In many cultures, a small number of people pick bad names for their kids to keep them away from envy, evil eye, or demons.In Egypt, you can find some rural families calling their kids strange and offensive names, to prevent harm from coming to them. This is specially true for a family that has all its male children die in childhood, or something like that.Names such as El Shahhat الشحات (the begger), Shehata شحاتة (begging) are used. This practice is not exclusively Egyptian though.Malaysia recently introduced a set of rules to prevent such practices among its varied ethnicities:
Now names like the Hokkien Chinese Ah Chwar, meaning snake, and Khiow Khoo, meaning hunchback, are being ruled out. So too are Cantonese monikers Chow Tow, meaning smelly head, and Sor Chai, meaning insane.
The practice seems to be also present in India, Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan and Japan.