46 Baby Names You Can't Use In Australia

Image: Disney

As anyone who works in a school or childcare centre will attest, Australian parents come up with some pretty weird names for their offspring - including Google, Tron and Hippo. While most names are reluctantly approved by the state or territory's Registry of Births, there are a few that you just can't get away with.

The Victorian government released a list of baby names that are prohibited under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996. Apparently, there has been a spate of requests for unusual baby names over the past year, prompting the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to launch an educational campaign for expecting parents.

And yes, most of the names on the ban list are also prohibited in other Australian states and territories.

As you can see from the list below, there are some first names that will be point-blank refused if you attempt to have them registered. Here are 46 of the main offenders, as outlined by the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages:

  1. Admiral
  2. Anzac
  3. Australia
  4. Baron
  5. Bishop
  6. Brigadier
  7. Brother
  8. Cadet
  9. Captain
  10. Chief
  11. Christ
  12. Commodore
  13. Constable
  14. Corporal
  15. Dame
  16. Duke
  17. Emperor
  18. Father
  19. General
  20. God
  21. Honour
  22. Judge
  23. Justice
  24. King
  25. Lady
  26. Lieutenant
  27. Lord
  28. Madam
  29. Majesty
  30. Major
  31. Messiah
  32. Minister
  33. Mister
  34. Officer
  35. Premier
  36. President
  37. Prime Minister
  38. Prince
  39. Princess
  40. Queen
  41. Saint
  42. Satan
  43. Seaman
  44. Sergeant
  45. Sir
  46. Sister

Interestingly, all of these names were unsuccessfully registered in Victoria over the last year alone; many of them by more than one parent!

While we agree that most of these names are entirely unfitting for a human, some aren't that bad. Duke, Honour, Prince, Lady and Chief are certainly better than the aforementioned "Hippo". (Again, this is a real name that a person has to live with until they inevitably change it by deed poll.)

The reason for most of these bans is simple: they resemble official ranks or titles recognised in Australia. To be called Prince you need to be an actual monarch (or at least wear lots of purple.)

Other names on the list have been refused for being deemed offensive or "contrary to the public interest". Here are the different categories that prohibited names usually fall under:

  • Obscene or offensive
  • Too long
  • Contains symbols without phonetic significance
  • Statements or phrases (including acronyms)
  • References a public institution or public office
  • Contains an official title or rank recognised in Australia
  • Creates confusion in the community
  • May be considered reasonably likely to insult, humiliate, offend or intimidate a person or group

I'd like to formally declare that any common name with "unique" spelling offends me. State Registrars please take note.

What's the weirdest name you've ever encountered in real life? Name and shame them in the comments!

[Via Kidspot]

This story has been updated since its original publication.


    What about poorly spelled versions?

    "Keptin" instead of "Captain" is an example.

      Just makes you sound like Chekov

        Aye aye keptin, Ve will stop ze nuclear wessels!

          Wictor Wictor!

      another example would be Baron with an extra 'R' for Barron which is a somewhat common name

        And I'm sorry for mentioning this but it's also the name of Donald Trump's kid - Barron Trump.

          Are you suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome? .... there's an app for that!

      What is the date and year that I posted it trick question

    Well, there goes my idea of changing my name to "Australia", then charging companies so they can make the statement that their product is "Australia's Favorite ..."

      To be countered by claims for compensation for plummeting sales of products labeled "Made in Australia".

      "I'm Commander Australia and this is my favourite store in the country." ?

      I believe name change rules for adults are different to naming rules for infants (otherwise how did "Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow" get through). That said, not sure whether they'd let you call yourself "Australia". Not sure why not though, there are people named after other countries (America and Columbia come to mind).

      I'm curious what this rule refers to though.
      Creates confusion in the community

      I'd love to know just what names that is meant to cover.

        Just in case, Columbia is not a country

        I think a name like "Fire" could create confusion.
        Or "Everybody- get- down"

    Aside from God and Messiah, thousands of other deities are available (including variants: Jehovah, Yahweh, Allah, ...)

