When it comes to first names, the Croats are quite traditional. With older generations first names are mostly of Slavic origin, such as the male names Željko, Tomislav and Zvonimir and the female names Mirna, Slavica and Nada, ... but more common Christian first names are widely used by Croats.
Since we're talking about names, have you ever wondered why the majority of Croatian last names end in –ić? In fact, the answer is quite simple ... find out in our blog article about Croatian last names!
As we wrote, Croats tend to stick to traditional first names, which is reflected in the list of most popular Croatian names over the last hundred years. In fact, the two most popular male names haven't changed for over a century!
Traditional Croatian male names of Slavic origin
These names end in -mir, -slav, -goj (e.g. Branimir, Miroslav and Domagoj). The oldest Croatian rulers were called Mislav, Borna, Domagoj, Tomislav and Krešimir, which means that some of these traditional names have been popular and commonly used since the 7th century!
Let's finish things off with the current top ten male and female first names, which are ... you've guessed it ... largely unchanged
Of course, each part of Croatia also has its own traditional names which are specific to that region. For example, Duje, Roko, Ante and Lovre are very common in Split but unusual in other parts of Croatia.
As a result of globalization, unusual and exotic names have also gained in popularity recently, for example: Tristan, Mars, Noel or Liam for boys and Aria, Elsa, Noemi or Kaia for girls.
Some grammatical peculiarities ...Male names which end with –e are declined like female nouns (e.g. Ante, Mile or Jure). Female names ending in a consonant are not declined at all! (e.g. Dolores, Ines and Jasmin)