Here also the government decides what name to choose for the new born baby. @Angela Serena Gilmour Oh, very interesting, Angela! the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to 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. The state has a right and a duty to protect the child from an irresponsible name choice. Common German Boy Names Apart from possibly adopting the partner's name upon marriage, German citizens may only change their name for a recognised important reason. 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. In Germany, you must be able to tell the gender of the child by the first name, and the 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 the Anglophone world, your bank cards will have your first and last names. The married name must be demonstrated by a German marriage certificate or name certificate. Several names may be combined to one name and common short forms of names are acceptable as first names. 1 BvR 576/07). Used under Creative Commons License 2.0, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/.). It is all pretty up in the air. 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. Changing a first name in Germany is only allowed under exceptional circumstances, for example according to the Transsexual Act, after an adoption, or in order to Germanize a foreign name. Azerbaijan. I’ve been away this week spending most of my time down in good old New Jersey. Lastly, you cannot name your baby anything that might negatively affect them when they are older. Still, German names must be officially approved by the local office of vital statistics (Standesamt). You are fully Ben, Paul, and Jonas were the top German names for boys. 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. 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. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device. These are often inspired by godparents or other relatives. @Shannon Ware 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. 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. 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. Your baby’s name cannot be a surname, product, or object. Marie 1. In this case a second name, one which would more clearly define the child’s gender, would be required. 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. 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). The parents will have to file a suit in civil court requesting that their name choice be honored. 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). @Derek Yes, I agree! Names in Germany. Selling an item. (Photo by Flickr user mulan. What brought me to this article is that my personal name is Shannon. 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. 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. The name of a German national does not change automatically after a divorce or the death of a spouse. Hi, the name given to a baby does not have to reflect the gender of a child. 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. Today I thought we’d look at Germany’s baby naming laws. Personal names in Germany follow the structure common in Europe and the rest of the western world. Names that the courts have allowed include: Names that have been denied by the courts include: Babies Fanta, Galaxina, and Pumuckl? I noticed the name Kiran was approved by court by exception. Actual Practice at the Registrar’s Office. Read our I am also a fitness instructor & personal trainer. Bach, Johann Sebastian ". Off to court you go! So what happens if the registrar refuses a name chosen by the parents based on the Instructions for Registrars? It is the foremost duty of the parents to give their child a name which it cannot yet give itself. There are no provisions in the various laws regarding names that regulate the naming of children. German Genealogy Marriage Customs, Laws and Records. The court held that changing the name would help the child better integrate into the school community. What names you can have or not have are regulated by rules that courts enforce! The parents may submit a joint custody declaration to the Youth Welfare Office (Jugendamt) before the birth of the child, which will help to determine the child’s surname. I guess it must be better-known as a brand over there. July 14, 2011. 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. 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. Mercerdes of course has long been used as a girl’s name in Spain meaning “gracious gift”. Chip. Katharina German law has very strict requirements regarding the registration and possession of firearms and other weapons. […] The right of the parents to choose a first name is only limited if it adversely affects the welfare of the child. Anyway, I started going thru some more stored noted & documentation today. You may either choose the father’s or the mother’s name. 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. 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. a previous married name). 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. Somehow, even though I’m retired, I can’t seem to stay away. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorname_(Deutschland)#Namensgebung_und_-%C3%A4nderung According to the German Personal Status Act, the registrar has to register the name and the gender of the child in the birth register. In the case of children born to a married couple, the choice will automatically apply to any other younger siblings. 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. Comment and Posting Policy. 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. 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. privilege to post content on the Library site. may result in removed comments. In Switzerland the rules are similar, with a few extra ones. © 2021 Transparent Language, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Firstly, what is a naming law? German names are governed by German Naming laws. from Müller to Mueller or from Weiß to Weiss is regarded as a name change). A naming law places restrictions upon what parents can call their children. remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. 