Scanning through some names given to babies in 2011, one name caught my attention and that was Berlin. With other cities of the world being used on children including London, Paris and Sydney, the German capital of Berlin seems like a natural choice as a successor to these names.
|Marlene Dietrich in 'The Blue Angel',|
the epitome of Weimar Germany Style
Berlin (pronounced: BEHR-lyn) is of German origin and means ‘borderline’. I don’t think that place names generally are chosen for their meaning but for what the culturally represent to the parents of the child. In the 1920s, Berlin became an epicenter of culture and was the heart of the Roaring Twenties thanks to the Weimar Republic that was established at the end of WWI. Films such as ‘Metropolis’, ‘Blue Angel’ starring Marlene Dietrich and ‘Pandora’s Box’ starring Louise Brooks where made in Germany at this time and the movie and musical ‘Cabaret’ starring Liza Minnelli is a good look at what Weimar Germany was all about.
Berlin is of course also known for the Berlin Wall that divided Berlin during The Cold War. Of course, I prefer the imagery of 1920’s Berlin but of course, the Berlin Wall was an iconic structure connected to the city for a time.
In 2011, the name was given to 97 baby girls and 5 baby boys. This is compared to other capital names such as London (given to 3145 girls and 448 boys), Paris (given to 927 girls and 74 boys) and Sydney (given to 3942 girls and 66 boys)/Sidney (given to 412 girls and 227 boys) or even the popular non-capital place name of Brooklyn (given to 7115 girls and 77 boys), the name Berlin is a rare and unique choice when it comes to selecting a place name for your child.