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RESEARCH

Sophie and Max: German classics top baby name list

There's little change in the 2015 list of new parents' favourite baby names, with some German classics holding on to the top spots.

Sophie and Max: German classics top baby name list
File photo: DPA

More than 3 percent of girls and 1.5 percent of boys born in 2015 were named Sophie and Maximilian respectively, the Society for the German Language (GdS) found in statistics released on Thursday.

Hot on their heels were Marie – given to 2.99 percent of baby girls – and Alexander, chosen for 1.48 percent of all the boys.

Few of the entries on the top ten lists for either sex were new, with Jonas the only one to clamber up from 12th to 10th among boys, bumping Lukas out of the front-runners.

Percentages of babies given the top ten names for boys and girls in 2015. Their placement in the 2014 rankings is given in brackets. Image: GdS

Meanwhile, there was little regional variation for girls, with Sophie and Marie taking the top two places in the northern, southern, western and eastern regions of the country.

Among boys, Maximilian and Alexander topped the lists in the south and west. Northerners' favourite boys' names were Elias and Paul, while easterners picked Paul and Alexander.

When the researchers looked only at first names – rather than all given names – the picture was a bit different.

Image: GdS

Maximilian reached second place while Sophia – not Sophie – only managed fourth.

At the top of the table were Mia and Jonas, which had jumped up from second and seventh place respectively.

Photo: DPA

For the first time, the GdS also looked at how common Turkish and Arabic names were in Germany.

They found Elif the highest-placed Middle Eastern name for girls in Germany at 64th most common overall, while Muhammed reached 41st among boys' names.

Parents in Germany chose from a total of 60,000 names for roughly 940,000 babies covered by the GdS survey.

Researchers collected data from 650 registry offices to compile their table, which covers around 90 percent of all the babies born in the country.

SEE ALSO: Germans turn to Star Wars for baby names

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NAMES

Adolf, Alexa, Greta: These are the names Germans don’t want to give their kids

History, technology and current political trends all seem to have an influence when German parents decide on names for their children, a new survey shows.

Adolf, Alexa, Greta: These are the names Germans don’t want to give their kids
File photo: dpa | Fabian Strauch

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Adolf is the least popular name for Germans to give their children. 

While Adolphus was a relatively popular name in the first part of the 20th century, its association primarily with Adolf Hitler has since made it taboo.

A survey brought out by YouGov on Thursday shows that 89 percent of Germans say it is “unlikely” they would call their child Adolf, although 8 percent still say it is “likely” they would do so.

READ ALSO: What it’s like to share a name with the world’s most notorious dictator

Alexa, the name of Amazon’s virtual assistant, is also rather unpopular, with 79 percent of respondents saying they would probably not pick this as a name for their child.

Kevin, a name strongly associated with the fashion of giving children American names during the communist era in East German, is also now unpopular. Some 80 percent say they wouldn’t give their child this name.

According to a survey done in 2011, men called Kevin also have less luck in finding love online, presumably because of the negative associations of the once popular name.

For girls, Greta seems to be unpopular, with three quarters of respondents saying they wouldn’t use it as a name for their child. YouGov says that “perhaps people have the polarizing climate activist Greta Thunberg in the backs of their minds.”

Asked what they believed has the most impact on how names are chosen, the respondents said that family and ethnic background have an overwhelmingly positive influence.

Politics and current trends on the other hand were seen to have a generally negative impact on the favourability of names.

The survey also found out that Germans are generally very happy with their given names, with 84 percent voicing satisfaction and just 13 percent expressing dissatisfaction.

The results come from a representative study of 2,058 people in Germany between February 12th and February 15th.

SEE ALSO: These are Germany’s most popular baby names for 2020

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