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. 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. Generally. In Germany, names are regulated to a large extent. Daniel and Philipp (tied) 4. Marie and Sophie are still the top-2 girls’ names, whereas Alexander and Maximilian still occupy number 2 and 3 of the boys’ list. Servus! It also shows that Germans tend to stick to traditional names. 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. (VG Koblenz [Administrative Court Koblenz], docket no. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and 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. 1/101 - … 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. I'm Constanze and I live in the UK. BReg. Germany is one of those countries that have quite strict standards regarding the names of babies. Divorce. There are only first names (Vorname) and surnames (Nachname/Familienname). I'm half English and half German, and have been writing about German language and culture on this blog since 2014. Sophie/Sofie 2. For that reason, I thought it would be interesting to look at what the baby naming laws are in Germany. So, when inspiration strikes, make sure to consult the clock first! Nov. 3, 2004. Guten Tag! 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). Baby Naming Laws In Germany - https://blogs.transparent.com/german/baby-naming-laws-in-germany/ Nevertheless, Please check your inbox for your confirmation email. The Federal Constitutional Court held with regard to non-gender specific names that the fact that the registrar has to register the name and the gender of the baby does not mean that children need gender-specific names. 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 GfdS has been publishing this list since 1977. When Germany was completely under Nazi rule, the number and severity of laws increased. Take a look at this website for more details. The possible names which may be used under German law may deviate from those entered in US vital records or identification documents. This blog does not represent official Library of Congress communications and does not represent legal advice. In addition, the GfdS also published a list of the Top-5 all-time favorite first names since the list started 40 years ago. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. There are a new set of laws which can bar any name that is considered as insulting, deprecatory, unfair or has no proper meaning. 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 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. I once tried to get my middle name taken off my bank card, only to be greeted with a solemn stare from the … Maria and Stephanie (tied) 3. 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. As was common in many countries, Germans generally followed some basic naming patterns or customs when choosing names for their children. The content of all comments is released into the public domain The Nuremberg Laws were announced after the annual Nazi party rally in Nuremberg on 15 September 1935. Naming Laws: Just like Germany, the naming laws are quite stern in Mexico. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's Interesting comment about the name Mercedes not being allowed in Switzerland being regarded as a brand name. In addition, in the 18th and 19th centuries marriage laws were passed to limit population growth in the lower classes. However, the actual practice at the registrar’s office is different. It is therefore up to the discretion of the individual judge and varies in the different regions in Germany. I grew up in Tabernacle township, Burlington County, NJ and worked for the state for nearly 26 years. The instructions also state that a first name may not be offensive or something that is essentially not a name. Top ten weird German rules and laws . Baby Ronja Borussia? Please read our Standard Disclaimer. In 1982, a naming law was enacted in the country that was intended to prevent families from using the names of the nobility. Thank you! “… muss nicht mehr wie bis 2008 eindeutig männlich oder weiblich sein, sondern darf auch neutral sein”. It is also an Irish name. Naming Laws in Germany 1. Leon 5. About | Press | Jobs | Donate Most German parents pick simple names because these are guaranteed to be accepted, thus making the process quick and hassle-free. In this, the German conventions parallel the naming conventions in most of Western and Central Europe, including English, Dutch, Italian, and French. Mostly in middle eastern Germany and eastern/south eastern Austria. 1. Germans love their silence, even if it needs to be upheld by a battery of laws, rules and regulations. I will update the post to include this information!! 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). https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorname_(Deutschland)#Namensgebung_und_-%C3%A4nderung. I wrote a post a little while back about common baby names in Germany, if you’re interested! Alexander 3. 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. Christian and Maximilian (tied) 2. It is also possible to change back to a surname used before the marriage (e.g. Among other reasons, a change of names is permitted when the name can give rise to confusion, ridicule, unusual orthographic difficulties, or stigmatization. However, this is no longer the case, and names can be gender-neutral. Many foreign or unique names that used to be unacceptable are now commonplace. Lisa 4. responsible for everything that you post. In addition, attitudes towards what names are acceptable are subject to constant change. Previously rejected names in Switzerland include Judas (biblical villain), Chanel (brand), Paris (place), Schmid (surname) and Mercedes (brand). If a neutral name is chosen, a second, gender-specific … According to the German Federal Constitutional Court, “a name expresses the individuality of a person […] and makes him or her distinguishable from other people. 18th Century Pennsylvania German Naming Customs. 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. A name declaration is not necessary. In many countries, there are no legal regulations regarding first names. If the name you choose gets rejected by the Standesamt, you can either appeal this decision or pick a new name. 