Each year, the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache e. V. (Society for German Language) [GfdS] issues a comprehensive list of names given to newborn babies in Germany. There’s usually not a lot of change in the top baby names from one year to the next, but aside from the addition on two names in 2017, the GfdS has discovered an interesting trend in the evolution of German names.
So which names topped the list? Marie/Mari remained the top girl’s name in 2017 while the top boy’s name from 2016, Elias, got bumped into seventh place with Maximilian moving to the number one spot last year.
Luisa/Louisa was a new addition to the Girl’s top ten list for 2017, moving up one spot to land at number ten. On the boy’s side, Felix moved it’s way from from number twelve in 2016 to number ten in this year’s top German baby names.
|Rank||Girl’s Name||Rank||Boy’s Name|
|1.||Marie (1)*||1.||Maximilian (3)|
|2.||Sophie/Sofie (2)||2.||Alexander (2)|
|3.||Maria (4)||3.||Paul (4)|
|4.||Sophia/Sofia (3)||4.||Elias (1)|
|5.||Emilia (6)||5.||Ben (7)|
|6.||Emma (5)||6.||Noah (9)|
|7.||Hannah/Hanna (9)||7.||Leon (5)|
|8.||Anna (8)||8.||Louis/Luis (6)|
|9.||Mia (7)||9.||Jonas (8)|
|10.||Luisa/Louisa (11)||10.||Felix (12)|
*numbers in parenthesis ( ) indicate 2016 ranking
What the GfdS has been discovering though is that Germany’s days of picking strong and often harsh sounding names are fading as simpler and more androgynous names are favored.
Looking at the top ten list for 2017, most of the names are quite short in comparison to the past. The top two boy’s names, Maximilian and Alexander, are of course an exception. Though both names are often shortened to Max and Alex in normal use.
The GfdS believes that if the current trends continue, we will see more gender non-conformity in name choices in future years.