What’s in a Name?

Cultural Enrichment News

This is not really news — we all knew it already — but it’s definitely cultural enrichment, so I’ll include it here. From NIS:

Mohamed Most Popular Baby Name in Dutch Cities

THE HAGUE, 13/08/09 — Mohamed is by far the most popular name for babies in the Netherlands’ four major cities. Additionally, many more boys are called Mohamed than the statistics suggest, Elsevier magazine reported yesterday.

Party for Freedom (PVV) MPs Geert Wilders and Sietse Fritsma requested the cabinet in written questions this week for a Top 7 of the most popular names in the big cities and for the Netherlands as a whole. Elsevier already received this data from the Social Insurance Bank (SVB).

The SVB data shows that in the four major cities — Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht — Mohamed (and the variations thereon like Mohammed and Muhammed) is by far the most frequently given name among boys. In The Hague, the various variants of the name of the Islamic Prophet even take first, second and fifth place in the Top 5.

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In Amsterdam, Mohamed and Mohammed come first and fourth, and Mohamed also comes top in Utrecht. In Rotterdam, Jayden is the most popular name, but if the various spellings of the Islamic prophet are combined, his name is also the unchallenged number one there.

SVB generally only publishes national baby-naming statistics. Elsevier comments that the various ways of writing ‘Mohamed’ are also regarded by SVB as different names — as a result of which this name misleadingly fails to appear in the Top 20 nationally, the magazine notes. If the four most customary spellings of ‘Mohamed’ are combined, the prophet’s name comes 16th nationwide.

For a complete listing of previous enrichment news, see The Cultural Enrichment Archives.

Hat tip: TB.

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