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Noah and Emma When it comes to baby names, Swiss favour tradition over novelty

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Parents can spend hours poring over baby name books and looking for ideas online, convinced that their choice will have bearing on the life and character of the child.

(Keystone)

Switzerland may hold the crown for most innovative nation but when it comes to baby names the country reflects its penchant for stability.

Noah has been topping the charts for male baby names since 2014 in the Alpine nation, putting the country closer to Anglo-Saxon trends than European ones when it comes to boys. The name is also a high ranker in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Noah, however, did not make top ten in France, Italy, Germany or Austria.

Next in line are Luca, Leon, Gabriel, David, Elias, Samuel, Matteo and Ben. While Biblical names are in evidence, you can’t name your child Judas or Cain in rules-rich Switzerland. Swiss authorities must approve all baby names and generally blocks names considered potentially harmful to the child’s well-being or offensive to a third party. Brand and places names are also out.
 
When it comes to girls, Emma has overtaken Mia and returned to first place. This choice brings Switzerland closer to its neighbours. Swiss Emmas have a high chance of bumping into a namemate in Germany or France, where Emma was the most recurring name in 2017, and even in Austria and Italy, where it was top ten.

Jetsetting Emmas are also likely to cross paths in Canada and the US but not Australia.

Third in line in Switzerland, after Mia, came Sofia, followed by Lina and Lena. The biggest comeback was staged by Lea who somersaulted from 18th to 6th place. Lara, Emilia, Nina and Ana round out the top ten. Overall, there have been no major shake ups in the top ten charts for baby girl and boy names in Switzerland. A shift towards shorter names, evident since 2008, has held.

The Federal Statistics Office on Monday published its annual list with the top 20 names for boys and girls in 2017. It also analyses naming trends by language region.

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