WRITING RESEARCH: In doing some research for my novel, I discovered that Portugal has an official list of approved names for its citizens. In other words, you cannot name your child just anything. It must be on the approved list. Some limitations:
  • It’s a non-Portuguese name: No calling your kid James. He needs a good Portuguese name like João or Rui. Note: Jamie and Jimmy are also not allowed obviously.
  • It isn’t the Portuguese spelling of a name*: You can’t call your boy Thomas, Thomás, Thomaz, or Thomáz, for example. You can only call him Tomás.
  • It’s a shortened version of the name: Alexandre is allowed, but Alex isn’t.
  • It isn’t gender-specific: Ashley, for example, is banned, although it might have gotten banned for being too foreign as well.
  • It’s a surname: A first name should be a first name, and there should be no confusion about it.
  • It’s a silly name: The government actually lists names that are banned and this includes Thor and Nirvana.
In Australia, you cannot call your child the following names:
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I’m sure that some parents are keenly disappointed as their choices just got bounced!
It’s called “Naming Law” on Wikipedia