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German Mamas....what do you think of this name?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I have a German American friend who is due with her 2nd. She told me she wants to name him/her Zeppelin. Her last name is Graf I really like the name, and think it sounds pretty cool, but I wonder if this baby would be a laughing stock when she takes him/her to visit family in Germany. It's really none of my business of course, and she should name her baby whatever she wants. I was just curious to see what you all thought.
post #2 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparks* View Post
I have a German American friend who is due with her 2nd. She told me she wants to name him/her Zeppelin. Her last name is Graf I really like the name, and think it sounds pretty cool, but I wonder if this baby would be a laughing stock when she takes him/her to visit family in Germany. It's really none of my business of course, and she should name her baby whatever she wants. I was just curious to see what you all thought.
Not that I, personally, would laugh, but she's not concerned about that possibility here?
post #3 of 24
There was a thread awhile back in which someone was considering that name. The consensus was, NO, NO for several reasons:

Most people associated the word with the Hindenberg disaster - and who wants folks to think of horrific fiery death when they see your sweet baby?

Zeppelins were also used as bombers during WW1 - again with the horrific fiery death.

And then there was the problem of zeppelin = blimp = unflattering mental image
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
There was a thread awhile back in which someone was considering that name. The consensus was, NO, NO for several reasons:

Most people associated the word with the Hindenberg disaster - and who wants folks to think of horrific fiery death when they see your sweet baby?

Zeppelins were also used as bombers during WW1 - again with the horrific fiery death.

And then there was the problem of zeppelin = blimp = unflattering mental image

Yikes...I wasn't aware of all that. Should I say something to her? I'm shocked she hasn't thought of this herself.
post #5 of 24
If she would be in Europe I would be very concerned.There is also a well-known add-drug in Northern Europe, for children, named "Zappelin".
post #6 of 24
i think Zeppelin Graf sounds pretty awesome (and i'm not really pro-"out there" names)...goes well together. She could call him Zep for short. I just think of the band, i mean the Hindenburg was a loooong time ago. I'm not sure most people would instantly think "disaster/death" upon hearing a little boy with that name.


Katherine
post #7 of 24
no, seriously.
i am one for weird names, & my friend called her little one "sunny rainbow" , but Zeppelin Graf, that's just so.. no.
seriously, i mean. i guess it's totally up to her anyway, but i would not like it, i think that child would not be very happy later in life either.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparks* View Post
Yikes...I wasn't aware of all that. Should I say something to her? I'm shocked she hasn't thought of this herself.
Depends how she asks. If she says, "I'm thinking of Zeppelin. What do you think?" then maybe gently. If she says, "I've finally thought of a name for the baby! Zeppelin! It's German, it's familiar here, and we love it!" then unfortunately no.

Of course everyone told me how bizarre they thought the name I chose was, in hopes of changing my mind.

I had already chosen the name. :
post #9 of 24
Maybe come up with another name, like a close relatives middle name or something, say "why don't you call baby ..... after grandpa ...." ?
post #10 of 24
When you say "German-American," you mean she has some German extended family? Because I can't imagine a German wanting to name a child Zeppelin. For starters, the German government requires "real" names if you want a German birth certificate or passport. (I have a problem with this rule, but it does exist.)

Maybe just try to convince her to seek a native German's opinion? Just from the perspective of "you want to make sure it doesn't have negative connotations/isn't slang for something offensive" angle.
post #11 of 24
Interestingy enough, the founder of the Zeppelin company WAS "Graf Zeppelin" ! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graf_Zeppelin Graf is german for "Count"...

I also bet there are plenty of people in Germany with the name Zeppelin (probably as a last name, but maybe now also as a first name)...it IS a "real name" yknow. i also bet there are plenty of non-german kids with the name, probably after the band, and there are SO many unusual names nowadays kids in school wouldnt blink an eye with a name like that. my niece went to school with a "Maverick" and she didnt think it was at all strange (but laughed and laughed when looking through my old yearbooks "Renee??? someone was actually named RENEE????" she thought it was hilarious.)

when names like "Naveah" have now become totally mainstream (i remember when that name first started showing up...."its heaven backwards!! get it?!" ) i think just about anything is fair game. Its not like she is naming the kid Moon Unit.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
Interestingy enough, the founder of the Zeppelin company WAS "Graf Zeppelin" ! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graf_Zeppelin Graf is german for "Count"...

I also bet there are plenty of people in Germany with the name Zeppelin (probably as a last name, but maybe now also as a first name)...it IS a "real name" yknow. i also bet there are plenty of non-german kids with the name, probably after the band, and there are SO many unusual names nowadays kids in school wouldnt blink an eye with a name like that. my niece went to school with a "Maverick" and she didnt think it was at all strange (but laughed and laughed when looking through my old yearbooks "Renee??? someone was actually named RENEE????" she thought it was hilarious.)

when names like "Naveah" have now become totally mainstream (i remember when that name first started showing up...."its heaven backwards!! get it?!" ) i think just about anything is fair game. Its not like she is naming the kid Moon Unit.
I didn't mean that Zeppelin wouldn't be considered a real name in the U.S. Pretty much anything goes here. I meant that the German government has a list of what they consider "real" names, and you can't just name your kid whatever you want there. The rule specifically says no last names used as first names, and specifies that names must make the child's gender clear. The OP seemed concerned that her friend's child would be made fun of when visiting Germany, so I was just speaking to that possibility.
post #13 of 24
Last names are not allowed as first names in Germany. Hence, Zeppelin Graf is out.

Personally, I would never name my child that way. It does sound really odd in German and has a lot of not so nice connotations, as mentioned earlier.
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by belltree View Post
Last names are not allowed as first names in Germany. Hence, Zeppelin Graf is out.
The friend who likes the name is German-American though, not German, right? I guess it depends on how much time she is planning on spending in Germany during her baby's childhood.


Katherine
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
The friend who likes the name is German-American though, not German, right? I guess it depends on how much time she is planning on spending in Germany during her baby's childhood.
If the child will have German citizenship, it will need to have a different name in Germany, which is possible, but a hassle.
post #16 of 24
I agree with one of the other posters, if a person doesn't think "fiery tragic accident" upon hearing the name "Zeppelin" its a good chance they will be thinking "big blimp." Either connotation is pretty unfortunate.

I think a thin boy could get away with this name (and it would actually be quite cool), but I think it could be a very embarassing name for a girl or a chubby boy.
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
There was a thread awhile back in which someone was considering that name. The consensus was, NO, NO for several reasons:

Most people associated the word with the Hindenberg disaster - and who wants folks to think of horrific fiery death when they see your sweet baby?

Zeppelins were also used as bombers during WW1 - again with the horrific fiery death.

And then there was the problem of zeppelin = blimp = unflattering mental image
I remember that thread and had similar thoughts.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by kentuckyfriedgirl View Post
I agree with one of the other posters, if a person doesn't think "fiery tragic accident" upon hearing the name "Zeppelin" its a good chance they will be thinking "big blimp." Either connotation is pretty unfortunate.
How terrible is it of me that my first thought is led zeppelin.
post #19 of 24
i think its kind of a "funny" name (as above explained by others) and in GE i would definitely not use it. but in the US, why not?

to me (as a german living in GE) it seems like americans are much more keener to experiment when it comes to names than germans :-)
post #20 of 24
Is it going to be a boy? I don't see a problem with it. I'd rather see a kid named Zeppelin than "Sunny Rainbow."
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