Believe it or not in the 21st century Portuguese families are still choosing the traditional names of João and Maria for their babies.
The two ‘ancient’ names are in first and second slots (Maria a first for girls, João a second for boys) for 2019, with only Francisco pipping João to the post.
There were 5,198 Marias born this year, 1,618 Franciscos and 1,544 Joãos.
Other favourite choices in the national ‘top 10’ are, girls: Leonor, Matilde, Carolina, Beatriz, Alice, Benedita, Mariana, Ana and Francisca, and boys: Santiago, Afonso, Gabriel, Duarte, Lourenço, Miguel, Rodrigo and Tomás.
One very possible reason for the lack of originality is that Portugal still has a ‘list’ of permitted names that parents have to choose from.
Any deviations from the list have to be officially sanctioned (and paid for) hence why so many families plump for names that have been around for generations.