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When a baby is born, the joy is great, the hormones rush around and everyone is in absolute excitement. This can sometimes lead to unusual situations. But when it comes to the name of the new arrival, some parents get a little too creative. In this case, the registrars can take action against the chosen name.
Bierstübl, Verleihnix or Steißbein – these are actually first names rejected by registry offices. What sounds unbelievable is no longer a rarity today. Rumpelstiltskin, Satan and Yogurt also belong to the “rejected list”. Whether names like Matt-Eagle, Dee-Jay or Snow White are better is another discussion, but these were approved.
Regulations In Germany On Naming
The basic rule is that a name must not violate the personal rights of the child. This is, of course, an imprecise measure and often a subjective decision. Today, parents are increasingly looking for a unique and original name for their protégé. Therefore, disputes with authorities are becoming more frequent.
In Germany, surnames, geographical directions or titles of nobility may not be registered as first names. However, names that are common in other countries are considered approved. Since there are other rules for naming in other countries, it will be difficult in this country if you want to name your daughter Mississippi or Paris, for example.
Clear regulations do not exist and vary from office to office. However, there is a guideline that should be followed.
- First names must not be insulting or ridiculous. This violates the personal rights of the child (rejected were e.g. Crazy Horse & Troublemaker)
- First names should be limited to 5 per child. This was decided by the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf after a mother wanted to give her son Chenekwahow Tecumseh Migiskau Ernesto Kioma the additional names Nikapi-Hun-Nizea, Alessandro, Majim, Chayara, Inti, Prithibi, Pathar and the frighteningly normal names Henriko.
- Common short forms of given names are allowed (e.g. Tina comes from Katharina), but cose forms are not (e.g. Trinchen)
- Biblical names with negative associations are also not allowed. Names of saints, on the other hand, are. Jesus is now allowed to name his child, Judas was rejected.
- Brand names (e.g. Nutella was rejected & changed to Ella), titles of nobility, place and city names are also not allowed. The only exceptions are those where brand names are identical to first names. In Germany, Persil and Sunil were approved.
In the past, the rule was that you had to recognize the gender of the child by the name. For non-specific girl or boy names, such as Kim, a middle name had to be unique. This is now considered outdated and is only a recommendation.
If you have chosen a very unusual name for your child, you may need to submit an expert opinion to the registrar’s office. This should confirm that the name is acceptable. The University of Leipzig offers these certificates at the Name Research Center and they cost between 30 and 60€.
So what can you do if your parents have named you Indian tribal chief without being asked and it finally turns out that you have a different destiny after all?
The Name Change
Under strict conditions there is the possibility to change one’s name. People who no longer feel that they belong to their gender and have been forced to live accordingly for at least three years can apply for a name change according to §1 Transsexuals Act (TSG). In addition, according to §§1757 Abs.4 S.1, 1767 Abs.2 BGB an adoption can be reason for the change or according to §94 | 1 Nr.3 of the law over the affairs of the expellees and refugees the integration-promoting Germanization of first names can be decisive.
In the name change law there is only one possibility according to §1, 3, 11. The application for a name change requires an “important reason”. This includes, among other things, the feeling that the own name is ridiculous. This must be comprehensible and connected with a persistent suffering pressure. In this case, the authorities can demand psychological reports.
In Austria, the name change is only a matter of money. For around 550€, Austrian citizens can have their first and last names changed without specific reasons. With a legal reason (the regulations are similar to those in Germany), the fee is reduced to about 20€.
- Fish and chips
The British twins will probably be eternally grateful to the official that they were not allowed to be named after the popular English dish.
The Kassel court decided that the spawn of hell Lucifer was not a suitable boy’s name. So the child was named Lucian.
- Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii
This name was actually borne by a 10-year-old girl before a New Zealand court ordered the renaming. Filling out applications would have become a real test of nerves with that, too. And would you like to be called “Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii” in school?
- Sex Fruit
In addition to Kennan got Lucy, Yeah Detroit and Sex Fruit, Stallion, which is used colloquially for stud or “stabber,” also caused horror in the courts.
After Atomfried and Störenfried were rejected, the boy is now named Solarfried.
Gastritis as a first name directly triggers stomach pain.
- Osama Bin Laden, Adolf Hitler or Lenin
No words needed.
When fan love goes a little too far.
…with the siblings record player and cassette recorder?
Whether this means the child’s place of procreation or the parents’ regular pub (or both) was unfortunately not disclosed.
- Schokominza and Pfefferminza
- Legolas, Tarzan and Winnetou
- Rapunzel and Snow White
- Blueberry, Apple and Nussi
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Tips For Naming
There are many first name books available in bookstores. You can also find out the most popular first names of recent years on the Internet.
Always remember: the first name accompanies your child throughout its life! With difficult spelling or French names that are often mispronounced, you do not make it easy for the child.
In addition, the first name should fit well with your family name. As a rule, exotic names do not go very well with typical German surnames such as Müller or Schmidt. If one parent comes from abroad and you want to integrate this in the name, you can find first names that fit both cultures. The following applies here: For a fluent pronunciation, the last sound of the first name should not be the same letter with which the last name begins.
If the last name is long, look for a short first name. If the surname is shorter, on the other hand, a longer first name fits better.
Rhymes can also seem ridiculous. Simone Limone or Hans Schanz will surely get your child into embarrassing situations with name games.
If you have a last name that could also be a first name, do not name your child similarly (e.g. Peter Peters or Frida Friedrich).
You should also be careful with name meanings. Look beforehand on the Internet, what this name says. Especially with foreign names it can happen to choose an unfavorable translation.