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German Names for Boys

August 31, 2009

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German names just aren’t that popular at the moment.  For the past several years, it hasn’t been exactly fashionable to show off your German roots.  Irish?  Go ahead.  Scandinavian?  Nothing could be better.  German?  Eh, that’s unfortunate; maybe one of your great-great-great grand-uncles was Irish.  Use Caitlyn.  (note:  this exchange is supposed to be tongue-in-cheek)

But there HAS been a marked decrease in the usage of German names over the past 100 years or so.  Maybe it’s just that the sounds aren’t that fashionable right now.  German-based names were hugely popular back during the time of our great-great grandfathers (I had a GG-grandma with the middle name of Gertrude, as probably almost everybody did).

Maybe all the German names need is some more time.  Maybe everybody will get tired of all of those vowelly, slippery names that are in vogue right now, and realize afresh that there is something to be said for consonants.  Let’s bring Friedrich and Bruno back!

All the same, I don’t expect these posts about German names to get very many hits.  Oh well, popularity isn’t everything.  :)  (channeling my mother from 1991, when a popular girl made fun of me, calling my earrings “gay.”)

I think there is hope for the future of German names.  Amazingly enough, there is a little boy in our school right now named Heinrich.  I think that’s promising, don’t you?

German Names for Boys

Alban
Albert
Alfons
Alwin
Amand
Andreas
Anselm
Anton
Armin
Arno
Bastian
Benno
Bertram
Bjorn
Bram
Bruno
Carl
Carsten
Christoph
Detlef
Dieter
Dietrich
Dirk
Everard
Egon
Emil
Emmerich
Engel
Erich
Erwin
Fabian
Felix
Ferdinand
Florian
Franz
Friedemann
Friedrich
Fritz
Gilbert
Gregor
Gunnar
Gunther
Guntram
Gustav
Hans
Heinrich
Henrik
Jan
Johann
Johannes
Karl
Karsten
Kuno
Kurt
Lambert
Lars
Leopold
Ludwig
Lukas
Menno
Otto
Rainer
Rolf
Rudolf
Rupert
Sebastian
Severin
Siegfried
Sigmund
Soren
Stefan
Torben
Udo
Ulrich
Waldo
Wenzel
Werner
Wilhelm
Wolfgang
Wolfram

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3 comments

  1. I’ve been wondering about Christoph. It looks like someone just forgot the final -er, but I like the sound better. Do you think you could actually call your kiddo Christoph in the US, or would it sound off?

    And Fritz is a great nickname.


    • I’m with you: I love the sound of Christoph, but it does look a bit incomplete. Maybe Kristof could be an option.

      And I have a name-crush on Frederick, nicknamed “Fritz.” So cute!


  2. My husband and I both adore Wolfgang, and I love Dietrich. So many German names are just awesome. But they’re a bit much with our Germanic surname, especially since we don’t plan on going with a German theme — Liam and Sean [our top two choices for a boy] don’t exactly “go” with Wolfgang and Dietrich.



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