Babies with unusual namesAlamy


I name this baby...Superman. And another one...Gazza.

Oh, and let's call this little mite...Gandalf.

And why not throw in Arsenal for good measure!

All the above are British children's real first names – and they have all been given official blessing by our liberal authorities.

In Britain, all names, however ridiculous, are up for grabs.

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Hence celebrities can bestow their children with the likes of Apple, Harper Seven, Zowie and Fifi Trixibelle.

The General Register Office says there are no restrictions on parents - except for exceptional cases, such as a name which could be deemed offensive, when an official could refuse to register it.

But such unusual names could blight a child's future, according to Professor Helen Petrie, from the University of York, who has studied the psychological effects of having an unusual name.

"I found that people with unusual names had a really hard time, particularly when they were children," she said.

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They described getting teased and how traumatic it could be - because all children want to fit in. But when they became adults, they are often glad that they have something to help them stand out from the crowd.

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"People with very common names sometimes feel that they aren't unique enough. So I think there's a happy medium to be struck."

So isn't it time we took a leaf out of baby naming books from other countries and make such monikers illegal?

Here are some of the worst offenders that have been officially BANNED in their own countries, but that any Tombola, Dickdastardly or Haribo could call their babies in Britain.


Lucifer, V8, Christ and Messiah are among the baby names rejected by New Zealand's department of internal affairs. Disappointed parents wishing to christen their offspring with numbers (89), letters (J, I, T) and punctuation marks (*) were also given short shrift.


Fish and Chips (twins), Yeah Detroit, Keenan Got Lucy and Sex Fruit also got the kybosh, though the New Zealand judges did allow Number 16 Bus Shelter and Violence.


• But the top of the NZ banned list must surely be Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii.


• In Sweden, there is a law preventing parents from naming their children Metallica and Elvis. But in a parental fightback, a couple attempted to name their child Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116. Yes, it's spelled correctly. We've double-checked! And apparently, it's pronounced "Albin", though we're not sure how.


• In Italy, judges prevented a couple calling their kid Venerdi aka Friday. They reckoned the name - taken from Robinson Crusoe - would expose the boy to "mockery".


• Over in Norway, a woman was thrown in jail for two days for giving her child the unapproved name Gesher aka Bridge.


• On the other side of the world, the Malaysian government banned the name Chow Tow. It sounds harmless enough, until you realise the translation is Smelly Head!


• But in China, a family wanted to keep their baby's name short and sweet, by simply calling it @. Perfect for Twitter, we'd have thought.


• In Germany, the names Stompie, Woodstock and Grammophon have been turned down, whereas the similarly strange Speedy, Lafayette and Jazz were allowed.


• In New Zealand, a whopping 77 names have been banned. They include Lucifer, Mafia No Fear, 4Real, 2nd, 3rd or 5th and '.' (or full stop!).


• But surely top of the pile (excuse the pun) of banned baby names is this from Denmark: Anus. Apparently, the judges thought the baby's parents were trying to make an a**e of their offpring!


For more advice on what not to call your baby, head to our Baby Names section on Parentdish.

Take a look at some of the most extraordinary names chosen by celebs - and their reasons!