Religious names losing popularity in Azerbaijan
The Commission on Terminology under the auspices of the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan has noticed that Azerbaijani parents are less likely to give their children religious names than in the past.
Over the past 10 years, it was fashionable to name a child using names from the Qu’ran. New born girls were often named after the wives, daughters and other female relatives of Muhammad – Fatima, Medina, Khadija and Zahra. Boys where given other Qu’ranic names such as Ali, Yusif, Hossein and Hasan.
According to the Ministry of Justice of Azerbaijan, in 2017 the most popular name for boys was Yusif, while for girls it was Zahra. These names have been the most popular since 2011.
This year, however, the Turkic names Tural, Tungay, Teimur and Javanshir have become increasingly more popular.
Western names have also risen in the ranks, especially for women, such as Deniz (Denice), Jasmine and Selin (Celine).
In 2015, the Commission on Terminology put together a list of more than 200 names which are not recommended for children because they either have a negative connotation or ‘sound dissonant’.
The Commission also advised parents not to give children names that don’t have precedence or that don’t already exist.
For example: some parents have put together the first syllabus of their first names to come up with a name for their child. However, this list is of a strictly advisory nature. There are no limitations on selecting a name for one’s child in Azerbaijan.