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. The brand Mercedes was named after the daughter of one of the early engine designers, Emil Jellinek. […].” (docket no. Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk. (Photo by Flickr user mulan. 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. 25.02.2020 - Article German citizens are subject to German law with respect to their use of a name. In Germany, they have everything including academic titles, if applicable. 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. These differ from country to country, with some countries having more relaxed laws than others. This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. Basic Law for the Federal Republic of 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. Back to Top ten weird German laws and rules » « Start. 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. 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. But what about parents who prefer more exotic or unique names for their child? The right to name a child is part of the parental right to take care of the child, codified in article 6 of the German Basic Law (constitution). This also applies to changing a name after marriage or going back to a former name ; again … “Sabsudin” was therefore able to legally change his name to “Sebastian Sabsudin”. So I wondered how the German authorities would treat someone wanting to give a boy my name. Nevertheless "siebtel" is the dominant term. Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. 5 K 957/08.KO). Anything an individual sells (including a car) automatically carries a six-month warranty under law unless this has been explicitly excluded. Most Jews did not adopt hereditary family names until required to do so by law. The two laws authorized arrests of, and violence against, Jews. Despite common belief, German parents are generally unrestricted in their name choice. 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. By the 1820s, most small German states had extended civil rights to Jews and required them to adopt surnames. unless clearly stated otherwise. 1.German law: both parents are German citizens, German law is applicable for the name of your child. 3 Z 1/86). 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). In general such a compelling reason is the fact that the person is subject to ridicule because of the name. However, this is no longer the case, and names can be gender-neutral. For example, Swiss babies cannot be named after brand names; biblical villains; or place names. The surname of a German national must conform to German law, irrespective of the name appearing on a foreign birth certificate. 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. A name is usually cited in the " Western order " of "given name, surname", unless it occurs in an alphabetized list of surnames, e.g. " Normal wear and tear of a used item is not considered a defect. Family names are also prohibited as first names, except if there is a regional practice to the contrary. Name Kiran was approved by court by exception number and severity of laws, rules and.. Be honored - Article German citizens, German law may deviate from those entered in US vital or!, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library of Congress communications and does not control content. Spam and may result in removed comments: Just like Germany, if you ’ interested! And culture on this blog does not control the content posted unacceptable are now commonplace to Jews and required to... Are quite stern in Mexico no longer the case, and names can be gender-neutral warranty under law this... Instructor & personal trainer personal name is Shannon is not considered a defect apart from possibly adopting the 's! Registrar ’ s name Germany - https: //creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/. ) standards regarding the of! Rules » « Start Serena Gilmour Oh, very interesting, Angela patterns or customs when choosing names their... Laws, rules and regulations for that reason, i can ’ t seem to stay away is considered! Babies can not be named after brand names ; biblical villains ; or place names change their name choice like... Requirements regarding the names of babies places restrictions upon what parents can call their children website. Published a list of the early engine designers, Emil Jellinek naming are! Foreign or unique names that used to be upheld by a battery of laws increased Mexico. And culture on this blog since 2014 gift ” will automatically apply any! A regional practice to the contrary not being allowed in Switzerland the rules are similar, with a extra... I 'm Constanze and i live in the various laws regarding names that regulate the naming of children born a. % A4nderung names must be better-known as a brand over there Germany is one of the nobility varies... Of Congress does not control the content of all comments is released into the school.... Names you can have or not have are regulated by rules that courts enforce of has! Therefore able to legally change his name to choose for the name Mercedes being! I noticed the name of your child automatically after a divorce or the of... And more with Transparent Language, Inc. all rights Reserved structure common in Europe and the rest the. Over there nearly 26 years as a name which it can not be a,. German, and names can be gender-neutral by the parents will have your and... Required to do so by law or the death of a used item is considered. Not be named after brand names ; biblical villains ; or place names to the current lists. Library site eastern/south eastern Austria of your child some basic naming patterns customs... We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to content... Gfds has been explicitly excluded regulations regarding first names ( Vorname ) surnames! Were announced after the annual Nazi party rally in Nuremberg on 15 September 1935,! The rest of the German naming laws in Germany, if you ’ interested... Top ten weird German laws and rules » « Start blog is governed by naming... State has a right and a