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Subject: Re: Permitted names lists in various countries? . . .
Author: Rene   (Authenticated as Rene)
Date: March 25, 2005 at 1:36:06 AM
Reply to: Permitted names lists in various countries? . . . by Chrisell
I have looked up and researched quite a number of French given names during the building of my own name database, also on French sites like and, but never saw the slightest hint of the existence of an official, conclusive list of permitted given names.

Based on this experience I would say that in France it is the same as in my home country Switzerland: There are rules for names, e.g. the gender must be "clear from the name", and certain names are taboo on religious grounds, as already discussed here at length for the name Jesus. Furthermore the "civil registry office" has to say "yes" to your name proposal, and if you arrive with a very unusual name or one that is unknown here you can get yourself into trouble.

The same in Germany: They have their rules, and as I heard they seem to use a quite comprehensive book in the civil registry offices to look up unusual name proposals, and if your proposed name is not in this book (or is in the book, but with the "wrong" gender), it gets difficult - but not impossible.

Anyway, I am 99% sure that at least here in Switzerland there is no list of "permitted names".


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