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What are the most popular baby names in Central Europe?

Prague, Czech Republic – While all eyes are fixed on Buckingham Palace and dinner table discussions are set to revolve around the new royal baby’s unconventional and surprising name, let’s have a look at the most popular baby names in Central Europe.

A wide-ranging and comprehensive new study recently lifted the veil on the baby boys and girls names that were the most common in each European country.

A number of them, even though they’re sometimes written with slight variations, stand out as clear winners in several countries: Emma is the best example, and has been, for several years in a row, the uncontested most popular name given to baby girls in no less than six EU countries (France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Malta).

While the names chosen for baby boys are much more diverse, in almost all European countries the most popular female name finished with an “a”: like Anna (Austria), Ida (Denmark), Lucia (Spain) or Olivia (England and Wales). This didn’t apply to only three countries last year: Sweden (Alice), Ireland (Emily) and Finland (Eevin).

The most popular baby names in Central Europe

Let’s have a look at the most popular baby names given in the last few years in Central Europe (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary).

In the Czech Republic, the clear male winner was Jakub, also used with many more pet-names and sobriquets, the most popular of which is Kuba. Jakub has been the most popular Czech name for boys for several years, primarily competing with the timeless Jan, but also the likes of Tomáš, Adam and Ondřej. The most common name given to baby girls last year was Eliška, itself a derivative from Alžběta (the Czech version of Elizabeth). Other strong contenders included Anna, Tereza, Kateřina and Karolína.

In Slovakia, trends and preferences are slightly similar: Jakub is also the most popular name for boys, followed by Adam, Michal, Filip, Martin, Tomáš and Lukáš – among others. Regarding the most common girl names, Sofia (which means ‘wisdom’) took the first position, and was also the most popular female name in Italy, Estonia and Latvia last year. Ema, Natália, Anna, Adela or Viktória also ranked among the most appealing choices for Slovak parents to name their newborn girl.

In Poland, young parents seem to have set their heart on Antoni, a form of Anthony that can mostly be found in Poland… and Catalonia. Other popular male names include (yes, them again) Jan and Jakub, as well as Szymon, a strong up-and-comer in last year’s edition. Competing for the top female spot, Julia, Zuzanna and Zofia were the most regularly given to baby girls in Poland.

And finally, Hanna was the clear winner in Hungary for baby girls names, a distinctive form of Anna which derives from the Hebrew. Other highly popular first names for Hungarian babies included Anna, Emma, Zsófia and Léna. Beating the likes of István or Ferenc, Hungarian male names that never seem to go out of fashion, Bence came out on top last year – a typically Hungarian version of the better-known Vincent.

Which names do you think will become the most popular this year? And which ones are doomed to go out of fashion? Share your thoughts!

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.