These types of names are prohibited in Switzerland
Switzerland has some rules that may be surprising to foreigners.
One such example is what you are allowed to name your children.
While the occasional failed attempt by parents to give their child a unique name may be newsworthy, there is actually a wide variety of rules for which names can actually be chosen in Switzerland.
There are no names that will harm a child’s well-being
Although this seems incredibly difficult to define, there are some actual examples of rejections for violating the welfare rule.
Taking this into account, the Swiss authorities will look at whether “the child will be exposed to ridicule because of his name”.
These include “Grandma”, “Heart of the Rose”, “Prince Valiant” and “Puhbert”.
They specifically forbid giving your child a name that will harm his “well-being”. Names are not allowed to be offensive either, continues albinfo.ch.
Twins should not have very similar names.
Names should neither be spelled nor pronounced the same way.
The Swiss media give the example of calling two boys “Philip” and “Philipe”.
Switzerland – or at least a large part of it – remains relatively religious, which is probably why choosing a biblical villain name for your child is difficult.
The Telebasel newspaper reports that the name Judah has already been rejected by the Swiss registry offices – and is likely to be rejected again. Satan, Cain and Lucifer are also forbidden.
Boys are boys, girls are girls
Ever the traditionalists, Switzerland has strict gender rules for naming children.
In particular, a name must clearly indicate a person’s gender.
Girls cannot be given a boy’s name and vice versa.
If a name does not clearly indicate the gender of the person, then the child should be given a hyphenated double name or middle name to make this clear.
Numbers or letters
In 2017, a Swiss court said that ‘J’ was not suitable as a middle name.
The court ruled that allowing ‘J’ would be akin to allowing people to have a name made up of numbers – although ‘Jay’ a la Homer ‘Jay’ Simpson would apparently be fine.
There are no place names
While the world may be debating how to care for non-binary people who want to identify as “their”, identifying as “there” is a big no-no in Switzerland.
Place names for people are prohibited in Switzerland.
This may not be interpreted extremely strictly – Dakota Fanning and Brooklyn Beckham will be fine for now – but if you want to name your little boy ‘Matterhorn’, you may run into some resistance.
Not even product names
No matter how much you love a particular product, you will be prevented from honoring the brand by naming your child after it.
That means Ovaltine, Rivella, Chanel or Ferrari are off the table.
You are also prohibited from naming your child after a plant or an animal.
And the foreign names?
A major question – especially among local readers – is whether foreign names are prohibited.
The main question is whether the name appears in the ‘Internationalen Handbuch der Vornamen’ – the International Manual of Names.
This book – which does not seem to exist in English – expressly lists the acceptable names.
If it appears in the book, it is fine with the Swiss authorities.
Which names are actually banned in Switzerland?
Suissebook has listed several baby names that have been banned in Switzerland for violating at least one of the rules listed above.
In addition to all those mentioned so far in this article, it includes Bierstubl (country name), Troublemaker (welfare), Mercedes (brand name) and Sputnik.