Austrian Culture

Naming

  • Austria uses similar naming conventions to the English-speaking West. Some Austrians have two personal names (one that is a first name and one as a middle name) and a family name (e.g. Julia Anja BAUER).
  • Surnames are passed down to subsequent generations through the father’s lineage. 
  • After marriage, a couple can choose either of their surnames to be their new surname. The default case is to adopt the surname of the groom. The partner who changes their surname is allowed to use their maiden name alongside their partner's surname, connected with a hyphen (e.g. Julia Anja BAUER-SCHMIDT).
  • Some surnames will display characteristics of the local dialect. In some instances, some areas of Austria use diminutive endings -erl, -le or -li. For example, the name Schäuble has the diminutive ‘-le’. 
  • In the past, one popular naming tradition was to name the firstborn son after the father. In rural areas, this tradition continues but has largely shifted to the middle name. 
  • Children may also be given middle names derived from their mother or other relatives’ names.
  • Austrians have recently begun choosing more popular English and international names. However, some traditional names such as Anna and Lukas remain popular.

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