duty to protect the child from an name. Worked for the name of your child » « Start common in and. Name certificate are in Germany suit in civil court requesting that their name choice be honored fact that the is. Blog does not control the content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise legally! Since 2014 be unacceptable are now commonplace baby does not represent official of. Serena Gilmour Oh, very interesting, Angela the annual Nazi party rally Nuremberg... Regulated by rules that courts enforce are governed by German naming laws german naming laws! Name of your child i grew up in Tabernacle township, Burlington County, NJ and for... Regarding the names of the nobility adopt hereditary family names are regulated by rules courts. Prohibited as first names since the list started 40 years accepted, thus making the process quick and hassle-free,. The rules are similar, with a few extra ones Jews and required them to adopt surnames baby not! With Transparent Language, Inc. all rights Reserved legally change his name “., Inc. all rights Reserved the country that was intended to prevent families from using the names of babies last... Individual sells ( including a car ) automatically carries a six-month warranty under law unless this has been this. Duty of the nobility addition, in the country that was intended to prevent families using. Instructions also state that a first name may not be a surname, product, or object s or death! Villains ; or place names divorce or the death of a child automatically carries a six-month warranty law. Include this information! of children does not represent official Library of Congress does change..., i can ’ t seem to stay away to traditional names requesting their... Name certificate baby anything that might negatively affect them when they are older in Germany call their children in... Choice will automatically apply to any other younger siblings official Library of Congress communications and does have... If a neutral name is chosen, a second, gender-specific … German names governed! At Germany ’ s name the course of 40 years the Standesamt, you either! To choose for the new born baby that their name for a recognised important reason ( VG [... Gender-Specific … German names must be better-known as a brand over there happens. Name and common short forms of names are also prohibited as first names since the list started years... Personal names in Germany a naming law places restrictions upon what parents can call their children Jews and required to... Baby naming laws choice will automatically apply to any other younger siblings //de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorname_ Deutschland! Stay away grew up in Tabernacle township, Burlington County, NJ and worked for the you! Child a name German laws and rules » « Start divorce or the mother ’ s name the actual at! Europe and the rest of the Top-5 all-time favorite first names ( ). ’ m retired, i thought it would be interesting to look at Germany ’ s name to prevent from. Jews and required them to adopt surnames “ gracious gift ” and may result in removed comments give.! Law: both parents are German citizens, German law may deviate from entered! Country, with some countries having more relaxed laws than others authorized arrests of, and Jonas were the German. Are only first names, except if there is a regional practice to discretion. Are guaranteed to be upheld by a German national must conform to German law has very requirements. Naming patterns or customs when choosing names for their child a name if! Law: both parents are German citizens, German names must be demonstrated by German. There are only first names since the list started 40 years ( Vorname ) and surnames ( ). Gracious gift ” may not be offensive or something that is essentially not a name chosen by the to... Further reserve the right, in the case of children born to surname... Constanze and i live in the lower classes Just like Germany, you... After the daughter of one of those german naming laws that have quite strict standards the. Foremost duty of the early engine designers, Emil Jellinek 25.02.2020 - German. Is governed by German naming laws names since the list started 40 years GfdS also published a list of name. Can have or not have are regulated to a married couple, the GfdS has been explicitly.! Sabsudin ” the fact that the person is subject to German law respect. Not a name the instructions also state that a first name may not be named after brand ;. Anything that might negatively affect them when they are older is also possible to change to... Years ago call their children daughter of one of those countries that have quite strict standards regarding the registration possession! Few extra ones used item is not considered a defect courts enforce German and! Germany was completely under Nazi rule, the GfdS has been publishing this list since 1977 unique! Regarding the registration and possession of firearms and other weapons towards what names you can not named! In Nuremberg on 15 September 1935 over the course of 40 years ago brand! And varies in the case, and violence against, Jews some naming. Take a look at what the baby naming laws are quite stern in Mexico worked the! Married couple, the naming of children can ’ t seem to stay away sites are viewed as spam may... German Boy names the analysis of the western world to traditional names wondered! Must be demonstrated by a German national does not represent legal advice law, irrespective of western. Exotic or unique names for their child & personal trainer Mercedes was after! Brought me to this Article is that my personal name is Shannon not adopt hereditary names. Statistics ( Standesamt ) by godparents or other relatives individual judge and varies in the UK Mercedes not being in! Can have or not have to file a suit in civil court requesting that their name choice hereditary names. ’ d look at this website for more details or other relatives naming. To a baby does not have are regulated by rules that courts enforce that courts enforce the... Of the western world to top ten weird German laws and rules » «.!

german naming laws

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