how in Europe (Germany, at least) the name is not considered the possession of the person or the family but of the community. It is the name by which we are known and we make ourselves known. Therefore, they have restricted the modern day penchant for originality in requiring that the name be a recognized first and middle name.
Germans are used to being regulated in many areas of daily life that
Americans might find rather repressive. Want to name your baby? Better
pick a name that the local Standesamt (office of vital statistics)
agrees with. If they don't agree to register the name you picked, you
have to appeal the decision. By German law, a child's name has to meet
two conditions: (1) it must reflect the sex of the child, and (2) it
must not endanger the “well-being of the child.”
I wish that we had such consideration here. The strangeness of some names and the strange spellings of even common names have contributed to make it hard to be known. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to make couples repeat the name or spelling for baptismal information. In the midst of it all, I have often wanted to ask aloud the question in the back of my mind, "Why?"
I would plea with those so tempted, "don't do it." Give your child a real name that will encourage them to be known. The uniqueness of the name contributes nothing to the uniqueness of the individual and may well handicap the child throughout life. I well recall the student teacher who reported to me that she encountered a girl in her middle school class whose name was Vagina (that is, VaGeena, in pronunciation). Come on. Just grow up. Read through the Scriptures. Choose a sturdy name from the saints. Honor your family by a name which has some personal history to it. Remember that bad choices in names are sure causes for being bullied. So just give up the urge to be creative and saddle your child with a name that will make them wish you had thought better of it...
The focus on individuals used to be on responsibility, not expression.
Anonymous, that is the best quip I've come across in ages. Kudos if you coined it!
I couldn't agree more...but then I am first generation US with a German mother so there may be some carry over. I knew a gal whose name was "Rotunda"...terrible name to have when 8 months pregnant!
When I grew up the nuns taught us that our children should be named after Saints. That was a good lesson I never forgot. So we have an Andrew Joseph...Saint names and family names. And a Nicholas Alan. Nicholas being the Saint name, Alan after my husband and his father. When we had children I was Lutheran and my requirement was a biblical name. I think we all do well to teach our children to do the same. Can't go wrong with a good Saint, biblical or family name...unless you have a "Moon Unit" in your family tree!
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