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Society for the German Language : These are the most popular first names of 2020

Emilia and Noah were the most popular first names for children in Germany last year. This was announced by the Society for the German Language (GfdS) on Monday in Wiesbaden with reference to its annual evaluation of the data from registry offices. With the girls, Hanna (h) and Emma followed in the other places, with the boys Leon and Paul. There was relatively little movement compared to the previous year.

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In 2019, Hanna (h) and Emma headed the list of the most frequently given names for the girls, followed by Mia in third place. Among the boys, Noah took the top spot, followed by Ben and Paul in second and third. The GfdS has been determining the list of the most popular first names every year since 1977. This time she received reports from more than 700 registry offices nationwide.

According to the company, almost 90 percent of all first names given in Germany in the past year are recorded. More than 65,000 different names have been reported. As usual, the top group of the ten most popular names remained relatively stable compared to the previous year. Only among the boys did the name Mat (h) eo or Matt (h) eo cause a little surprise by climbing up from 13th place in the previous year to fourth place.

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In East Germany, Mat (h) eo or Matt (h) eo was even the most frequently used name in 2020. But also in West Germany he came in sixth place. In contrast, according to the GfdS, a trend towards "phonetic monotony" continued in 2020 in particular in the list of the top ten girls' names. All of them now end in -a and have similar timbres - for example Lina, Mila or Ella.

Boy name group is "more dynamic"

According to the language experts, the group of the ten most popular boy names turned out to be “more dynamic and more disparate in sound”. These included Elias, Henry / Henri, Felix and Louis / Luis, among others. At the same time, however, the GfdS pointed out that the differences at the top of the ranking of the most frequent names in absolute numbers are usually only relatively small.

This is due to the fact that fewer and fewer newborns are given a name from the top ten - the variety of names in this country has therefore tended to increase. In the case of girls, for example, only 110 newborns made the difference between the first-placed first name Emilia and the second-placed name Hanna (h). There was only a tiny difference of 44 entries between Hanna (h) and Emma in third place.

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The data from the registry offices also show that 35 percent or slightly more than a third of all children were given more than one name in the past year. As in previous years, Sophie, Marie and Maria were particularly frequent second or subsequent names for the girls, and Alexander, Maximilian and Elias for the boys.

According to the GfdS, there is a trend towards assigning subsequent names less and less as a reminder of real ancestors. Instead, more typical “traditional names” would be given, which generally “convey a certain prestige”. (AFP)

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