It’s probably no coincidence that the most popular names given to babies born in Norway last year were “Nora” for girls and “William” for boys. Those were the names of two leading characters in state broadcaster NRK’s hit series Skam (Shame).
“I don’t want to speculate, but it’s easy to believe that this has something to do with the series’ popularity,” said Jørgen Ouren of state statistics bureau SSB (Statistics Norway) when SSB released its list this week of most common names given to babies born in Norway in 2016.
The name “Nora” has been on SSB’s “Top 10” list since 2000 but suddenly jumped to the top spot last year after a relatively big increase in usage. “It’s quite unusual that top names make such a jump,” said Ouren, who’s responsible for SSB’s name statistics. He said there hadn’t been such a rise in name popularity since “Emma” took over the top spot in 2003.
SSB reported that the most popular names for baby girls in 2016 after Nora were Emma, Sara, Sofie, Sofia, Maja, Olivia, Ella, Ingrid and Emilie.
The most popular names for boys born in Norway were, after William, Oskar, Lucas, Mathias, Filip, Oliver, Jakob, Emil, Noah and Axel.
Parents seem to clearly be opting for shorter and simpler names, and avoiding names that contain the Norwegian letters æ, ø and å, which can cause complications in the digital age on everything from buying airline tickets online and filling in credit card information, or simply needing to use keyboards that lack them.