What is it like to have an unusual name

Court rulings on unusual first names

Family name of the father as the first name of the son

The Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe has decided that a boy can use his father's surname "Lütke" as a third first name.


In January 1995, the entry of "November" as a first name was rejected by the Tübingen District Court. Eleven years later, in June 2006, the Bonn Regional Court came to a different decision: A boy is now allowed to use the first name “Joël November Severin”. The name has also been in use for girls since November 2007 at the latest: “Svea November” was recorded in the registry office in Bad Oldesloe.

The number of first names of a child

A mother wanted to give her newborn son twelve first names:

Chenekwahow, Tecumseh, Migiskau, Kioma, Ernesto, Inti, Prithibi, Pathar, Chajara, Majim, Henriko and Alessandro

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court did not allow this, however, because the choice of name should not contradict the child's best interests. However, twelve first names would have a very annoying character for the child. It would have to remember the correct order and spelling of the mostly unusual names and would attract attention again and again. In addition, as the number of first names increases, the child's self-identification is no longer guaranteed.
Ultimately, the first five first names were allowed. Even a constitutional complaint was unsuccessful for the mother.

Daughters were not allowed to be called Christin or Nicola

Because the names Christin and Nicola are entered in the standard work “International Handbook of First Names” for men and women, the registry offices responsible only wanted to allow these first names with a second, clearly female name. In the case of Christin, however, it was certified that the male use is historically conditioned and that Christianin is now the female given name.

Girl cannot be called Anne Marie

Two of the most popular German baby names, Anne and Marie, are only allowed with an additional name in Falkensee (Brandenburg). A registrar found out there that these first names are male first names in some countries. According to German naming law, however, the gender must be clearly identifiable from the name.
The name advice center of the University of Leipzig confirms that Anne and Marie are known as boy's names in different languages. However, this use is not common in the German-speaking area and should be avoided if possible.

Emma Tiger

In the USA it was no problem for the German actor Til Schweiger, his daughters Emma Tiger to call. A couple from Sehnde near Hanover wanted to do the same. In this country, however, this first name was not readily accepted. The district court rejected Tiger as a first name because the child's well-being was at risk. The regional court justified the rejection in the second instance with the fact that this name was not clearly female.
The higher regional court in Celle overturned these judgments, so that the girl can now be called "Emma Tiger". In the justification, the judge explicitly referred to Til Schweiger. The name will become known through the coverage of the celebrity's daughter and thus gain public acceptance, the court said.

Eleni Sicilia

In Leipzig, a girl was now allowed Eleni Sicilia to be named. Sizilia was made as a variant of Cecilia accepted.

Virginia LouAnn

The Erfurt Higher Regional Court decided that a girl LouAnn may be called. Before that, the responsible registry office only wanted the variant Lou Ann allow.
The judges found that it is now common in Germany to use foreign first names. The spelling commonly used in English-speaking countries must therefore be accepted.

Emilie Extra

The Schleswig-Holstein Higher Regional Court allowed parents to have their daughter in 2003 Emelie extra to call.
The reasoning states that the right of upbringing also includes the right to invent a name. It is only important to note that the name does not degrade a person.
The responsible registry office had previously feared that the child would be ridiculed and that Extra would not be recognized as a personal name.


According to a decision by the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court, it was not permissible to give a boy's first name Anderson because this name is only used as a surname in Germany. The registry office in Karlsruhe had refused to register the first name. The Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court approved this decision.

A principle developed by case law was applied here: names that are used as a family name may not be used as a first name. There are exceptions to this: Names that are traditionally used both as a first and last name (for example Martin or Werner), can be chosen as a first name. For Anderson but this is not the case. This name has so far only been used as a family name in Germany, but not as a first name.

Anderson now admissible

According to the name advice center of the University of Leipzig, names with the ending “son” have become established as male first names in the German-speaking world. The Federal Constitutional Court thereupon announced on November 3, 2005 that the name Anderson does not affect the best interests of the child. This name has since been entered on the birth certificate.

More court rulings

Allowed names

Domino Carina * Ineke * Adermann * Lynik * Wanek * Michael Cougar * Claus-Maria * Galaxina * Cosma-Schiwa * Lafayette * Pebbles * Latoya * Sascha * Sonne * Tanisha * Cheyenne * Chelsea * Dior * Gor * Godot * Ibanez Sophie * Bo * Laurence * Alisha * Uragano * Mikado * Sweer * Johannes-Marie * Merle * Raven * Prestige * Maha * River * Roi * Gerrit * Speedy * Jazz * Kiana Lemetri * Fanta * Jesus * Büb * Birkenfeld * Biene * Alke * Singh * Sundance * Tjorvven * Ogün * Leines * Luc * Mienaatchi * Beke * Mete * LouAnn * Emanuele

Categories Rare Names