Swiss association offers money to anyone who names their child Fritz
When it comes to naming children, trends tend to come and go - some names gain sudden popularity thanks to a TV show, movie or event, and others, once common, slowly consign themselves to history. However, much like the Nigels of the United Kingdom and the Mildreds of the USA, a soon-to-be-extinct Swiss name is fighting back, with a local association promising to give parents money if they name their child Fritz.
Swiss Fritz Association on brink of extinction
According to 20 Minuten, as the Fritz Association (Fritzverein) in Canton Aargau prepares to celebrate its 90th anniversary in the autumn, many in the club are worried. Speaking to the newspaper, association president Fritz Bürgi said that they "have little hope that we will be able to recruit younger Fritzen again in the near future."
Bürgi added that according to their records they "have no knowledge of [any] children who have been baptised with the name Fritz in recent years." The Federal Statistical Office is similarly bleak, with the latest most popular baby names in Switzerland list revealing that only eight people were registered with the name Fritz in 2020 and 2021 combined.
Small payment to keep the Swiss name alive
To help coax parents towards the name Fritz - which is a shortening of Friedrich but has also come to mean “the Germans” in the British psyche - the association is reviving one of its oldest traditions. In the words of Bürgi, “Anyone who honours the world with a young Fritzen" will be given five Swiss francs.
Once the new Fritz receives their birth certificate and hopefully their first ever pocket money, the president confirmed that “admission to the club would also be conceivable", with all members meant to pay a membership fee of 50 rappen (cents) a month towards the running of the club. While they used to “only accept adult Fritzen”, Bürgi said that exceptions may be made as the club currently only has 11 members, all but one of whom are claiming their pension.