    Duchess/Baroness allowed, but not Duke/Baron? Marquis, Earl and Countess are OK. You could be consecutively "Field Marshal Surname".

      This is a list of one's that have been attempted this year, not a comprehensive list of all banned names.

        Not according to the first sentence.

        The Victorian government recently released a list of baby names that are prohibited under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996.

          Read the rest of the article. Where it says you can't have official titles.
          Or the bit where those 46 are from ones attempted this year.

          Last edited 05/12/16 5:47 pm

    And this is why we dont have any superheroes in Australia, they cant be called Captain Justice!

    If Seaman is out I guess its plural is way out.

    I'm upset Satan is unavailable... Lucky Lucifer is still available!

      there was these 2 super-bogans on the train with a child a couple weeks back. on of them had his son with him... yep, kids name is Lucifer or lou for short. I know this because he called out to his young child (maybe 3) and made reference to his child while on the phone to what presumably was the mother.

      all I can say is good grief people are dumb.

        Lucifer was an Angel, whats wrong with that as a name?
        It's better than Brian or David or boring ass John.
        Lou for the win.

    There's a girl at my grandchildren's school whose name is spelt ABCDE pronounced AB-C-DE.

      Seriously? and here I thought Apple was bad enough as a name

      I have neither enough faces or enough palms to adequately respond to that

      EBCIDIC which has a pronouciation close, was an old computer tape encoding system from the 1970s. Maybe her parents didn't want to mane her ASCII.

      You have to wonder WTF the parents were thinking 0_o

    what if you name was on that list before you moved here, do you have to change it?

      In theory, no. The act is only about registering names at birth (or changing them as a child / adult). As long as your birth / name was registered correctly and legally in the country of your birth then your overseas passport would still show your given name.

      In theory the same would apply if you then took up citizenship in Australia at a later date, as your birth certificate would be used for ID purposes.

      (Not a lawyer.)

    Doesn't stop me giving my kid the middle name of "Danger", well unless the wife stops me.

    The guy who sold me an electric bike is called Baron.
    I think it's a variation of a European name.

    I don't see any problem with Baron, Duke, Prince or Dame, in Australia.
    The ban on those particular names is outdated IMO.

      It's not a matter of how contemporary they are - it is because they are official titles still in use. If we become a republic, then these names could be taken off the list.

      Tony, is that you?
      Stop trying to bring back Dukes & Dames already!

    What about 'Null'?

      the word "null" would be fine. however "" would not be.

      Robert'); DROP TABLE Students;--
      would also work

        Contains symbols without phonetic significance :(

          This is so true. Without a word of a lie my ex was a teacher. She had a student named L-ia.

          It's pronounced Ladashia.

      Now thats a whole different problem.

    Why Anzac? It's been used numerous times including one of my relatives.

    You have sister, brother, father... so I guess someone could call their kid Mother? It's weird that was left of the list!

    At work, I regularly run into people with punctuation in their names, such as Ant'won, because... well, Chicago. By far, the worst one I've ever seen, however, is L'a. Thought it might be pronounced Ella, but no. Not even L.A. I was informed by the young lady that her name was pronounced "Ladasha". Do not only did Mom elect to include punctuation that gets pronounced, she apparently doesn't know what a dash is.

      The prime symbol is pronounced "dash" in mathematics, as in the first derivative of a function f can be written as f', which is vocalised "f dash".

    Levi Jeans

    Knew them all in school

      That name is totally REBONKULOUS!

    So Colonel, Commander, Squadron Leader and Air Chief Marshall are all good to go.

    reminds me of a student in a school i used to work for... the kid's given name was "Justice Efghij"... yes "Efghij" as in the alphabet and no, i have no idea how to pronounce that second name...


    I know someone who has kids in a school with a pair of twins in their class, a brother and sister.

    Their names are:
    Male - (like Marley)
    Female - (like Fe-Marley)

    Most bogan I've heard of is Fully Hektik Sik

    A Dr in Australia put up a list of crazy names of children he came across, and my top favourite was "jkmo" pronounced no-el. Lol

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