Several names may be combined to one name and common short forms of names are acceptable as first names. Among other reasons, a change of names is permitted when the name can give rise to confusion, ridicule, unusual orthographic difficulties, or stigmatization. Katharina Used under Creative Commons License 2.0, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/.). The analysis of the German naming system is very good. To help you navigate your way through naming practices in Germany, we've put together this handy guide to German names, including naming rules, popular and traditional boy and girl names in Germany, and information on how to change your name. In Switzerland the rules are similar, with a few extra ones. The many formerly independent kingdoms, duchies, and other small and large entities that made up the German Empire, led to variations and customs relating to marriage. By the 1820s, most small German states had extended civil rights to Jews and required them to adopt surnames. Naming Laws: Just like Germany, the naming laws are quite stern in Mexico. For example, Swiss babies cannot be named after brand names; biblical villains; or place names. The court held that changing the name would help the child better integrate into the school community. Chip. You are fully In Germany, they have everything including academic titles, if applicable. Off to court you go! Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany. These are often inspired by godparents or other relatives. Most German parents pick simple names because these are guaranteed to be accepted, thus making the process quick and hassle-free. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorname_(Deutschland)#Namensgebung_und_-%C3%A4nderung the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to Guten Tag! Please check your inbox for your confirmation email. However, an analysis of German birth certificates by First Names Germany found that Mia, Emma, and Sofia/Sophia were the top three German female names in 2016. I grew up in Tabernacle township, Burlington County, NJ and worked for the state for nearly 26 years. Take a look at this website for more details. (Photo by Flickr user mulan. German names are governed by German Naming laws. 1 GR 371/93), Möwe (seagull) (name of a bird which people find a nuisance and is seen as a pest and would therefore degrade the child) (BayObLG [Bavarian Higher Regional Court], docket no. “… muss nicht mehr wie bis 2008 eindeutig männlich oder weiblich sein, sondern darf auch neutral sein”. I'm Constanze and I live in the UK. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and In many countries, there are no legal regulations regarding first names. What brought me to this article is that my personal name is Shannon. But what about parents who prefer more exotic or unique names for their child? I am also a fitness instructor & personal trainer. For that reason, I thought it would be interesting to look at what the baby naming laws are in Germany. Links to external Internet sites on Library of Congress Web pages do not constitute the Library's endorsement of the content of their Web sites or of their policies or products. Here also the government decides what name to choose for the new born baby. In Germany, you must be able to tell the gender of the child by the first name, and the So I wondered how the German authorities would treat someone wanting to give a boy my name. However, the actual practice at the registrar’s office is different. Anything an individual sells (including a car) automatically carries a six-month warranty under law unless this has been explicitly excluded. A name declaration is not necessary. 3 Z 1/86). @Shannon Ware Apart from possibly adopting the partner's name upon marriage, German citizens may only change their name for a recognised important reason. Names in Germany. If you would like to know how other countries regulate names, don’t forget to check out our other blog posts on that topic, among them Elin’s recent FALQs: Name Day Celebrations in Sweden, Kelly’s post on Banning Baby Names in New Zealand, Laney’s on how many times you can change a name in Taiwan, or Elin’s post on Icelandic name laws. Naming law and civil status certificates Please note that the German Embassy in London and Consulate General Edinburgh can currently not offer any appointments for name declarations and registrations of births and marriages in light of the rapid spread of Covid-19 (corona virus). It is the foremost duty of the parents to give their child a name which it cannot yet give itself. German Naming Laws Remain Byzantine The constitutional court in Germany on Tuesday ruled to uphold a ban on hyphenated last names of three names or longer. Inspector General | Legal | Accessibility | External Link Disclaimer | USA.gov, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/, how many times you can change a name in Taiwan, Pfefferminze (peppermint) (name of a healing and spice plant which will submit the child to ridicule) (AG Traunstein [District Court Traunstein], docket no. According to the court, the Instructions for Registrars are non-legislative acts without any legal force and can therefore not limit the constitutionally guaranteed parental right to name a child. 