The area of low pressure that became a storm was first spotted in early December by experts at the Metrological Institute at the University of Berlin who named it Burglind. The institute has been naming storms since 1954.
However, the UK Met Office and Met Eireann, its Irish counterpart, have a pre-agreed list of storm names. Eleanor was next on this list and became the name used across most of the rest of Europe. Following a US tradition, the UK and Irish met offices decided to start naming storms in 2015.
The next name on the UK/Irish met office list is Fionn, more Irish than English and not very German.
In multilingual Switzerland the recent storm created name confusion. While French speakers opted for Eleanor, German speakers decided to stick with the original German name.
What about Switzerland’s Italian speakers? They joined the same linguistic jet stream as their German speaking compatriots naming it tempesta Burglind, in contrast to the Italians who opted for tempesta Eleanor.
If regional accent differences fail, perhaps storm name interrogation could be used to identify a person’s origins.