I think there WAS a regional difference between -lein and -chen as diminutive indicators, -lein being used more often in southern regions and -chen being of northern origin. However it's not a big difference today. Both of them are known all over Germany and only used for nicknames. German parents usually don't name their daughters Gretchen or Gretel (the latter is definitely more southern) but Margarete/Margareta because they tend to give them what they think is "the real name", so later she can choose whether she wants to be nicknamed or not.
My children are likely to be named:
Tobias Linnart & Elisa Sophie
This message was edited by the author on November 6, 2007 at 12:00:50 PM
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