Name Sightings 2012 (Family and Friends)

Little Enis reading Jane Austen

Little Enis reading Jane Austen

2012 was quite an interesting year for me as many family members and friends became parents. All of these children ,except of Alex Kevin and Florian, have at least one Bosnian parent. I am looking forward to the next years as a majority of them are first-time parents and will likely have some more children in the near future. And maybe you are wondering why almost no one has a middle name. The reason is that it is very uncommon to give children more than one name in Bosnia; although, I think it is a waste of  a good naming opportunity. Also added here are some names of children born in 2011 as I never mentioned them in my blog before.

Born in 2012

Ajdin (half-brother Adin and father named Adil)

Alex Kevin




Enis ( with sister Anesa)






Nikolina (with grown up half-sister Albina)



Born in 2011


Ajla (born on my birthday)

Amel (boy)




Most popular Bosnian names 2011

Bosnia-Hercegovina map

I am sorry for not writing so long, but I was quite busy with end term tests and a new summer job. The most popular Bosnian names of 2011 were released some weeks ago and here they are:


Most popular female names


Position Name
1 Amina
2 Lamija
3 Emina
4 Lejla
5 Sara
6 Hana
7 Ajna
8 Adna
9 Ajla
10 Nejla



Most popular male names


Position Name
1 Tarik
2 Amar
3 Ajdin
4 Adin
5 Ahmed
6 Harun
7 Vedad
8 Kenan
9 Faris
10 Hamza

Most popular Bosnian names Top 50 and Top 99 also available

Pronunciation explanations: The ´j´ is pronounced like a ´y´, so Lejla is like Leyla and Ajna is Ayna.


What do you think? Could these names be used by non- Bosnian parents?




Meaning and origin of popular Bosnian names


I often have been asked  about the meaning of Bosnian names. So today I will write down the meaning and origin of the most popular names. I got all my information from my 3 Bosnian name dictionaries.

Some names only have adjectives to describe them. This is very common for Muslim Names. Every name has a positive meaning, because this is very important in the religion.


                                         Male names 



Origin Meaning


Bosnian Unknown, probably a modification on Adil, Adnan or Edin


Turkish Happy , jolly, blazing, bright


Arabian Earnest, religious, constructor, builder


Arabian Darling, favorite


Bosnian Unknown, probably a modification on Arim and Amin


Old-Hebrew Child of happiness and joy, youngest brother of the prophet Jusuf


Old-Hebrew Believer, beloved


Turkish Sea, who cames from the sea


Arabian Believe, authority,


Arabian Who is hammering, knocking, name of the 86 sura of the Kuran


                                    Female names



Origin Meaning


Turkish Moonlight


Arabian Religious, trustful; mother of the prophet Mohammed


Bosnian Unknow, probably shortend from Enesa and Envera


Bosnian/Arabian Unknown, probably shortend from Umihana, Rejhana, Salihana, Merhana


Arabian Long dark night


Arabian Unknown, probably modification of Meliha


Arabian Present


Arabian content, good-tempered


Arabian Who speaks good and who is healthy

Bosnian male names in Austria – The Trends



Today I would like to write more about the boy names in detail. I have tried to classify them in different categories.


Names that appear in Austrian, but are not usual in Bosnia:

  •  There are only a few boy names that fit in this category. The only names, I have found in my list were Elias and Samuel. But both have Hebrew roots and they also exist in Muslim countries, only in a modified form.


Names that are common in Austria and also in Bosnia:

  • Those are very popular. You can find names like Adem, Benjamin, David, Den(n)is, Emil, Ervin and Jakob in this group. I expect an increase of baby boys with these names. Particularly younger parents will embrace them, because they are the perfect combination of two different cultural backgrounds.
  • Ervin or Erwin, which is a very popular name among older men in Austria, is rarely used on babies by Austrians nowadays. But Bosnian parents are not discouraged to use it. So you don’t have to be surprised to find an 8 year old Ervin in elementary school and a 70 year old Erwin in a retirement home.


Names that are only common in Bosnia, but you can easily spell and pronounce them in Austria. They don’t appear too foreign.

  • This is the biggest group. I have divided them in sub-categories.´
    • The”trendy” A-Names: Almost every tenth boy got such name. A majority of them has no or only a minor connection with real Muslim Names. There you can find names like Adin, Ajdin, Adnan, Alen, Aldin, Almin, Alvin, Anes, Amar, Elmedin, Elmir, Elvin, Eman, Emin, Eniz, Ermin and much more. They sound very similar and only few letters distinguish them. Many of them only base on Muslim names, for example based on Edin (Faith), people create “new” names like Eldin, Elmin, Elvin and so on. Most parents only care for a melodious name with an easy spelling and they don’t bother them too much with meaning and tradition.


    • The “soft” boy names: Those are names, which sound very soft and feminine for foreigners, but which are popular and accepted in the Bosnian culture. In this category are names like Anel, Amel, Anes, Melis, Meris, Sanel, Semin and the probably the best know example Jasmin.


    • The peculiar ones: I classify names in this category, if they are easily pronounceable, but sound somehow strange in German speaking countries. In this category are Din, Alladin and Elvis. Elvis was very popular, but I hardly believe that all Bosnian parents, who chose the name, were big Elvis-Fans. The connection with the singer was often rather accidental. Elvis fits in with all those names with the initial letters EL like Eldin, Elvin and Elvir.


Names, which sound foreign in Austria or are hard to pronounce:

  • All names with the initial letters DZ like Dzelaludin and also traditional names like Ahmed, Hamza, Hilal, Ibrahim, Ilhan, Mahir, Mehmed, Muhamed, Ramadan, Nuradin, Mirza, Muris. This is a very small group, because most parents don’t want their kids to have names that sound too foreign. They also don’t want them to have problems with the spelling and pronunciation.

Most popular Bosnian names in Austria (Boy Edition)



Now here are the 5 most popular male bosnian names in Austria for newborns:


Most popular male Bosnian names in Austria

Place in Bosnia(2010) Place in Austria (2010)
1 Place Benjamin   (11) 9 27
2 Place Adin   (10) 6 285
3 Place Edin   (7) 21 181
4 Place Ajdin   / Anes / Davud / Denis / Tarik                 (a  6) 4   /24 /22/ 0/ 2 299/   219/ 345/ 125/ 191
5 Place Am(m)ar   / Armin (a 5) 1   / 15 299   / 90


Annotation: There were 169 boys with 86 diffrent names. There are no realy winners but you can see that names with the initial letters A and E are very popular.


Interesting facts: More than 50% of the boys have got names , that start with the latter A or E, further 20 % received a name with the initial letters B and D.