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 in recent years, 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.
While most documents around this area will only offer a general guide regarding what names are acceptable in Australia, as 7 News reported back in 2020, a list of banned names was seemingly leaked in 2017.
Here are the 46 names that appeared on that list:
- Prime Minister
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).
What gets a name banned?
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!
This story has been updated since its original publication.