
In Japan, officials can intervene if names don’t use the approved characters or are inappropriate. In this case, the father reportedly relented in the end and chose a different name.
A mother in Norway spent time in jail in 1998 for refusing to change her son’s name ― Gesher, which is Hebrew for “bridge.” Her local county office had rejected the uncommon name, and her choices were to change it, pay a fine or spend two days in jail. She said the name had come to her in a dream, but it was not on the government’s list of acceptable names.
The country has since loosened its naming laws a bit.
Although authorities in New Zealand received 28 requests between 2001 and 2013 from parents wanting to name their children Princess, the country rejected this name because it is an official title.
Similar title and rank names that have been banned include Prince, King, Queen, Duke, Major, Bishop, Saint, Sir, Lady, Constable and Baron. In the U.S., 370 baby girls were named Princess in 2018.
A few cases of parents in France wanting to name their babies Jihad have made headlines in recent years.
In late 2018, a court in Dijon ruled against a mother who wanted to name her son Jihad, but she was allowed to call him Jahid instead. A similar case in Toulouse earlier that year led to the same outcome, as did another one in the northern city of Roubaix back in 2016.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., 26 baby boys were named Jihad in 2018.