Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Top Baby Names in Germany

Guten Morgen, Lesern!

Here's the fourth installment of my global names series! These are some of the most popular names in Germany (as of 2014). All of them are outside of the top 250 in the US - and some aren't even on the US list at all!

I'll include the English or other known equivalents next to the names for clarification.

Female names

This name - with two spellings in the top 20 - is originally a diminutive of a bunch of other names: Carolina, Helena, Evangelina. Celebrity Lena Dunham of Girls might have brought this to the US, but it's still only at #279. Both names could make great alternatives to popular Lily or Leah, and the cross-cultural factor is a definite plus!

With Leo getting popular for boys, why not let the girls have a turn with this lion of a name? The cute -ie ending makes the name friendly, but it's still very unique - only 28 Leonie's were born in the US last year. Check out similar names Lottie, Peony, or Fiona if you like the sound!

A favorite song of mine growing up was "I Love Louisa", sung by Fred Astaire in The Band Wagon. And as Louisa makes its first appearance on the US top 1000 since 1969, there seem to be a few parents out there who love Louisa too! It means "renowned warrior", has the cute nickname Lou, and could honor a familial Louis or Louise.

Another name that has a great musical number equivalent - "Johanna", from Sweeney Todd - this name feels like a timeless classic. Meaning "God is gracious", the lovely -anna ending fits in with modern trends but keeps its vintage appeal. There are tons of great namesake Johanna's too!

Nele/Neele - Cornelia
Pronounced "NEE-lee" or "NEE-leh", this cute diminutive doesn't have too many sound-alike equivalents - Nellie, maybe? It works on its own, but Cornelia might be too elegant of a retro name to pass up. It could also work as a great honorific for a Neil or Cornelius.

Male names

Jonas - Jonah
Number 5 in Germany, but number 500 in the US - perhaps popular Jonah has drawn the attention away from Jonas? In any case, Jonas also means "dove", has a great ends-in-s sound, and was the name of the main character in one of my favorite children's books, The Giver. A great find!

For so many years, the association with the eponymous cat kept Felix from reaching stardom. And now as it moves up the list, let's focus on its positive attributes! The cool x-ending, dozens of namesakes, and lovely meaning - "lucky, fortunate" - will probably help it move higher. Spanish variation Feliziano is also a great option.

Moritz - Maurice
More accessible than Fritz but cooler than Morris, Moritz is a fantastic option that will stand out in a crowd. It means "dark-skinned", and there are a lot of Saint Moritz's in history. Retro nickname Morrie or preppy nickname Ritz would be cute as well!

Take away the Y from one of the most popular girls' names and you get an uber-cool boy's name. Like Emily, it means "rival" and has a lot of international appeal. Other variations include Emile and Emilio - let the boys have a turn!

Philipp - Philip or Phillip
This name allows you to mix and match the L's and P's however you like! Philipp means "lover of horses", and would be way cute for a ranch baby. Nickname Phil is a little dated, so try Pip or Flip. And of course, Philippa and Pippa are getting popular on the other list!

Which are your faves? Any great German names I left out? Tell me in the comments!

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