What’s in a name?

How to play the name game correctly

This is a stereotype that is entirely true: Germans love to regulate. For instance, you can’t just give your child any name you want. 

Here is a good explanation why there are no people called Moon Unit Zappa in Germany:

The constitutional court in Germany on Tuesday ruled to uphold a ban on hyphenated last names of three names or longer. Given the frequency of names such as Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl, many had expected a different result. Everyone knows Schroeder, Charlie Brown’s buddy in the Peanuts comics who pounds out Beethoven tunes on his miniature piano all day. Germans too are Schroeder fans, with Snoopy and friends having been around in the German language for half a century.Schroeder, though, as it turns out, could never have been named Schroeder had he been born in Germany. The moniker is not allowed as a first name under the country’s somewhat restrictive naming directives. Indeed, children must be given names that clearly denote gender and they cannot be given family names as first names. Out-of-the-ordinary designations are likewiseverboten

Read the full story here.


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