In America we love to be creative, whimsical, and unique when bestowing our little angels with names. In the USA, there really aren't any rules to be followed and pretty much anything goes. We see all the time in celebrity news babies with names such as, "Apple" and "Zuma" or "Pilot Inspektor" and "Moxie Crimefighter". You want to name your baby "Jermajesty" or maybe "Audio Science"? Go ahead, but your child won't be the first to carry such a unique name. Maybe you want to choose a more mainstream, common name and completely go nuts with the spelling..."Caytie", "Naphthyn", "Elyvivia" or "Genknee"? Go at it, because it America, there are very few rules in naming your child. In Germany, however, it's a different situation.
In Germany, the rules are in place to protect the child. When a name is bestowed, it must not be absurd or degrading in any sort of way.
Germany has one of the strictest set of laws in the world. You just can’t choose any name for your kids; they have to be approved by the local registration office, which is known as the Standesamt. No surname names are allowed in Germany, nor are names of objects or products. And also forget little German Taylors, Tobys, Rileys or Quinns, as all names must be gender specific. If you want to name your kid something unusual, you better consult the local registry office prior to the birth in order to find out if your name will be accepted. There are some more lax rules if the parents are foreigners, but generally speaking, you still won't be able to name your child "Blue"....unless you have your baby at Landstuhl, which allows you nearly total freedom in this area!
Many have challenged this law, and most have failed. A couple from central Germany wanted to register their newborn son as "Lucifer", a.k.a. "King of Darkness". Registry said "no". Parents didn't want to budge and refused to pick another name. The case ended up in court and the parents were persuaded to change the name to "Lucian" instead. It was found that although there are other meanings for the name "Lucifer", there is a general association with evil, and the court made the decision based upon the well-being of the child.
The majority of Germans play by the rules and some of the most popular names are Marie, Sophie, Sophia, Elias, Alexander and Maximilian. Some recent additions to the Germany approved name database are Twain and Fips. Some recent rejections are Godsgift, Kastanie (chestnut in English), Gandalf, and Vespa. Of course, there are always those crazy people who attempt to name their kid, "Adolf Hitler" and are always swiftly rejected. In 2015, a refugee mother was so grateful for her new life in Germany that she named her daughter Angela Merkel, after the German chancellor. That was approved.