New Baby's Name Is So Short That Parents Are Banned From Using It

By Dave Basner

April 10, 2024

Photo: Getty Images

There are plenty of people out there with names that probably should've been banned, but one set of parents was shocked when a court ruled they couldn't give their child the name chosen for her, not because it was bad, but because it was too short. The new mom and dad, from Switzerland, named their daughter J as an homage to a great-grandmother named Johanna and a great-grandfather named Josef.

The local registry rejected the name, citing the country's law against naming a child something that might "damage" the kid's "interests," including "absurd or offensive forenames." The parents appealed, but upon reviewing the case, the court backed the original decision. The judge ruled, "In this country, a single letter is simply not a forename. This would be just as daft as creating a child's name out of numbers," adding, "The choice of a single letter as a forename seems nothing more than a gimmick on the part of the parents."

The court also thought the name would be misinterpreted as an abbreviation, and often mispronounced as "Yot," how it is said in German, and not as the intended "Jay." The judge explained, "If parents want their kid to be called 'Jay,' they should spell it out accordingly." As for the homage to ancestors, the court suggested calling the child "Jo."

No word on what the parents eventually went with.

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