If you like Sara, you might like…

Delila/ Dalila

Delila (DE-LEE-LA) is easy to pronounce and is also used in different cultures. Delila has several origins, it can be either an Arabic name with meaning of sign and leader, or it can be a Hebrew name. The version Dalila is currently ranked #30 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Hebrew version Delilah is ranked #172 in the USA.


Lina is like Sara a nice, friendly name popular in many different countries. Lina is pronounced LEE-NAH and is an Arabic name with the meaning tender, affectionate. In addition, Lina is also used in countries such as Austria and Sweden, as a standalone form of names like Karolina and Nikolina. The name is currently in the Top 100 in more than 8 countries.


Mejra is one of my personal favorites. It is a short, two-syllable name deriving from Meryam, which is the Arabic version of Mary. Mejra is pronounced like MAY-RAH and is quite underused in Bosnia, because it is considered to be old-fashioned. However, due to its similarity to popular names like Nejra and Maya, it may rise in the near future.


The name Mira, which is pronounced MEE-RAH, has very much in common with Sara. Both names are short and sound quite international. The name is used in many different cultures. Mira is a Slavic name deriving from the word Mir, which means peace. It is also an Indian name with the meaning sea, ocean. Furthermore, Mira is used as a standalone short from of the Arabic name Amira.


Sura is only one letter different from Sara, but the name has its own distinct sound. Sura, which is pronounced SOO-RAH, is a short form of the Arabic name Surura. Furthermore, Sura is also the term used for the “chapters” in the Quran.


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)




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.
Photo: http://pagophila.wordpress.com/category/filme/bosnien-h