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 female Names – The Trends


Sara from the popular movie Esma´s secret

Today more about female Bosnian names in Austria. I´ve used the same categories as in the boy´s post.


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


  • In the girl´s section you can find a bunch of names, which only appear in Austria. Among these names are Ella, Emma, Elina, Lara, Jessica and Sabrina. None of these names have a Hebrew or religion connection, which was the case on the equal male category. This shows us that parents of girls are more willing to choose a name that has no relation to their country of origin or their religion.


Names which are common in Austria and also in Bosnia:

This is the most popular category on the girl´s side. Particularly the name Sara stands out.


  • Sara is the clear winner of my analysis. More than 15 % of all girls received this name. There are many reasons for this huge popularity. The name ranks on the highest places in the Top 10 of Austria (mostly in the spelling Sarah) and Bosnia-Hercegovina. Sara is also very international; she could come from almost every part of the world. Also it has the same pronunciation in both countries and it´s easy to spell. I would recommend Sara for all parents who don’t want to stand out and who are familiar in both cultures. But they have to keep in mind that their little Sara will likely have to share her name with many other girls.
  • On the second place is Hana. The popularity of Hana has the same reasons. But unlike Sara, Hana had the state as a granny-name in the past. This state is changing. Due to her internationality and simple pronunciation Hana is very likely to be even more popular.
  • Other names in that category are: Ena, Melisa, Lina, Soraya and Selina.


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


  • With the letter A: Names that start and end with an “A” always have enjoyed an immense popularity among the Bosnian population. A classic and a name, which is never out of date is Amina. The name is currently the most popular female name in Bosnia-Hercegovina. You can compare Amina with English classics like Mary and Elizabeth. They are always very fashionable. Besides Amina, there are also Ajla, Adna, Aida, Anisa, Azra and many more.
  • With the letter E and I: Many of these names have a Muslim background. You can find Elma, Emina, Esma, Ilda, and Ilma in this category.
  • Also represented are names with a consonant in the beginning.
    • Jasmina
    • Lamija, Latifa, Lejla
    • Medina, Merjem, Mirela
    • Nadja, Nejla
    • Samira, Sejla, Selma


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

  • There are only few parents, who go with a traditional name for girls. They fear that their child will never be fully accepted and so they often choose the easier way and simply give an adapted name. This is very sad, because many names, which were common for centuries in Bosnian families, are slowly dying out. But still there are some brave people, whose children received names like Dafina, Hasra, Nadza, Sevzada and Zemka.

Most popular Bosnian namens in Austria (Girls)


The topic today are firstnames , that bosnian-muslim parents choose for their children, which were born in Austria. Maybe I have to explain this to my English readers. Many Bosnian families fleed to Austria, because of the war in Yugoslavia from 1992-1995. A majority stayed and settled here after the war  . Today people with Ex-Yugoslavian origen are the biggest immigrant group in Austria.

As I couldn`t find any data about this topic, I started my own research. In that purpose I analysed the firstnames of 321 children with bosnian-muslim lastnames. These babies were born over a period of the last 2 -3 years (middle 2008 to end 2011). My resource was the website, where Austrian hospitals post the pictures and names of their newborns.


Now the Top 5 female Bosnian Names in Austria:


Most popular female Bosnian names in Austria

Place in Bosnia (2010) Place in Austria (2010)
1 Place Sara   (22) 4 2
2 Place Han(n)a   (10) 9 4
3 Place Nejla   (8) 10 349
4 Place Amina / Melis(s)a (a 6) 1 / 45 75 / 125
4 Place Ajla   / Ena / Lejla/ Selma (a 5) 4   / 15 /7 / 36 141   / 286 / 145 / 239


All in all there were 152 girls with 70 diffrent names. Sara is on the first place with more than 22 mentions, thats a rate of 15%.

The third colum shows the place, that the name has in the Bosnian firstname statistic and the fourth colum shows the Austrian statistic.

Next time I will write about the Top 5 for boys.