According to Croatia’s Ministry of Justice and Administration, the most popular baby names in the country last year were (again) Mia and Luka.
Here are Croatia’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2020:
Mia (531 baby girls)
Luka (870 baby boys)
Roko (the Croatian form of Rocco)
In the girls’ top 10, Mila replaced Iva.
In the boys’ top 10, Noa and Filip replaced Karlo and Borna.
Finally, here are some insights about Croatian baby-naming trends from sociologist Ivan Balabanic:
Today, parents give their children names that are more pleasing to the ear and in accordance with their own taste, because new generations have moved away from the traditional obligation to give names of other family members to children […] Today’s names are also a reflection of greater freedoms, individualism and personalism because parents are no longer so attached to tradition and extended families.
He noted that modern Croatian parents are moving away from names that were popular during the Yugoslavian era (1945-1991) — names like Milan, Dražen, Mladen, Zdravko — and also away from the names of historical Croatian princes, such as Krešimir, Trpimir, Branimir and Domagoj.
Reggae legend Bob Marley (born Robert Nesta Marley) died in mid-1981 of cancer.
Marley didn’t leave a will, so what followed was a ten-year battle over his estate, which was worth tens of millions of dollars. The estate’s court-appointed administrator was apparently “a conservative lawyer who had not liked Marley when he was alive and who […] seemed bent on taking as much as possible from those who had been closest to the deceased.”
On December 9, 1991, the Jamaican Supreme Court ruled in favor of Marley’s widow Alpharita Constantia “Rita” Marley, his 11* recognized children, and his record company.
As luck would have it, the very same day, Marley’s adult son Ziggy (born David Nesta Marley) welcomed a baby girl. Her name? Justice, “in honor of the court decision.”
*Only three of the children — Cedella, Ziggy, and Stephen — were both Bob’s and Rita’s biologically.
The exotic-looking name Saadia first popped up in the U.S. baby name data in 1954:
1956: 10 baby girls named Saadia
1955: 17 baby girls named Saadia
1954: 19 baby girls named Saadia [debut]
The movie Saadia, released at the end of 1953. (It was based on the 1950 book Échec au destin by Francis D’Autheville.)
The film was set in the Moroccan desert, and the primary female character was a young woman named Saadia (pronounced sah-dee-ah), played by actress Rita Gam.
Though the character was female, the earliest known real-life Saadia was male: Sa’adia ben Joseph, 10th-century Jewish philosopher and rabbi.
The name “Saadia,” which, so far as is known, he was the first to bear, is apparently an artificial Hebrew equivalent of his Arabic name, “Sa’id.”
The name Sa’id means “happy” or “lucky” in Arabic.
But, getting back to the 1950s…a comedic movie called 3 Ring Circus — filmed while Saadia was playing in theaters, and released at the end of 1954 — also included a character named Saadia (this time played by Zsa Zsa Gabor). This second film may have influenced expectant parents as well.