Thursday, 26 April 2007

What's in a Name?

I happened to pass by the information office of the snappily named "Federal Public Service for the Economy, SMEs, the Middle Classes and Energy" and noticed that they had information sheets on the top 100 first names for boys and girls in Belgium, as well as a breakdown for each of the country's 3 regions, Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia. You would expect there to be a difference between names used in the Dutch- and French-speaking areas of the country, but I was curious to see what would happen in bilingual Brussels. Well, here are the top 12 names, first for girls, then for boys:

01. Emma **** Sarah ***** Noah ***** Mohamed
02. Marie **** Raniah **** Thomas *** Adam
03. Laura **** Yasmine*** Lucas ***** Ayoub
04. Julie ***** Salma ***** Milan ***** Nathan
05. Sarah **** Imane **** Nathan **** Mehdi
06. Clara **** Clara ****** Louis ****** Bilal
07. Manon *** Luna ****** Maxime **** Anas
08. Léa ****** Inès ****** Arthur ***** Lucas
09. Lisa ****** Emma **** Robbe ****** Maxime
10. Camille *** Ines ****** Hugo ******* Zakaria
11. Charlotte** Laura***** Mohamed *** Noah
12. Luna ***** Chloé ***** Nicolas ***** Rayan

I think they tell an interesting story! I'm surprised at Luna (no. 7 in Flanders, 12 in Belgium), Océane (ocean) (9 in Wallonia, 22 in Belgium), and Kato (19 in Flanders) or Cato, for girls, and for boys, at Kobe (9 in Flanders, 23 in Belgium) , and some very Scandinavian- sounding names, like Lars, Jens and Niels in the list for Flanders.

Well at least they don't have the peculiar names allowed in England. For example I remember Astroflash being recorded in Glastonbury, Somerset, where there are a lot of hippies and "new age" people, I always thought it sounded like a floor cleaner (poor child). I also used to have a British colleague who rejoiced in the name of Endymion, I always wondered what his mother would call when his dinner was ready.


At 28/4/07 06:11, Blogger b o o said...

my name is duu-riz (burmese for from the lake) i had classmates named creamy, milky, stingray and spider. real names.

At 28/4/07 17:59, Blogger qaminante said...

My name (or at least the short form I am known by) is Lyn which also means lake, according to some sources! I don't know if that makes us a bit wet, it didn't make me a great swimmer, anyway. Wonder how Stingray and Spider turned out - and Astroflash ?!


Post a Comment

<< Home