Monthly Archives: November 2013

First Names in Slovenia

Photo: SURS (Statistical office of the Republic of Slovenia)

Photo: SURS (Statistical office of the Republic of Slovenia)

Personal male and female names in Slovenia are quite easy to distinguish. A simple rule says that female names usually end with an -a and male names with a consonant. Still, there are some exceptions:

Nives, Ines, Karmen, Iris, Kim and Karin are female names ending with a consonant.

Mitja, Luka, Žiga, Jaka, Miha, Bine, Nino, Marko, Anže, Jože, Jure, Drago and Samo are some of male names ending with a vowel.

Names which follow an unwritten rule:

  • male names ending to consonant: Martin, Erik, Aleksander, Peter, Nik, Boris, Tomaž.
  • female names ending to -a: Teja, Tina, Manca, Katarina, Darja, Kaja.

The most common names in Slovenia

The 5 most common names by the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (Statistični urad Republike Slovenije) are:

Male names female names
Franc Marija
Janez Ana
Anton Maja
Ivan Irena
Jožef Mojca

Franc following by Janez and Marija following by Ana are the most common names in Slovenia, although nowadays very few people name their children with these names. These names were frequently in our parents and grandparents generations (roughly age 50 and up).

Changes in Slovenian naming trends

It is interesting how the names change with time. Names of our grand parents and great-grand parents aren’t in use anymore. Exceptions are the “evergreen” names Ana and Maja, which are still quite common in younger generations. In recent years new, unique, and sometimes unfamiliar names have entered into the Slovenian space, a lot of them are foreign names which are translated into Slovenian in their grammatical structure.

Statistics from 2011 show that newborns usually get very short names, with only 3 or 4 letters. From the names I’ve seen, I see that parents “experiment” a lot with first names. They aren’t traditional anymore, but this also depends on the region in Slovenia. More traditional names are still distinctive in the countryside.

“New” modern names from a 2011 statistics report:

  • modern male names: Žan, Gal, Lan, Maj, Tian, Val, Bor, Teo, Jon, Brin, Žak, Lukas, Tim, and more
  • modern female names: Lara, Ema, Lana, Zoja, Hana, Zala, Ela, Mia, Iza, Loti, Lia, and more

Apparently the motto of giving names is to choose a unique and short specimen nowadays.

Slavic origins in Slovenian names

In Slovenia, there are also numerous names of Slavic origin. For example Andreja, Branka, Maša, Nataša, Zvezdana and Alenka for women, and Ciril, Darko, Cvetko, Domen, Jurij, Klemen and Zdravko for men.