The top 10 most popular girls and boys names in Albania have been published by INSTAT.
Topping the list for girls was the name Amelia, an English name derived from a German word meaning ‘work’ and the name given to the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic, Amelia Earhart. Amelja also made the top 10, a spelling variation of Amelia, making the total number of girls born in 2019 with that name, 681.
The second was Ajla with 327 occurrences in Tirana and popular in Durres, Elbasan, and Berat. Number three on the list was Aria, perhaps inspired by Arya Stark from the popular TV show ‘Game of Thrones’.
Five and six went to Leandra and Ambra respectively, followed by Klea meaning glory or flame in Greek.
Number 9 is Amaris which could be a reference to Rene d’Herblay, alias Aramis who was a fictional character in the book The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. Alternatively, it could refer to the first prestige men’s fragrance to be sold in department stores, made by Estee Lauder.
Reina at number 10 is the Spanish word for Queen but is also similar to the Celtic-Welsh ‘Rhiannon” which means “great queen”.
The prevalence of European names in the top 10 suggests a shift away from traditional Albanian names.
In terms of boys names, the trend of shunning traditional names for more contemporary names was also observed.
Noel took the number 1 spot with around 600 baby boys given that name in 2020. Noel is another word for Christmas, coming from the Old French ‘Nael’ meaning Christmas season.
Second on the list was Aron- an alternate spelling of the Biblical name “Aaron” which means someone from the mountains or with mountains of strength. Joel came in at number three, a reference to the Biblical prophet or perhaps to Billy Joel, the American singer-songwriter famous for the songs “Uptown Girl” and “Only the Good Die Young”.
Roan meaning raven in Frisian was at number 4 followed by Amar meaning immortal in India and Pakistan.
At number 6 was the Italian name Mateo followed by the similar-sounding moniker, Alteo.
In at number 8 is Roel, perhaps a cross between Roan and Joel, or referring to the Germanic word meaning “famous country”. Spanish name Luis was next at number 9 with 115 little boys in Tirana being bestowed the name, most likely in honour of footballer Luis Suarez.
Number 10 on the list of popular boys names for 2019 is Dion that has its roots in French and Greek language and means “child of heaven and earth”.