THE GERMANIC language evolved out of the old Indo-European tongue and continued to evolve over the centuries into twelve modern languages. This old language is a source of hundreds of names found in the nomenclature of many other countries, yet few foreign names found their way into German society until recently. Early Germans preferred names that reflected their warfaring ways, and surnames and family names were unknown. Given names were usually compound and expressive of a specific idea. The root names were often derived from mythology, animals, terms relating to war and peace, nature, and social status. When the trend developed to establish parentage by bestowing names made up from elements of those of the parents, many nonsensical names were coined and the meanings of the names were no longer that important. Before surnames were established, families quite often distinguished themselves by having the name of each member bear the same first syllable. As surnames developed, they were taken from traditional sources: places, occupational names, descriptive names, animals, and patronymics. The majority are derived from places. Under Hitler's regime, the bestowal of names was strictly censored. A list of names was established and it was illegal to give a child a name that was not on the approved list. If a child was given two names, parents had to specify which was to be used on a daily basis. Nicknames were not allowed, with the exception of very popular ones, which were commonly bestowed as independent given names. Jewish people were made to adopt both first and last names that were specifically "Jewish sounding." Thankfully, these restrictions have since been dropped. Modern naming trends show many old names from early German mythology are now going out of fashion. Names from the Low German dialects of northern Germany are becoming popular throughout the country, as are foreign names. Parents in the eastern areas are bestowing many Slavonic names upon their children, and in the western part of the country, names are heavily influenced by French. The continued influence of the Catholic Church in- southern Germany helps keep many saints' names in common use.