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The 50 most common Croatian first names

The first dictionary of contemporary Croatian personal names (Photo: Pixabay)

Ivan is the most popular name in Croatia with over 130,000 of them according to the last census. Ivan has been the most common in Croatia since the 16th century. 

The first dictionary of contemporary Croatian personal names developed by contemporary scientific methodology has been published and will be presented in Zagreb this month at Interliber. 

The authors are Ankica Čilaš Šimpraga, Dubravka Ivšić Majić and Domagoj Vidović, with Branimir Brgles and Joža Horvat also working on it. 

A shortened version was put out today by daily Jutarnji list revealing details about 3,000 names in Croatia, such as the fact that the old name of Šime is ‘in’ again in Zadar and there are over 1,800 people named Elvis in Croatia. 

“This is the first dictionary of contemporary Croatian personal names that was developed by contemporary scientific methodology. We were all interested in names: which were the most common, when and why names started, which are both linguistic and cultural, as well as how many people have these names today. It is written so that it is understandable to everyone and has many interesting facts in it. We wrote it so that we could, in some ways, give something to our people,” explained author Ankica Čilaš Šimpraga.

The oldest names in the dictionary are from the 9th century and they are Borna, Branimir, Budimir and Domagoj, whilst holy names started to appear from the 10th century. Folk names and holy names were popular until the 16th century and then for 200 years holy names became overwhelmingly dominant. Only two folk names survived – Božo and Cvjetko and the respective female versions Božica and Cvita.

Čilaš says that ‘short and nice’ names are popular today. 

Before the 20th century, it was not important whether the name was international, but the child was named after the grandfather or a saint. 

In the city of Split, which was often avant-garde in choosing names, was the first place in Croatia where foreign names started to appear such as Pamela and Samanta. 

“That’s logical because there have always been a lot of seamen in this town who on their journeys came across unusual names,” the author adds. 

The most common names in the last decade have been Mia, Ema, Ena, Dora, Elena, Hana, Karla, Leona and Nika for girl and Noa, Borna, David, Gabrijel, Jakov, Jan and Ivano for boys. Parents have almost given up on names which end in the suffix ‘ica’ like Ivica, Nadica and Jurica which were popular from the 50s – 70s last century. 

Most Common Names in Croatia (according to the last census)

1. Ivan – 130,828

2. Marija – 126,646

3. Ana – 81,751

4. Josip – 77,324

5. Marko – 50,393

6. Ivana – 49.943

7. Stjepan – 45,287

8. Tomislav – 39,105

9. Željko – 37,869

10. Ivica – 35,909

11. Mario – 32,708

12. Nikola – 32,304

13. Luka – 30,293

14. Mirjana – 29,319

15. Katarina – 28,618

16. Nada – 26,660

17. Damir – 26,372

18. Petar – 26,068

19. Dragica – 25,952

20. Ljubica – 24,557

21. Milan – 24,038

22. Vesna – 22,923

23. Marina – 23,604

24. Goran – 22, 617

25. Kata – 22,615

26. Marica – 22,563

27. Branko – 22,234

28. Martina – 21,025

29. Franjo – 20,623

30. Katica – 20,429

31. Maja – 20,159

32. Marijan – 19,998

33. Kristina – 19,884

34. Jelena – 19,504

35. Vladimir – 19,058

36. Mladen – 19,043

37. Darko – 19,036

38. Iva – 18,762

39. Sanja – 18,821

40. Gordana – 17,879

41. Petra – 17,852

42. Mara – 17,774

43. Zoran – 17,711

44. Anka – 17,231

45. Mirko – 16,857

46. Ivanka – 16,804

47. Snježana – 16,729

48. Filip – 16,701

49. Antun – 16,421

50. Igor – 16,331

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