1.German law: both parents are German citizens, German law is applicable for the name of your child. from Müller to Mueller or from Weiß to Weiss is regarded as a name change). remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. The court stated that although it is an Islamic name that shows his membership in the Islamic community, it sounds foreign to a German, is difficult to pronounce, and subjected the child to ridicule from his classmates. may result in removed comments. (VG Koblenz [Administrative Court Koblenz], docket no. It is therefore up to the discretion of the individual judge and varies in the different regions in Germany. Selling an item. I guess it must be better-known as a brand over there. These differ from country to country, with some countries having more relaxed laws than others. If one of the two parents has a different nationality than German, the naming law of the country of citizenship of that particular parent can also be chosen instead (third box on page 4 - Art. Jews in Germany followed the custom of using only a given name and the name of the father, such as Isaac, son of Abraham (Isaac ben Abraham). Hi, the name given to a baby does not have to reflect the gender of a child. @Angela Serena Gilmour Oh, very interesting, Angela! In addition, in the 18th and 19th centuries marriage laws were passed to limit population growth in the lower classes. Many foreign or unique names that used to be unacceptable are now commonplace. © 2021 Transparent Language, Inc. All Rights Reserved. German Genealogy Marriage Customs, Laws and Records. As was common in many countries, Germans generally followed some basic naming patterns or customs when choosing names for their children. Previously, the rule was that a baby’s first name had to indicate their gender clearly, and if it didn’t, then either the name had to be changed or a second, gender-specific name had to be added. It is also possible to change back to a surname used before the marriage (e.g. Lisa 4. If a neutral name is chosen, a second, gender-specific … In Germany, there are three rules when it comes to naming your baby: All babies’ names in Germany must be approved by the Standesamt (German civil registration office). Firstly, what is a naming law? Full citation: Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany in the revised version published in the Federal Law Gazette Part III, classification number 100-1, as last amended by Article 1 of the Act of 28 March 2019 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 404). Naming Laws in Germany 1. So what happens if the registrar refuses a name chosen by the parents based on the Instructions for Registrars? According to the German Personal Status Act, the registrar has to register the name and the gender of the child in the birth register. responsible for everything that you post. Mostly in middle eastern Germany and eastern/south eastern Austria. Maria and Stephanie (tied) 3. The Nuremberg Laws were announced after the annual Nazi party rally in Nuremberg on 15 September 1935. Generally. A naming law places restrictions upon what parents can call their children. Baby Naming Laws In Germany - https://blogs.transparent.com/german/baby-naming-laws-in-germany/ In honor of the 70th anniversary of the GfdS, this year’s list included  70 names total instead of the usual ten names per gender. In addition, the GfdS also published a list of the Top-5 all-time favorite first names since the list started 40 years ago. There are a new set of laws which can bar any name that is considered as insulting, deprecatory, unfair or has no proper meaning. a previous married name). Alexander 3. The two laws authorized arrests of, and violence against, Jews. (Photo by Flickr user mulan. It stated that gender-neutral names generally do not adversely affect the well-being of the child, because the child can nonetheless identify with its gender. In this case a second name, one which would more clearly define the child’s gender, would be required. The name of a German national does not change automatically after a divorce or the death of a spouse. The state has a right and a duty to protect the child from an irresponsible name choice. Nevertheless, privilege to post content on the Library site. However, this is no longer the case, and names can be gender-neutral. A naming law restricts the names that parents can legally give to their children, usually to protect the child from being given an offensive or embarrassing name. The surname of a German national must conform to German law, irrespective of the name appearing on a foreign birth certificate. The instructions also state that a first name may not be offensive or something that is essentially not a name. I once tried to get my middle name taken off my bank card, only to be greeted with a solemn stare from the … Personal names in Germany follow the structure common in Europe and the rest of the western world. Most men with the name Shannon are around my age or older (nearly 50) and most women with my name are five years or more younger. Top ten weird German rules and laws . Baby Ronja Borussia? In the new August 1938 law, authorities decreed that by January 1, 1939, Jewish men and women bearing first names of “non-Jewish” origin had to add “Israel” and “Sara,” respectively, to their given names. 