Something has happened to the Germans’ name preferences in the last twenty years. In Berlin, Mohammed is again the most popular boy’s name – as it has been for four out of the last five years.

Name choices change with changing times. Some are due to changing fashions, some are due to long-term cultural or demographic changes.

Exotic naming customs

The Germans have set their sights on more exotic naming customs. In particular, there are names from the Arab/Muslim cultural circle such as Ahmed and Mohammed that have displaced Friedrich, Andreas, Wolfgang, Wilhelm, Arent, Hans, Adolf etc. that we are used to have.

Mohammed is particularly popular in urban circles. On a national basis, it is still only ranked number twenty, but given the long-term trends, it will most likely also be at the top in the country as a whole during the next twenty-year period.

Some are more enthusiastic than others about the changing naming trend. The Iranian-German writer Behzad Karim Khani considers the new name choices to be more an expression of demographic changes than a fad.

Asking Germans to integrate themselves

Khani says that the immigrants will inherit Germany and asks the Germans to integrate themselves. Time is on the migrants’ side, ethnic Germans are dying out:

I think we have reached the point where we can be honest about the situation. Let’s start with the simple premise that we – migrants, foreigners, call us what you will – are not going to leave voluntarily. And neither will you, dear organic Germans, even if you are definitely going away, demographically speaking. You are dying out, you need about 400,000 new workers every year for the next 15 years, that is approx. one million immigrants a year. We – the migrants – will inherit this country. We have time – It is time that you don’t have.

European phenomenon

The new name trends are not just a Berlin phenomenon, it is both a national German and European phenomenon.

The “capital” of Europe, Brussels, is no exception to these new naming trends. Various forms of Mohammed are three times as popular as Jean which is again closely followed by Ahmed.

On an international scale, Norway has a relatively strict naming law that exists to preserve our Nordic culture, but that does not mean that we are lagging behind in the swings. In Oslo, Mohammed, in all its variants, has been the most popular boy’s name for 14 years in a row – which, for incomprehensible reasons, the Central Statistics Office has tried to keep hidden from us for several years, but in 2019 they finally dropped the “bomb”.

China leads the way

The Chinese are something to themselves. In 2017, a list of ethnic minority names that are no longer allowed was announced. The list includes names such as “Muhammed”, “Arafat”, “Jihad”, “Mujahid” and “Medina”. The purpose shall be to prevent religious extremism. In the same slang, they also prescribed beards over a certain length and veils.

In Israel, the names “God”, “Hitler” and “Bin Laden” are forbidden. Mexico bans “Facebook” and “Circuncisión”, circumcision. To avoid bullying, the child must understandably not be called “Thor” either.

Variants of Mohammed

For those who want to customise their Mohammed, there are many possibilities: Magomed, Mahamed, Mahammud, Mahmad, Mamadou, Md, Mehmed, Mehmet, Mochamad, Mohamad, Mohamed, Mohammad, Mohammed, Mohamud, Mohd, Moohammed, Muhamad, Muhamed, Muhamet, Muhammed, Muhammet, Mukhammad.

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