Name of the Year 2016


What a year it has been for the naming circles of the world. We’ve seen and judged names that have been brought up through the headlines, through celebrity gossip, through the sayings of other people, names like DonaldLyanna and James.

Now is the time for me to choose the blog’s first ever award for name of the year. As I sometimes cover names from overseas, it would be natural for me to list out names from overseas and not just the English-speaking world. The listing was easy, but choosing the right one was hard.
Nevertheless, I have come to the conclusion that “Maybe it is Daijirō”‘s Name of 2016 goes to:


Origin: Turkish
Refers to: a laurel or bay leaf¹
Other notes: possibly a rendition of Daphne² which means “laurel” in Greek²
Pronunciation: DEF-neh [ˈde̞fnɛ] (second e like “bed,” first e slightly more closed than the second)

Defne first charted in Turkey’s top 100 back in 2008 – back then, it was in 50th place. It continued to chart in the 40s and 50s in ranking until 2014 when it rose to 25th place³.
At that time, there were two dramas that were broadcast which should be worth noting, one a teen drama (Medcezir) which has an actress named Defne playing a recurring part, the other a drama (Kaderimin Yazıldığı Gün), more suited for adults, which includes a character named Defne. From what I can find, the teen drama is proven to be popular and it may have a more major influence than the other drama.
Fast forward one year and you get Defne jumping to 9th place. Kaderimin Yazıldığı Gün was still being broadcast at that point, but then you get a new drama (Kiralık Aşk) which stars a main character named Defne. Based on the number of followers these dramas have on Instagram, it seems clear that Kiralık Aşk is a very popular drama (in fact, it outnumbers the number of followers for Kaderimin Yazıldığı Gün 36.6492146597:1) and that helped Defne secure her place into the top 10.

The data for 2016 from Turkey aren’t released yet (as of the time of this writing) but yesterday, the top 500 for Germany (which has relatively high amounts of Turks and its descendents) as compiled by Knud Bielefeld of was released and, from that data, it shows that, for 2016, Defne jumped 145 places to 192nd place⁴. So, expect Defne to rise further into the top 10 when the Turkish data comes out (though I doubt she will overtake Zeynep to become the top girl name).

What do you think of Defne? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below the sources. Also, if you have your own name of 2016, why not share it with us?

Turkish Dictionary “defne” –¹
Behind the Name on:

Turkish Statistical Institute –³
Germany’s popularity lists over the years –⁴


One thought on “Name of the Year 2016

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