Saturday, June 12, 2010

Beliebte Vornamen 2009 (Popular First Names 2009)

I'm a little late on my yearly name nerdery this year since I was away last month, but as in the previous three years, here it is! Data sources* are the same as in previous years, but this time I've also included Heidelberg's most popular names, which I was happy to discover on the front page of the local free newspaper one day. By the way, this year the US Social Security Administration (SSA) upped the name nerd happiness levels big time by including not only the top 1000 names in the US, but offering a download for every year from 1880 onward of every name used 5 or more times that year. It is amazing. I was dying to know that in 2007 5 baby girls were named Yunalesca. And 5 baby boys that year were named Zyquavious.

Since the SSA data does not combine spellings of the same name (meaning one entry for Sophia+Sofia, not separate), I found a list made by someone who combined them (using the SSA data). (Normally I do this myself but no time yet this year.) This gives a better picture of the most popular names than the list as presented on the SSA site.

* German data is not collected by the government and not official and probably not all that accurate. If you know of a better German source, let me know!

Maedchen (Deutschland)
1. Mia
2. Hannah
3. Leonie
4. Lena
5. Leah
6. Anna
7. Emma
8. Emily
9. Marie
10. Lilli
11. Sarah
12. Lara
13. Laura
14. Sophie
15. Sophia
16. Lina
17. Nele
18. Johanna
19. Maja
20. Amelie

Jungen (Deutschland)
1. Leon
2. Lucas
3. Jonas
4. Luca
5. Paul
6. Felix
7. Maximilian
8. Finn
9. Tim
10. Ben
11. Luis
12. Max
13. Julian
14. Elias
15. Niclas
16. Noah
17. Jan
18. Philip
19. Moritz
20. Yannick

Maedchen (Heidelberg)
1. Marie
2. Sophie
3. Maria
4. Anna
5. Sophia
6. Emilia
7. Emma
8. Elisabeth
9. Julia
10. Charlotte

Jungen (Heidelberg)
1. Maximilian
2. Paul
3. Alexander
4. Leon
5. David
6. Tim
7. Elias
8. Lukas
9. Jonas
10. Felix

1. Isabella
2. Sophia
3. Olivia
4. Madison
5. Emily
6. Emma
7. Ava
8. Abigail
9. Chloe
10. Hailey
11. Madeline
12. Addison
13. Kaylee
14. Caitlin
15. Mia
16. Natalie
17. Lily
18. Elizabeth
19. Brianna
20. Alison

1. Aidan
2. Jaden
3. Jacob
4. Ethan
5. Michael
6. Alexander
7. Cayden
8. William
9. Christopher
10. Jackson
11. Joshua
12. Daniel
13. Noah
14. Matthew
15. Anthony
16. Christian
17. David
18. Andrew
19. Joseph
20. Caleb
Thoughts? Lots of nicknames and short forms on the German lists, but that seems to be a European standard now. No one would want to use Cornelia anymore and they just go straight to the diminutive Nele. It's a little opposite on the American side, where parents want to have a long form for everything and sometimes in complicated directions, thinking you need a Jackson for a Jack when really you just need a John....along with Madison and Addison for Maddie and Addie, although Madeline's finally catching up and maybe Adeline/laide will too.


  1. Hey there,
    I wonder if the part of the reason for the use of the nicknames was a response to inflexibility on the part of teachers/officials. (As in, "Your name is Timothy; I am going to call you Timothy and not Tim.") I know that a long time ago you wouldn't be allowed to register a nickname as a given name(the person we know is named "Elfriede", but her parents never wanted to call her anything other than "Elfi".) I used to think it had to do with adopting foreign names, but I also know a "Hannes", just Hannes, not "Johannes", so I remain up in the air on this.
    Addison is no doubt a sign of the "Grey's Anatomy" factor. I think a lot of people just don't know that "Jack" is a nickname or that "Liam" is a diminutive form (although this seems to be debated).

  2. Oh, I love names. You know I have an unusual one. ;) I downloaded the name file (how freaking cool is that?) and was interested to know than in 1880 there were 5 boys named Ransom. I have a friend (female) named Ransom and she thinks she's got the strangest name ever. Now I can show her that 130 years ago it was a popular name. And poor, poor Zyquavious and Yunalesca. All 10 of them.

  3. Annona: Interesting theory on the reason for the nicknames! I'm on the American side in preferring a full name so the kid can decide later how to be called. (Not that anything would really stop you from asking to be called Timothy if your birth name is just Tim.)
    The first difference I can see between Elfi and Nele/Hannes/Tim is that Elfi is more of a pet form and the others are more short forms, kind of like Katie vs. Kate. (Described in my Duden name dictionary as a Koseform vs. a Kurzform.) Maybe that has something to do with it? Or maybe nowadays Elfi would be accepted as a full name.
    Addison was coming up before Grey's but that certainly reinforced it to bring it to its current heights. I always wonder whether people know about Jack - I think we're not giving them enough credit. They must know because of JFK... Jack alone would be better than Jackson IMO.

    MIHH: Ransom must be a surname at least, right? :) I found some other fun stuff in poking around, like Worthy and Wyoming in the old days, in the current data there's Abcde and Ahonesti and who knows what else...

  4. Did you check out the list of twins' names - London and Paris (gotta love it)

  5. The twin names are something else. London and Paris? I would have gone with Rome and Prague, personally.

  6. Yunalesca? I love it! Looks like someone besides myself is a big FFX nerd, although the thought to name my boy Tidus crossed my mind. Alas, I stuck with two names that are always on the lists - Julian and Emily.


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