The choice of the name: rules to be respected

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Rules for choosing the name of children: what is forbidden

The choice is not easy, since the name imposed by the parents will accompany the child throughout his or her existence. A strange, ugly, offensive, or too peculiar name could be embarrassing for years to come.
The state and the country dictates some rules (Articles 34 and 35 of decree no.396 / 2000) that future parents must consider:

  • The baby's name must match the gender and can be composed of one or more onomastic elements, even separate ones, not exceeding three. Therefore it will no longer be possible to call a girl by the name of Andrea, as in the tradition of the village the name Andrea is purely masculine, the feminine variants such as Andreina, Andreana will be accepted.
  • It is forbidden to give the child the same name as the living father, of a living brother or sister, a surname as a first name, ridiculous or shameful names. In the country it is not possible to add the wording "Jr." as in the United States, so if you do not want to give up calling your child with the name of one of the parents, it will be mandatory to add a second name: Anna who can become Annamaria, Chiara who will become Mariachiara, or Lorenzo who could become Pierlorenzo.
  • Foreign names that are imposed on children having citizenship and country they must be expressed in letters of the alphabet and country, with the extension to the letters: J, K, X, Y, W and, where possible, also with the diacritical marks proper to the alphabet of the language of origin of the name.
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  • Children whose parents are not known may not be given names or surnames that suggest natural origin, or surnames of historical importance or belonging to particularly well-known families in the place where the birth certificate is formed. So it will no longer be possible to give unrecognized children surnames such as Esposito, Diotallevi etc ... which go to highlight their premature state of abandonment by the natural parents.

It is important to remember that this is the law, but that the registry officer will no longer be able, as was the case in the past, refuse to register the child's name even if this is contrary to the law. The fourth paragraph of article 34 of the aforementioned decree in fact highlights:

If the declarant intends to give the child a name in violation of the prohibition established in paragraph 1 or in violation of the indications of paragraph 2, the registrar warns him of the prohibition and, if the declarant persists in his determination, [...] immediately gives notice to the public prosecutor for the purposes of initiating the rectification judgment

The choice of the name can be done in many ways

  • Many parents buy the classic "Book of names”And from there they select those of their taste, perhaps because they are linked to a loved one, to a historical or literary character who has fascinated them, or names that have a particular meaning. In this case, the choice is made by the couple, who decide the name of their child in total autonomy, without family conditioning.
  • Other couples prefer to follow the tradition, who wants the newborn to take the name of the patron saint of the day corresponding to his birth. Once, when in rural families there were many children, this tradition was convenient, because it was seen as an act of faith with which the new born was entrusted to God and to the patron saint, who would watch over him from heaven. Who was born in the period Paschal he was called Pasqualino, Pasqua, Pasquale. Those who saw the light near Christmas had few alternatives: Christmas, Natalina, Natalia. This type of choice today has some drawbacks: if you are born on January 18 and you are a girl you have no problems, you will be registered with the name Margherita, in honor of Saint Margaret of Hungary, but what to do if the baby was a boy? Parents who wish to follow this type of tradition will have to prepare alternatives.

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  • In some regions, particularly in the south of the country, the custom of giving newborns is still very strong grandparents name, a choice seen as a sign of tangible respect towards in-laws or towards parents. Here too there are some problems, for example the numerous ones cases of homonymy present in the same family. If a couple has three sons, these sons will one day have to give their first son the name of their grandfather, but in doing so, three cousins ​​will call each other the same way.

It often happens that the wife disagrees in pursuing this tradition, either because she doesn't like her mother-in-law particularly, or because the grandfather's name is too old-fashioned; she risks breaking the marriage. The spouses will have to make the decision by mutual agreement, opting for a name that suits both of them, neither of them will be able to force the other to accept a "family name" if they do not like it. Calling a little girl Giuseppina, Antonia or Santina in 2022 just to make her mother-in-law happy is inconceivable, as is calling a child Ambrogio, Salvatore or Vincenzo just because your father insists. The name you give your little one will have to please you.

  • If family traditions do not appeal to you, but you do not want to upset anyone, the alternative is to give the name of the grandfather or grandmother as second name, your son will be Matteo, Alberto, Riccardo, during the baptism you can also add the "hated" appellative: Matteo Domenico, Alberto Santo and so on.
  • Alternatively you could opt for the foreign version of your in-laws' name, a little attractive Giacomina becomes an elegant Jacqueline, Giuseppina becomes Josephine, so you can call your offspring by their real name without having to resort to nicer diminutives like "Imma", "Giusy" and "Nino".

Tomorrow your children will grow up, they will compare with classmates, they will travel, the name that you parents will impose will be their business card. They will have to love their name.


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