The executive regulations of the civil status system affirmed that it is not permissible to choose names that the legal fatwas branded not permissible or hated by law.

Saudi Arabia has strict laws that prohibit obscenities, numbers, and names that are too long.

Newborns in Saudi Arabia have the right to be named and registered immediately after birth.

Laws about baby names are meant to protect children from controversial or embarrassing names.

Saudi Arabia is firm about what you can name your child when it comes to the stigma or meaning a name may carry.

According to US constitutional law expert Carlton F.W. Larson (writing in the The George Washington Law Review), baby naming “is a legal universe that has scarcely been mapped, full of strange lacunae, spotty statutory provisions, and patchy, inconsistent caselaw.”

Naming laws around the world vary and are often as stringent as in Saudi Arabia.

In France, for example, parents have been banned from giving their children names that would “lead to a childhood of mockery,” such as Prince William and Mini Cooper.

In Germany, a court ruled that a couple couldn’t name their child Stone because “a child cannot identify with it, because it is an object.” Möwe (“seagull”) was rejected as well, because the bird is “a nuisance and is seen as a pest and would therefore degrade the child.” In Denmark, parents must select from a list of pre-approved names, and if they want to use one that’s not on the list, they must get special permission.

In any case, if you’re planning on having a baby, you may want to check the laws in your locale before you get too attached to a name.



Of course, even if your favorite name doesn’t make the grade, nicknames are a whole other, unrestricted territory. Anyone who has ever had a sobriquet like Stinky or Pickle Pop may wish there were some more stringent laws governing them, too.