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Sputnik, Schnucki, Tailbone? The baby names banned in Austria

Sputnik, Schnucki, Tailbone? The baby names banned in Austria
What baby names are not allowed in Austria? Photo by Matt Walsh on Unsplash
In Austria, there are certain rules around naming a child - with some names completely banned.

Naming a baby is an important part of welcoming a child into the world and becoming a parent. But did you know there are names that are not allowed in Austria?

Yes, you read that correctly. There are some first names in Austria that are actually banned.

The reason for this is to protect the welfare of a child, with rules in place to prohibit any names that are ridiculous or offensive.

A name must also correspond with the gender of a baby, which means naming a boy Mary, or a girl Günther, is off the table.

Here’s what you need to know about naming a child in Austria.

The rules for naming a child

In theory, parents in Austria have the right to choose the name of their child. But there are some rules to follow and bureaucracy to comply with before the decision is final.

First, a declaration of the first name has to be submitted in writing to the responsible registry office. This is a mandatory step to issue a birth certificate.

However, if parents can’t decide on a baby name straight away, the declaration can be submitted up to 40 days after the birth.

READ MORE: What are the rules for vaccinating children in Austria?

Next, the process has to include a declaration from one parent (or the mother if they aren’t married) to guarantee the consent of both parties to the naming of the baby.

But if a name is banned or deemed detrimental to the child’s welfare, then it can’t be entered onto the birth register.

This means a birth certificate can’t be issued, which can seriously impact the future of a child.

In some cases, such as the parents unable to agree on a name, the guardianship court might even be notified.

Austria is not the only country to have baby naming rules though, with most countries having a process in place to avoid babies being given offensive or inappropriate names.

Banned names in Austria

So, which first names are actually banned in Austria?

Basically, anything that is not typically associated with a person or considered as a legitimate name.

READ MORE: What are kids allowed to do alone under Austrian law?

For example, car brands, cities and comic book characters are all taboo. The same applies to names like Graf or Doktor.

According to a report in the Kurier, this is a non-exhaustive list of banned baby names in Austria.

  • Pumuckl
  • Medusa
  • Cerberus
  • Pepsi
  • Gramophone
  • Lenin
  • Bierstüberl
  • Atomic peace
  • Sputnik
  • Coccyx (tailbone)
  • Troublemaker
  • Majesty
  • MC Donald
  • Rasputin
  • Satan
  • Judas
  • Cain 
  • Nutella
  • Pi
  • Rainer (if the last name is “Zufall”)
  • Axel (if the surname is “sweat”)
  • Schnucki
  • Tiger

Most popular baby names in 2020

On the other hand, there are some names that are so fashionable they become the most popular baby names in the country.

According to the annual Statistics Austria report, the most popular names for newborns in 2020 were Marie and Jakob.

The name Marie was chosen 734 times and Jakob was selected 794 times.

In 2019, Emma and Maximilian took the top spots for baby names in Austria, while Marie and Jakob were both the third most popular names for girls and boys respectively.

READ MORE: What will the rules be for children returning to school in Austria this autumn?


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