What are the most popular baby names among foreigners in Switzerland?’

A new survey by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) shows that many immigrants in Switzerland favour traditional national names for their children.

What are the most popular baby names among foreigners in Switzerland?'
What's in a name? Very often, national origins. Photo by AFP

On Tuesday, The Local published an article about the most popular baby names in Switzerland in 2019.

Liam for boys and Mia for girls have emerged as winners.

Now let’s look specifically at what names members of the country’s foreign community gave their offspring born in Switzerland in 2019.

READ MORE: Revealed: Switzerland’s most popular baby names 


Italian parents favoured Maria, Anna, Francesca, Angela and Rosa for girls, and Giuseppe, Antonio, Francesco, Giovanni and Salvatore for boys.


For girls Julia, Claudia, Sabine, Anna and Susanne. For boys, the favourites were Michael, Thomas, Andreas, Christian and Alexander.


Marie, Sophie, Nathalie, Isabelle and Julie were top for girls. And Nicolas, Alexandre, Julien, Pierre and Philippe for the boys.


Girls: Maria, Ana, Sandra, Carla and Paula. Boys : José, Carlos, Manuel, Paulo,
Antonio, Pedro.

Photo by AFP



Maria, Ana, Laura, Carmen, Cristina for baby girls. José, Juan, Jose, Manuel, and Francisco for boys.


Most common names for girls were Fatime, Shqipe, Merita, Vlora and Valentina. For the boys, Arben, Bekim, Valon, Blerim, Leon and Burim were in the top five.


Fatime, Emine, Sara, Medina and Merita for girls, and Bekim, Muhamed, Fatmir, Arben and Amir for boys.


Favourite girls' names were Jelena, Marija, Snezana, Dragana, and Ivana. For boys, it was Aleksandar, Dragan, Nikola, Zoran, and Dejan.


Fatime, Ayse, Hastice, Elif, Zeynep were the top picks for baby girls. Mehmet, Ali, Mustafa, Ahmet and Hasan were the favourites for the boys.

Can you name your baby what you want?

Actually, not always. It's important to keep in mind that the cantonal registry offices, where new births must be announced, don't have to accept very unusual names.

Several years ago, for instance, a Zurich court ruled that parents can’t name their infant daughter ‘J’.

In another case, a couple in the canton of Bern were ordered to change the name of their newborn son because their choice – Jessico – was considered too feminine. 

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How to talk email, websites, social media and phone numbers in Swiss French

It's a very common experience to have to give out your phone number or email address in Switzerland, or take down the address of a website, so here's how to do this if you're in the French-speaking part of the country.

How to talk email, websites, social media and phone numbers in Swiss French

The correct names for punctuation marks used to be fairly low down on any French-learner’s list, but these days they are vital whenever you need to explain an email address, website or social media account.

Likewise if you want to talk about websites, or social media posts, there are some things that you need to know. 


Obviously punctuation points have their own names, and making sure you get the periods, dashes and underscores correct is vital to giving out account details. 

Full stop/period . point. Pronounced pwan, this is most commonly heard for Swiss websites or email addresses which end in. ch (pronounced pwan ce ash).

If you have a site that ends in .com you say ‘com’ as a word just as you would in English – pwan com.

At symbol @ Arobase – so for example the email address [email protected] would be jean pwan dupont arobas bluewin pwan ce ash.

Ampersand/and symbol & esperluette

Dash – tiret

Underscore _ tiret bas 

Forward slash / barre oblique

Upper case/capital lettersMajuscule (or lettre majuscule)

Lower caseminiscule

The following punctuation points are less common in email or web addresses, but worth knowing anyway:

Comma , virgule. In French a decimal point is indicated with a comma so two and a half would be 2,5 (deux virgule cinq)

Exclamation mark ! point d’exclamation – when you are writing in French you always leave a space between the final letter of the word and the exclamation mark – comme ça !

Question mark ? point d’interrogation – likewise, leave a space between the final character and a question mark 

Brackets/parentheses ( ) parenthèse

Quotation marks « » guillemets 


If you need to give your phone number out, the key thing to know is that Swiss-French people pair the numbers in a phone number when speaking.

So say your number is 079 345 6780, in French you would say zero septante-neuf, trois-cents quarante-cinq, soixante-sept, huitante (zero seventy-nine, three hundred forty-five, sixty-seven, eighty ).

Mobile numbers in Switzerland  begin with 079 or 078 (zero septante-neuf or zero septante-huit).

Social media

If you want to give out your Twitter or Instagram handle, the chances are you might need to know some punctuation terms as described above.

Otherwise the good news is that a lot of English-language social media terms are used in Switzerland too.

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have the same names in Switzerland and have entered the language in other ways too, for example you might describe your dinner as très instagrammable – ie it’s photogenic and would look good on Instagram.

On Twitter you can suivre (follow), aimer (like) or retweet (take a wild guess). You’ll often hear the English words for these terms too, though pronounced with a French accent.

There is a French translation for hashtag – it’s dièse mot, but in reality hashtag is also very widely used.

Tech is one of those areas where new concepts come along so quickly that the English terms often get embedded into everyday use before the French-speakers can think up an alternative.

READ MORE: French-speaking Switzerland: Seven life hacks that will make you feel like a local