Banned Baby Names: No Toms in Tomar

If you were Anderson Cooper and you had been born in Germany, you wouldn’t be Anderson Cooper, because Germany is just one of a surprising number of countries with strict baby-naming rules and regulations. In some instances, as in Italy and Sweden, the motivation is humane—trying to spare the child embarrassment, ridicule and bullying in the increasingly wild and wooly international baby-name environment. In fact, some of these are not long-standing strictures, but relatively recent ones.


No, you couldn’t use the surname of a notable namesake—even one who famously said, “Ich bin ein Berliner”—if you were christening your kid in Berlin.

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