Sorry, No Marijuana Pepsi in Germany

A German court recently upheld a ban on surnames that are hyphenated three or more times, claiming long names could cause “intolerable administrative difficulties” for German officials. As Time reports, local German authorities must also approve first names, which have to match the child’s gender and “must not expose the child to ridicule or discrimination.” (Germany is hardly the first country to crack down on wayward names.) As German courts have already rejected names like Stompie and Woodstock, the chances are slim you’ll meet any Marijuana Pepsi Schmidts. [%comments]

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  1. Craig says:

    I wonder if they would have let me name my son Tygren.

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  2. East Coast Phil says:

    Or in Quebec, where the parents of young Brant Glacier face a fight over naming their second son Logan Avalanche.

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090504/national/que_baby_name

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  3. Walter Wimberly says:

    I guess it would go without saying that “A Boy Named Sue” wouldn’t quite be the same.

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  4. Raymer says:

    Meanwhile, something of similar magnitude has been proposed in my country. http://www.dominicantoday.com/dr/local/2009/4/18/31724/Dominican-Electoral-Board-wants-to-prohibit-confusing-names

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  5. Jeremy Miles says:

    This is well known, and nothing new to Germans.

    My sons have joint German/British citizenship, and they have two middle names each (one from each side of the family). One of them has my wife’s surname as a middle name. This is fine on his British passport, but was rejected on their German passport – it’s a surname, not a first name, so that’s not allowed, and it isn’t there.

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  6. iratecat says:

    “Intolerable administrative difficulties” is my favorite phrase of the day.

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  7. Teemu Antti-Poika says:

    Hyphens cause difficulties for a nation with a federal minister of economics called Karl-Theodor Maria Nikolaus Noddy Johann Jacob Philipp Franz Joseph Sylvester Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg?

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  8. Nathan says:

    This is somewhat pedantic of me, but I really doubt they’re requiring the children be named based on gender; they’re almost certainly requiring the children be named based on sex. The two words have perfectly good, distinct connotations, it’s a shame to make them synonymous and lose the differentiation of intent.

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