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)
Enis ( with sister Anesa)
Nikolina (with grown up half-sister Albina)
Born in 2011
Ajla (born on my birthday)
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.