Their baby’s name would be illegal

Chihuahua state officials begin enforcing strict child naming law

While naming a child in the US, or anywhere else in the world, is considered a parent’s right, one state in Mexico is putting limits on children’s names.

The state of Chihuahua, which includes Ciudad Juarez, is enforcing strict rules on what parents can name their child, and even how his or her name is spelled.

Chihuahua state officials in Juarez tell ABC-7 the law is not anything new, but with a recent rash of parents trying to name their children odd, creative, and foreign names they say it’s time to remind the public of what is appropriate and what is not.

Names such as Lluvia, which means rain, or azul, which means blue, are not considered “proper.” If a parent names their child what’s considered a “foreign” name, like Kevin, Brian, or Karen, it must be followed by a Spanish middle name, like Jose or Maria.

Spelling is also an issue with the state of Chihuahua, as the spelling must be a “common spelling.” For example, Elizabeth has to be spelled with a “z” and not with an “s.”

Officials add that the law is intended to keep children from being ridiculed, and having future legal trouble with their name.



  1. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    Dear Mexican State of Chihuahua,
    Kindly burn in Hell.
    Your Friend,
    Freedom Loving Person

    However, if you haven’t read Freakonomics yet, a considerable portion of the book deals with the impact of of your child’s name on your child’s acedemic and economic future. Very good read for those interested.

  2. jim says:

    This Mexican State is not the only place. There are several others around the world.

    I’m sure there is one in Europe.

    It is a cultural thing for some. Which does explain alot.

  3. Raul Melo says:

    Germany is even more restrictive as to what names you may give your children; there is an approved list of male and female names that may NOT be deviated from.

    Perhaps the State of Chihuahua is trying to become more German?

  4. Simon says:

    Denmark, like Germany, has a list of approved names. You can see the list here: http://www.familiestyrelsen.dk/navne/1/?no_cache=1 (Danish only, sorry).

    I think that Norway have rules that restrict parents from giving their children animal names. That is you can’t call your son Bear, Wulf, Giraf and so on.

    The US should have something similar, so we don’t have to deal with the insane names that some parents come up with.

  5. Mark D. VandenBerg says:

    To paraphrase Burke Breathed:

    Would John F. Kennedy been the man that he was if he had been named Mortimor Dipthong?

  6. Mr. H. Fusion says:

    #5, sure, we would have just called him Morty Dipthong.

  7. Uncle Dave says:

    But would Marilyn Monroe have sung for his birthday (or done anything else for him)?

  8. Frank says:

    As a resident of the Great state of Chihuahua, I say to all “Ich bin ein Berliner”.

  9. Anonymous says:

    in france as well, the civil servant can refuse to register certain first name if she feels that the name might be detrimental to the child, such as atracting mockery by his peers in a school yard and such…

  10. That’s a little weird!

    parents can name their child as they want. If they like the name that’s ok. Anyway every parent views how the name corelates to a family name and sounding.

    Ther can be no restrictions I suppose.

  11. Douglas Saddlewood says:

    In the Canadian province of Quebec names can be overruled by civil servants as well. A few years back there was controversy over a family trying to name their new born daughter “Stormy”. I’ve met a few women who could aptly be described as stormy but public reaction was that the state was overreacting. The intent of laws like these are to prevent names like “Jadffhghjdhdh”, “Dork” or “Weweredrunk” from being the legal name of a person.

  12. Luis G. Macias says:

    This is due to the fact that exist people that have ridiculous names; like: “usnavy”, some man saw a ship in the port of veracruz with the
    sign US NAVY. and think it was a great idea name his son as the ship; and have been other persons with names like chrysler or chevrolet.

  13. Bruce IV says:

    Crazy law, to prevent crazy people emulating crazy celebrities giving their children crazy names. I thought the part about Mexican middle names was especially crazy.

  14. Don says:

    I think all parents should call their children by number (One, Two, etc.) until the kid is 18. Then let them pick out their own name. It’s criminal how some idiots saddle their children with some name that came to them during an acid trip or something.

  15. Gary Marks says:

    Since the Mexican state of Chihuahua is best known for a yappy little dog named after their proud state, they’ve decided to declare war on all name-related fiascos. Excellent!

  16. no one important says:

    I can’t abide stupid names. I love it!

  17. Bruce IV says:

    Don (14) … I read a short story once where the father called his son (who was actually a clone of the father) “Four” — It ended with the “son” killing the “father” and spending some time in a prison camp … how would you like to be called Three throughout your childhood? Imagine the teasing in the schoolyard – the eldest children would form a clique of “We’re number one!” and pick on the other ones … or just picture “Smith-3 report to detention immediately” … of course, I know a guy who wanted to change his middle name to Dolphin at 18, so that could end up with some kids saddleing themselves with weird names they thought up in acid trips … nothing negative Don, your post just got me thinking …

  18. catbeller says:

    I work in medical records, and I’ve often thought that there seems to be a colossal shortage of names in Latin America. Say “Miguel” in a bar and half the heads turn towards you. And don’t even think of yelling “Maria” on a crowded street.

    Now I know why. Names from the Bible only, huh?

  19. catbeller says:

    Well, on second thought, at least “Shaniqua” is banned for eternity, along with all the other dart-at-a-map-of-Wisconsin first names.

  20. catbeller says:

    10: How about Goddammit as a first name? Someone stops that, somewhere.

  21. joshua says:

    #18…catbeller…..but if you named the kid *Brian Maria*….how many would answer to that?

  22. Fabrizio Marana says:

    And Mercedes used to be a girl’s first name in Germany (And the first Mercedes was actually named after the constructor’s daughter).

    I wonder whether it’s prohibited in Germany now.

  23. Uncle Dave says:

    Is Adolf still allowed in Germany? In countries Hitler invaded?

    Ya know, when I posted this story, it never occurred to me that there might be other countries which had restictions on names. What an eye-opening set of comments you guys have provided!

  24. Uncle Dave says:

    Almost forgot: one “place” where names can really be anything is Second Life. I love Leo LaPorte’s game name: Pruneface Spatula. Can’t help but laugh everytime he says it on TWiT. Makes “Shaniqua” look tame.


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