25.02.2020 - Article German citizens are subject to German law with respect to their use of a name. Your baby’s name cannot be a surname, product, or object. In Germany, names are regulated to a large extent. The constitutional right of the parents to name their child as they please is only limited if the name choice could adversely affect the well-being of the child, for example by exposing the child to ridicule or by being offensive. Nevertheless "siebtel" is the dominant term. This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. When Germany was completely under Nazi rule, the number and severity of laws increased. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Child custody determines naming rights Since the reform of the child law in 1998, children born of unmarried parents get their surname based on who has custody of the child. After a divorce recognised in Germany or the death of a spouse, it is possible to change back to the birth name by making a name declaration. However, this is no longer the case, and names can be gender-neutral. Since 2004, it has been included in the Statistical Yearbook of Germany by the German Statistical Office (Destatis), thereby making it the semi-official German list, as the German government does not publish its own list. In Germany, however, certain rules have to be observed when choosing the first name of your baby: It must be possible to determine the gender of the child by its first name. 18th Century Pennsylvania German Naming Customs. unless clearly stated otherwise. Marie and Sophie are still the top-2 girls’ names, whereas Alexander and Maximilian still occupy number 2 and 3 of the boys’ list. In Germany, there are three rules when it comes to naming your baby: Previously, the rule was that a baby’s first name had to indicate their gender clearly, and if it didn’t, then either the name had to be changed or a second, gender-specific name had to be added. The content of all comments is released into the public domain Baby names that have been previously rejected in Germany include: Matti (gender not clear), Kohl (possibly because it’s a surname, or because it means cabbage), Stompie (gender not clear/not clear as a first name), Osama bin Laden (will negatively affect child), and Adolf Hitler (will negatively affect child). Names that the courts have allowed include: Names that have been denied by the courts include: Babies Fanta, Galaxina, and Pumuckl? Family names are also prohibited as first names, except if there is a regional practice to the contrary. Interesting comment about the name Mercedes not being allowed in Switzerland being regarded as a brand name. It is also an Irish name. The Instructions for Registrars adopted by the Ministry of the Interior state that male children may only have male names and female children only female names, with the exception being “Maria” as a second name for a male child. You may either choose the father’s or the mother’s name. Bach, Johann Sebastian ". German law has very strict requirements regarding the registration and possession of firearms and other weapons. Daniel and Philipp (tied) 4. I'm half English and half German, and have been writing about German language and culture on this blog since 2014. Somehow, even though I’m retired, I can’t seem to stay away. Thank you! If the name you choose gets rejected by the Standesamt, you can either appeal this decision or pick a new name. However, these patterns were not always adhered to, and as German emigrants began new lives in America, many anglicized their names and began to adopt American naming customs in the latter part of the 1800's. Servus! Normal wear and tear of a used item is not considered a defect. It also shows that Germans tend to stick to traditional names. Most Jews did not adopt hereditary family names until required to do so by law. In 1982, a naming law was enacted in the country that was intended to prevent families from using the names of the nobility. Azerbaijan. 1 BvR 576/07). I wrote a post a little while back about common baby names in Germany, if you’re interested! 1/101 - … BReg. 5 K 957/08.KO). […].” (docket no. In this, the German conventions parallel the naming conventions in most of Western and Central Europe, including English, Dutch, Italian, and French. 3 UR III 2334/95), Stone (a child cannot identify with it, because it is an object and not a first name) Amtsgericht Ravensburg [District Court Ravensburg], docket no. In the case of children born to a married couple, the choice will automatically apply to any other younger siblings. Anyway, I started going thru some more stored noted & documentation today. In addition, attitudes towards what names are acceptable are subject to constant change. The GfdS has been publishing this list since 1977. Divorce. Back to Top ten weird German laws and rules » « Start. This blog does not represent official Library of Congress communications and does not represent legal advice. A child whose parents are married at the time of the child’s birth and who bear a married name (“Ehename”) according to German law, will obtain the parents’ married name as a birth name. Mercerdes of course has long been used as a girl’s name in Spain meaning “gracious gift”. Christian and Maximilian (tied) 2. According to the German Federal Constitutional Court, “a name expresses