Latest German Baby Names Just Released

German baby names 2010The most popular baby names in Germany for the year 2010 have just been announced, with Maximilian and Sofie leading the pack.

The data is compiled by the German Language Association. If you don’t read German (like me!) a good English language summary of the report is provided by The Local, a site that reports German news in English.

German Baby Names 2010
Rank Boys Girls
1 Maximilian Sofie/Sophie
2 Alexander Marie
3 Paul Maria
4 Leon Sofia/Sophia
5 Lukas/Lucas Mia
6 Luka/Luca Anna
7 Elias Lena
8 Louis/Luis Emma
9 Jonas Hannah/Hanna
10 Felix Johanna

The top baby names in Germany reflect parental fondness (and government mandate) for home-grown names. Most of the names on this list are recognizably Germanic in origin, with the possible exception of Elias. I would not have associated that biblical name with Germany. The name Jonas, by contrast, does have longstanding popularity there.

Germany is one of a number of countries that have restrictions on what parents can name their children. Specifically, German law prohibits names that don’t clearly convey gender (forget the unisex baby names!); names with weird spellings, and names that can lead to future humiliation for the child (I’m with them on this last point).

Despite the naming laws, it seems a few oddballs got past the censors in 2010.

Kix, Nox, and Laperla (boys? girls?) should be sitting up properly now somewhere in Germany, along with Kantorka, Belana, and Segesta. (That last one sounds like a new drug to treat indigestion). None of these names have much in the way of traditional Germanic roots.

Apparently a few local registrars around Germany still believe in enforcing the name laws. The parents of would-be Pfefferminza, Gihanna, and Menez all had to go back to the drawing board, as did the couple who wanted to name their daughter “Laslo.” If only she had been a boy, Laslo would have been just fine.

Maybe the restrictions are a bit harsh. No, I’m not saying Pfefferminza had his/her civil rights violated by getting turned down. I’m not a fan of names that sound like pharmaceutical companies. But on the other hand, variations of Marie and Sofie are taking up the top 4 slots out of the top ten names for girls, and Luka, Luca, Lukas, and Lukas do seem to be overly-represented on the boys’ side of the fence.

Perhaps German parents ought to scan the top names in the U. S. for some ideas. After all, we have 53 different ways to spell Mikayla. We can certainly spare a few variations for parents in Germany.

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