Denmark’s most popular names for kids are Emma and William

Statistics Denmark has released an updated list of the most popular names for children born in the first half of 2022.

Denmark’s most popular names for kids are Emma and William
The most popular names for kids under 10 in Denmark are William and Emma, but there is some movement in the trends for names given in 2022. Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

While the most popular choices for new names in the first six months of last year are different from those in 2021, the most popular names overall for children under 10 years are still Emma and William.

In 2021, Oscar and Alma were the names written on the largest number of Danish birth certificates for boys and girls respectively. They were replaced by William and Ella in the first half of last year, with Oscar and Alma both moving down to second place.

Some 278 boys were called William in the first half of last year, while 222 girls were given the name Ella.

Overall, many names on the 2022 list are also present on the 2021 list. Some names – such as Theo, Aksel and Sofia – replaced previous entries like Clara and Arthur.

Broadening Statistics Denmark’s data to cover the age group 1-9 years, the most common name given to boys is William, and for girls Emma.

There are 5,019 boys called William in the age range in Denmark, and 4,077 Emmas.

Statistically, a full name consisting of three separate names is the most common format in Denmark. Some 55 percent of the population have three separate names, a proportion which hasn’t changed over the last 30 years.

Danes commonly use two surnames in a three-word full name. While the last of the three names is the surname, people are also often referred to by the second name, particularly in the public sphere.

A typical example of this is former prime minister (and current foreign minister) Lars Løkke Rasmussen, whose surname is Rasmussen – coincidentally the same surname as his two predecessors as PM. He is commonly referred to as “Lars Løkke”.

Many in Denmark inherit one surname from each of their parents (although not always). They may or may not change their names if they marry and it’s common to keep one of the original surnames and take one from their partner – but again, this is by no means a standard practice.

The number of people in Denmark with four names has gone up, from 9 percent in 1993 to 12 percent today.

Latest data suggests the trend could continue, because the number of one-year-olds with four names has increased from 10 to 22 percent, while the number with only two names has fallen, from 27 to 15 percent.

Most popular Danish names for boys and girls in the first half of 2022:

  1. William
  2. Oscar
  3. Carl
  4. Malthe
  5. Emil
  6. Valdemar
  7. Noah
  8. Aksel
  9. August
  10. Theo

  1. Ella
  2. Alma
  3. Nora
  4. Ida
  5. Freja
  6. Sofia
  7. Luna
  8. Olivia
  9. Agnes
  10. Asta

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Six terrible AI-generated jokes about Danish things

Artificial Intelligence programmes such as ChatGPT have made headlines worldwide for writing scarily accurate essays, poems, and even newspaper articles. We decided to ask ChatGPT to tell us some jokes about Danish things, and here's what happened.

Six terrible AI-generated jokes about Danish things

How does this work?

We’re using ChatGPT, an open-source AI model designed for dialogue. Essentially, you type in a question and it generates a response. After testing its article-writing skills (which in some cases were pretty good, in others… not so much), we decided to test how good it was at telling jokes.

Spoiler alert: it wasn’t entirely fruitful.

First off, I asked the AI to “tell me a joke about Copenhagen”.

That was a decent opening effort in my book, although I’m an unashamed fan of dad jokes. I gave it another chance.

This one was well wide of the mark. Denmark hasn’t had a king since 1972. I pulled up the AI on this and it skirted the issue.

I took the AI’s cue for the next one and asked it for a joke about the Queen, but its sense of humour seemed to have deserted it.

ChatGPT probably has a point here, though. The conversation was getting a bit royal-heavy, so I went for a different tactic, asking it to “tell us a joke about rye bread”.

This was just about passable I think, but didn’t really raise a laugh. Next up: a real challenge.

This won me over. Although it technically isn’t a joke, the AI just beautifully skewered the most worn-out Danish cliché of all time.

I told it as much and then asked it it to “tell me a joke about the Danish weather”…

Oh dear. Make of this what you will but my take is that it’s not a very funny subject.

I had to start a new chat because of the error and by this point, I was getting a bit tired of the traditional joke format. So I asked it to write a standup comedy routine about Danish politics.

There was no dice here, so I changed tack and asked for a sitcom scene set in a Danish bakery. Here’s a section of the scene:

I like the choice of names but as you can see, the punchlines are scant and I received a ticking off at the end for having requested jokes about politics before.

I concluded the AI’s sense of humour is not easy to “get”, which gives it something in common with Danish humour at least. To finish off, I asked for a haiku about Jutland and received this in reward.

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