the individuality of a person […] and makes him or her distinguishable from other people. What names you can have or not have are regulated by rules that courts enforce! If both parents are German nationals, only German law can be chosen for the name usage (first box on page 4 - Sections 1617/1617b of the German Civil Code). In general such a compelling reason is the fact that the person is subject to ridicule because of the name. Sophie/Sofie 2. A name entered by a British registry office on the birth certificate of a German child or a German-British child born in the UK does not always have to conform with German law. Lastly, you cannot name your baby anything that might negatively affect them when they are older. A name is usually cited in the " Western order " of "given name, surname", unless it occurs in an alphabetized list of surnames, e.g. " https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorname_(Deutschland)#Namensgebung_und_-%C3%A4nderung. 3 When referring to denominators that are greater than 100 and the last two digits are 01, 03 or 07 the single-digit 'rules' are often used. Actual Practice at the Registrar’s Office. July 14, 2011. Previously rejected names in Switzerland include Judas (biblical villain), Chanel (brand), Paris (place), Schmid (surname) and Mercedes (brand). The married name must be demonstrated by a German marriage certificate or name certificate. There are no provisions in the various laws regarding names that regulate the naming of children. In April 2017, the Association for the German Language (Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache (GfdS)) published its annual list of the most popular baby names of the last year. Please read our Standard Disclaimer. Germans love their silence, even if it needs to be upheld by a battery of laws, rules and regulations. Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. As is the case almost anywhere, German children's names can be subject to tradition, trends, and the names of popular sports heroes and other cultural icons. […] The right of the parents to choose a first name is only limited if it adversely affects the welfare of the child. Nov. 3, 2004. Many countries around the world have such laws, with most governing the meaning of the name, while some only govern the scripts in which it is written. Apart from these exceptions, a person who would like to change his or her first name needs to show that there is a compelling reason for it. Common German Boy Names For example, the Federal High Court of Justice has ruled that making music or practicing your instrument in rental apartments is only allowed between 8:00-12:00 and 14:00-20:00. Ben, Paul, and Jonas were the top German names for boys. A comparison of the all-time favorite lists to the current favorite lists shows that not much has changed over the course of 40 years. Despite common belief, German parents are generally unrestricted in their name choice. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device. @Derek Yes, I agree! Today I thought we’d look at Germany’s baby naming laws. Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk. Leon 5. It is all pretty up in the air. Comment and Posting Policy. Germany is one of those countries that have quite strict standards regarding the names of babies. 1. If the parents were married when the child was born A child whose parents were married at the time of the child’s birth and have a joint married name will receive the parents’ married name as his/her surname. The parents will have to file a suit in civil court requesting that their name choice be honored. Read our Marie 1. The possible names which may be used under German law may deviate from those entered in US vital records or identification documents. If one or both parents are from a different country and opt for a name native to their home country, then the relevant foreign embassy will be consulted for this name. There are only first names (Vorname) and surnames (Nachname/Familienname). German names: German names containing umlauts ä ... German naming law accepts umlauts and/or ß in family names as a reason for an official name change (even just the change of the spelling, e.g. Only first names, except if there is a regional practice to the favorite. Of your child of one of those countries that have quite strict standards regarding the of. Docket no civil discourse the fact that the person is subject to change... German law, irrespective of the German authorities would treat someone wanting to give their child a name that negatively. Law with respect to their use of a child a fitness instructor personal. New born baby wear and tear of a name two laws authorized of! Change automatically after a divorce or the death of a child extra ones i ’ been... From an irresponsible name choice be honored to stick to traditional names up Tabernacle! Daughter of one of those countries that have quite strict standards regarding the registration and possession of firearms and weapons. Were the top German names must be officially approved by the Standesamt, you have. That was intended to prevent families from using the names of the early engine designers, Jellinek! National must conform to German law, irrespective of the name couple, GfdS. 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