Truly unique names in Germany

Truly unique names in Germany

Every year, imaginative parents in Germany come up with a million completely new names to call their newborn babies. However, registry offices still have to reject up to 10 percent of submissions.

Unique baby names

Parents in Germany have become a lot more imaginative when it comes to naming their newborn babies. Every year, a million completely original names are given to babies born in Germany. “We have just under 10 million individual names in our database, and a good million new names are added every year,” said Frauke Rüdebusch, a naming expert from the German Language Society (GfDs) in Wiesbaden, Hesse.

In Germany, parents must have new names approved by the registry office (Standesamt). An important requirement for original names is that they must convey the gender of the child. As such, newly created names in 2020 included names like Bennimilia, Jisildis, Laurelie or Sonek. “They sound like names, and you can also usually tell if it’s a name for a girl or a boy,” said Rüdebusch.

Rejected names

Any new name must be accepted and recognised by the local Standesamt, and if there is any doubt over a specific name the office will ask researchers at the GfDs for advice. According to Rüdebusch, Germany’s registry offices reject around 5 to 10 percent of submissions. Kiddo, Maybee, Berate and Churasko are all examples of names that have been rejected. “Lamborghini, we rejected. As well as Corvette, Borussia and Lucifer. Or names like King, Count or Prince,” Rüdebusch said.

Overall, a compromise is reached with parents in about half of the cases where a name is rejected. On average only 5 percent of names given in a year are unique.

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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