Rejected names in West Germany

In a 1985 article about West Germany’s “penchant for over-regulation,” I spotted two rejected baby names: Schroeder (after the Peanuts character) and Hemingway (after the author).

Both were rejected for being surnames.

The director of the Bonn city registry office commented: “Names help create a certain order. If a name is on a list and nobody knows if it’s a man or a woman, then difficulties can arise.”

[West Germany lasted from 1949 until reunification in 1990.]

Source: “Rules, rules, rules.” Anchorage Daily News 9 Jun. 1985: A1+.

One thought on “Rejected names in West Germany

  1. I came across a girl (under 10) named Hemingway. Her father was calling her Hemi as a nickname.

    Neither’s too appealing though I don’t think there’s any good reason they should be rejected — the registry director’s reasoning reads like a total German stereotype!

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