Geschlechtsneutrale Namen im Tschechischen


  • Jana Valdrová



Gender-neutral names fulfill two basic functions: on the one hand, they are used either by individuals who take a critical view of gender stereotypes or else by parents who want to give their children the ‘space’ to form their own gender identity. On the other hand, gender-neutral names play an important role for non-binary people in that they signal a positioning outside the taken-for-granted understandings of femininity and/or masculinity in society. Gender-neutral names are an integral part of many name lexicons (DUDEN, Lansky, Internationales Handbuch für Vornamen etc.), in which they are included among other names. Compared to their use and registration rules abroad, the treatment of gender-neutral names in the Czech Republic appears to be very specific. Between 2006-2022 all civil registry offices in the Czech Republic used a single manual written by one author who interprets gender-neutral names as being applicable only to “transsexual” people. The manual offered lists of specific names and surnames for trans people - without definition, without explanation of the method, without justification for limiting their use to the trans population. Since July 2023, after criticism of the previous approaches to unisex names, the situation has improved to a certain extent. Registry Offices have been given a comprehensive list of unisex names with the note that these names are for the general public. Surname forms that do not signal the female gender have been recognized as gender neutral. This is a prerequisite for further work in favour of the rehabilitation of unisex names.