Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
March 16, 2024 ·  2 min read

Baby’s Name Is So Bad A Judge Had To Change It Then Ban It

In 2015, a French court ruled that naming a baby girl Nutella after the hazelnut spread would subject her to mockery and prevent parents from doing so. Instead, Ella was to be the baby’s name, per the judge’s ruling.

In his decision, he claimed that the spread known under the trade name Nutella is a staple in French kitchens. “And it is contrary to the child’s interest to have a name that can only lead to teasing or disparaging thoughts,” he said to the BBC. The names of children in France are mostly up to the parents, however, local prosecutors have the authority to refer names they think inappropriate to a family court. Since 1993, when parents in France were finally granted the liberty to name their children whatever they wished, there have been a number of lawsuits over children’s names, including

A judge also decided that a couple’s desire to name their daughter Fraise (Strawberry) may lead to the youngster being mocked. Instead, the infant was given the 19th-century popular name Fraisine. A parent filed a lawsuit to attempt to prevent his daughter Zoe Renault, a designer of French automobiles, from sharing the same name. Cedric Renault contended that his daughter’s life would become a “nightmare” if Renault decided to call the automobile model Zoe.

More About Banned Baby Names And Their Origin

Despite municipal officials’ objections that the name Megane sounded too similar to an automobile, Lain and Sophia Renaud successfully fought off legal action in 1999 to save their daughter from being named Megane.

Not that long ago, the French were really considerably stricter when it came to names. French parents were limited to choosing a name from a list of approved possibilities, which largely consisted of names derived from Catholic saints, until 1993. They may name their children whatever they want these days, but if a judge determines that their decision is not in their child’s best interest, it won’t be permitted. Judges have previously rejected the names Fraise, which means strawberry, and Babar for a little girl. 

So where did this prohibition on particular baby names come from? The Pope declared war on parents who named their children after sports cars, fruit, or, well, celebrities in 2011. He pleaded with worshippers to “give your children names that are in the Christian calendar” in a speech to parents. But the Pope isn’t the only one who has the power to suppress baby names that belong on the banned list. Indeed, several baby names have been outlawed globally due to issues with morality, taste, or just plain absurdity.

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