Hans and Heidi no more!

**I still have more to tell you about Madeira, but I haven’t had time to write a post yetand I have Banoffee Pie to make today. This was in my drafts sooo… have a change of subject. Doors of Funchal old town and a post on the New Year’s fireworks coming soon, promise!**

I’ve always been interested in names… naming patterns through the ages, regional differences in naming children (even within the same country), the meanings of names, people’s reasons for choosing their children’s names… it’s all fascinating to me! So when the news show that Jan was watching just after New Year mentioned the Germany’s most popular baby names of 2013 I immediately sat up and took notice – and a good job, too, as it turned out. It came up as a question in the pub quiz last week! The day before said pub quiz, I happened to come across an article (this one here, actually. Note: It’s in German) that talked about the top baby names for 2013 in each of Germany’s Federal states. I’m sure I can’t be the only one who finds this stuff interesting, so I wanted to share what I’d learned with all you readers as well.
So, what were the most popular baby names given in Germany in 2013? Well, the top girl’s and boy’s name in 2013 were the same as in 2012, namely (ha, geddit?):

Ben and Mia

In most of Germany’s states, the top names were exactly the same as those for Germany as a whole, Ben and Mia. But in a few states there were slight differences. There were four states that differed from the rest of Germany: Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Ben and Emma), Hamburg (Paul and Emma), Berlin (Felix and Mia) and finally Bavaria, which, according to the researcher, always has its own top names that are different to the rest. 2013 was no exception… the top names for last year in Bavaria were Maximilian and Sophia/Sofie. For my own Bundesland, Baden-Württemberg, Mia and Ben were top, followed by Emma and Luca/Luka in second place.  Sophia/Sofie and Lucas/Lukas came in third.

Ben was the number one name for German boys for the third time in 2013, while Mia has been the top girl’s name in Germany since 2009! It seems once a trend takes hold, it’s rather reluctant to go away again… which probably explains why there were so many Sarahs and Jennifers around my age at school!

And now, just because it was so fun, here are the top names in a few other countries. Where I couldn’t find statistics for 2013, I’ve taken the top names from 2012 instead:

Austria (2012): Anna and Lukas
Switzerland (2012): Mia and Noah
Liechtenstein: Anna and Luka/Luca
Netherlands (2012): Emma and Daan
Finland (2012): Ella and Onni
Sweden (2012): Alice and William
Norway (2012): Nora/Norah and Lukas/Lucas
Iceland: Emilía/Emelía (joint first with Katrín) and Aron
Estonia (2012): Sofia and Rasmus
Latvia (2012): Sofija and Roberts
Spain (2012): Lucía and Daniel
Peru (2012): María and Luis
Puerto Rico (2012): Mia and Sebastian
Northern Ireland (2013): Grace and Jack
Republic of Ireland (2012): Emily and Jack
England and Wales (2012): Amelia and Harry
Scotland (2013): Sophie and Jack
Canada (2013): Emma and Liam
USA (2012): Sophia and Jacob
New Zealand: Olivia and Jack

I’ve tried to arrange them roughly into language groups, but actually what I find most interesting is the similarities between completely different countries, for example Emma is top in both the Netherlands and Canada while Mia beats all the other girls in Germany and Puerto Rico! No more Hans and Heidi for the Germans (not that I believe Germans were ever predominantly called those names… but they were the most stereotypical I could think of 😉 )

As for my own name… Beverley has never featured in even the top ten of any ranking that I’m aware of… and to be honest, I’m glad! Although I did get annoyed as a kid when nothing came with my name on it…. ever!

* Most of my statistics came from Wikipedia, but a few came from the German website Beliebte Vornamen.


Happy Birthday, Train Station

I mentioned in my neighbourhoods around the world post that Karlsruhe’s main train station is turning 100 this week. And how do you celebrate such a momentous occasion? By lighting it up in pretty colours, of course. What else would you do? 😉 Here are some photos I took this morning:

Red train station Blue train station

Lighting the building up in red and blue isn’t the only thing that’s happening though. The real celebration is this weekend, with live music – Blues/Jazz on Friday night, three bands on Saturday night, including the one belonging to our quiz master and a “classic brunch” on Sunday with music from the Federal police Orchestra – and children’s activities, including a puppet show on Saturday. Exciting stuff 😉