Why do two syllable names sound better

First names: Popular names for girls & boys + meaning

First names accompany us throughout life and send signals immediately. Who do you think of when you think of Kevin, Chantal or Jaqueline compared to Justus, Vincent or Franziska? Such associations and prejudices often have nothing to do with the truth - but still exist. True to the motto: tell me your name and I'll tell you how intelligent you are. Children with good-sounding first names have a head start in life. Here you will find a list of the most popular first names for boys and girls as well as an overview of names and their meanings ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Most popular first names of the year for girls and boys

Choosing a name for your offspring is a decision that parents do not make lightly. So many look long and wide for opportunities and inspiration. Popular sources of information are lists of the most popular first names of the year, which are regularly compiled for boys and girls.

Information from birth reports is evaluatedto identify the most common names. According to Babelli, the result is this list of the most popular first names in the past year:

Girls first names: the top 10 with meaning

  1. Mia
    (Meaning: "The stubborn")
  2. Emilia
    (Meaning: "The Eager")
  3. Sophia
    (Meaning: "The Wise")
  4. Hannah
    (Meaning: "The gifted, the graceful")
  5. Emma
    (Meaning: "The all-encompassing")
  6. Lina
    (Meaning: "The penitent, the gentle one")
  7. Mila
    (Meaning: "The love, the lovable")
  8. Lea
    (Meaning: "The lioness, but also the tired one")
  9. Marie
    (Meaning: "The untamed, the beloved by God")
  10. Ella
    (Meaning: "The radiant one")

Boy's first names: the top 10 that matter

  1. Leon
    (Meaning: "The Lion")
  2. Ben
    (Meaning: "The son of happiness", abbreviation of Benjamin)
  3. Noah
    (Meaning: "The one who brings peace, the one who gives consolation")
  4. Finn
    (Meaning: "The Finn, the Blonde")
  5. Paul
    (Meaning: "The little one, the boy")
  6. Elias
    (Meaning: "My God is Yahweh, child of the sun")
  7. Felix
    (Meaning: "The lucky one")
  8. Luis
    (Meaning: "The famous fighter", modified form of Ludwig)
  9. Henry
    (Meaning: "The mighty, the ruler")
  10. Luka
    (Meaning: "The one born into the light, the bright one, the one from Lucania")

Luisa (number 11 among girls), Amelie (number 13) and Matteo (number 19 among boys) have also risen in popularity. It should be noted, however, that there can be greater differences between statistics and evaluations on first names. Since not all reports are analyzed, only random samples, the results may differ.

Nomen est omen: messages in first names

The so-called name advantage begins in elementary school. Herbert Harari and John W. McDavid researched the clichés behind first names as early as 1973 with remarkable results: Tasks by children with positive names were assessed better - although the names were assigned to the tasks arbitrarily.

You can do a short experiment yourself: There are names with which we associate certain stereotypes. Although these vary from person to person, similar associations are common with some first names:

  • Benjamin for example, it immediately looks small
  • Gabi is probably a hairdresser
  • Jessica probably too
  • Maria is definitely Catholic
  • Marie-Luise something etepetete and
  • Pamela is naked
  • Paul again, wearing glasses for sure
  • wolfgang has a beard
  • Wilfried rather wears pollunder and
  • Maik comes from the east

Extreme examples are Kevin and Chantal, who even coined the appropriate term "Chantalism" or "Kevinism". Some first names are associated with a certain social origin, less intelligence and lower productivity. This applies to the two mentioned, for example, but also to Mandy, Justin, Cedric and Angelina.

First names list: the smartest first names for your child

It is all the more important that parents do not negatively influence a child's chances by naming them. Although it is not possible to predict exactly which first names will be particularly popular and respected in the future, conclusions can be drawn from current preferences and developments.

As a little guide (and regardless of the respective hit lists of the most popular first names) we show two lists of first names that have both positive meanings, but whose wearers are also considered to be particularly clever ...

Smart girls first names (with meaning)

In alphabetic order…

  • Aline (Meaning: "Noble being", from Adelheid)
  • Alisa (Meaning: "The sublime", from Alice)
  • Alessa (Meaning: "The Defender", from Alexandra)
  • Anastasia (Meaning: "resurrection")
  • Antonia (Meaning: "The inestimable one, from the family of the Antonians")
  • Amalia (Meaning: "The Brave")
  • Charlotte (Meaning: "The Free")
  • Elina (Meaning: "Sunshine", from Helena)
  • Emilia (Meaning: "The Eager")
  • Esther (Meaning: "star")
  • Franziska (Meaning: "Descending from the Franks")
  • Hannah (Meaning: "The graceful one")
  • Helen (Meaning: "light, shine")
  • Ina (Meaning: "Queen, Ruler", of Regina)
  • Iphigenia (Meaning: "The powerful")
  • Irina (Meaning: "The Bringer of Peace", from Irene)
  • Isabell (Meaning: "Who worships God, who is consecrated to God")
  • Kristin (Meaning: "The anointed")
  • Josefine (Meaning: "Yahweh add")
  • Juliane (Meaning: "Those consecrated to Jupiter, those of the Julier family")
  • Leonie (Meaning: "The lioness", as well as Leonora)
  • Liv (Meaning: "defense, protection")
  • Maja (Meaning: "Miraculous power, growth")
  • Marie (Meaning: "The stubborn, the untamed")
  • Marlena (Meaning: "from Magdala / Sea of ​​Galilee", from Mary Magdalene)
  • Martha (Meaning: "mistress")
  • Mira (Meaning: "The Palm")
  • Miriam (Meaning: "God's gift")
  • Nicole (Meaning: "The winner")
  • Sophie (Meaning: "The wise, the wise")
  • Theresa (Meaning: "The Huntress")
  • Veronica (Meaning: "The Victory Bringer")
  • Vivien (Meaning: "The living, the lively")

Smart boys first names (with meaning)

In alphabetic order…

  • Alexander (Meaning: "The shooter, the defender")
  • Constantin (Meaning: "The fixed, the constant")
  • Elias (Meaning: "My God is Yahweh", like Elijah or Lias)
  • Friedrich (Meaning: "The ruler, the mighty, the rich")
  • Jacob (Meaning: "May God protect, the survivor")
  • Jaron (Meaning: "The serious one")
  • John (Meaning: "The Lord is good")
  • Joel (Meaning: "Jehovah is God")
  • Jonathan (Meaning: "Gift of God")
  • Julien (Meaning: "Consecrated to God Jupiter")
  • Julius (Meaning: from the Julier family, consecrated to the god Jupiter)
  • Lars (Meaning: "laurel wreath")
  • Lennard (Meaning: "The Lion", like Leo or Leonard)
  • Levi (Meaning: "Loyalty")
  • Liam (Meaning: "The strong-willed protector")
  • Lian (Meaning: "graceful willow tree")
  • Lothar (Meaning: "The famous")
  • Luke (Meaning: "The one born into the light, the bright one, the one from Lucania")
  • Magnus (Meaning: "Great in reputation")
  • Matthias (Meaning: "Gift of the Lord", such as Mattes)
  • Maximilian (Meaning: "The big one")
  • Michael (Meaning: "Who is like God?")
  • Miro (Meaning: "Fame and Honor")
  • Neo (Meaning: "The born again")
  • Patrick (Meaning: "The respected")
  • Raphael (Meaning: "God heals")
  • Samuel (Meaning: "I have been heard by God")
  • Simon (Meaning: "He heard from God")
  • Timo (Meaning: "The valued, the honored")
  • Tristan (Meaning: "Lord of ...")
  • Vincent (Meaning: "The Victorious")

Rare and special first names

In contrast to the great popularity of some first names, many parents are looking for rare and special first names. The name as a unique selling point. No child wants to sit in a school class with five of the same names - but caution is also advised.

Some parents use the birth certificate as a means of self-presentation. A normal first name is not enough, it has to be extraordinary and unique. Hollywood is showing the way. Children of stars are called River Phoenix, Liberty, Rainbow, Summer or Summer. Chef Jamie Oliver takes it to the extreme with his children Buddy Bear Maurice, Daisy Boo Pamela, River Rocket, Poppy Honey Rosie and Petal Blossom. (PDF with other children's names of prominent parents)

Risk of rare first names

Today, however, the need for something special also leads to grotesque baptism requests and strange first names. Registrars have reported cases in which parents wanted to christen their offspring “Pepsi Cola”, “Charlemagne” or “Not father's wish”. Such applications, hopefully not meant to be taken seriously, will be categorically rejected.

An important rule behind this: first names must not expose their bearers to ridicule. That is a particular risk with overly unusual and rare first names. Children may later grapple with ridicule and teasing.

What is allowed when naming?

The assignment of first names is not regulated by law in Germany, but only by an administrative regulation. The most important regulations include:

  • The first name must be determined at the registry office within four weeks of the child's birth.
  • The child's name should be clearly female or male. If a neutral name is given, a middle name must make the gender clear.
  • Brand names - unless they are based on first names (as with Mercedes) - may not be used as first names.
  • Geographical names are also not permitted. Exceptions: foreign geographical names that have become naturalized here. "Brooklyn" is then allowed, but "Sylt" is not. The individual case decides.

What works and is not is difficult to clearly define, as the following examples show:

  • Allowed first names are, for example: Apple, Azalea, Bavaria, Chelsea, Cheyenne, Europe, Jazz, Momo, Oleander, Pumuckl, Sexana, Sunshine, Taiga or Winnetou.
  • On the other hand, not allowed first names are: Borussia, Che, Gin, Grammophon, Möwe, Judas, Kain, Teufel, Moon, November, Pfefferminza or Wiesengrund.

Exciting studies on first names

There is a lot of research going on around first names, their effects and connections. Finally, we will show you some exciting, scientifically proven findings about names:

  • Noble names improve the application chances
    A title of nobility - or a name that sounds noble - is a huge advantage in an application. A study by the University of Osnabrück showed that HR managers rate a résumé with a corresponding first name more positively and invite you to an interview more often - even if the content was technically identical.
  • Thomas and Stefan are top managers
    Who sits on the board of directors of DAX companies? A few years ago it was found that Thomas and Stefan were the most common first names among top managers. Bernd or Bernhard and Michael were also represented more frequently. Frightening: At the time of the study, there were more board members named Thomas, Stefan or Michael than there were women on DAX board members.
  • Alexandra and Lutz are top earners
    The Adzuna portal has analyzed which first names are among the top earners in Germany. Alexandra (83,000 euros), Judith (83,000 euros) and Andrea (82,000 euros) land in the first places of the female names. Male top earners are called Lutz (118,000 euros), Rolf (115,000 euros) or Rainer (111,000 euros). The results also show the gender pay gap.
  • Managers have short names
    The business network Linkedin carried out a study with more than 100 million user profiles some time ago. Result: the names of the bosses were mostly short, often just one syllable. The assumption: Men in management positions like to use short nicknames to appear friendlier and more open.

What other readers have read about it

[Photo credit: Andrii Zastrozhnov by Shutterstock.com]

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January 12, 2021Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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