When your family has its roots in Germany or you have other ties there, it is a nice touch to give your baby boy a German name. If not as first name, then possibly as a middle name.
Some people choose the first names of their ancestors, but you are free of course to choose a german boy name you really like. So we compiled a list of traditional German boy names for you, together with their meaning.
Table of Contents
- German Boy Names starting with A
- German Boy Names starting with B
- German Boy Names starting with C
- German Boy Names starting with D
- German Boy Names starting with E
- German Boy Names starting with F
- German Boy Names starting with G
- German Boy Names starting with H
- German Boy Names starting with I
- German Boy Names starting with J
- German Boy Names starting with K
- German Boy Names starting with L
- German Boy Names starting with M
- German Boy Names starting with N
- German Boy Names starting with O
- German Boy Names starting with P
- German Boy Names starting with R
- German Boy Names starting with S
- German Boy Names starting with T
- German Boy Names starting with U
- German Boy Names starting with V
- German Boy Names starting with W
- Traditional German Boy Names – Conclusion
German Boy Names starting with A
Short form of Joachim (see there).
In the Bible, Adam was the first man created by God from clay. So he is considered the father of humankind.
The name is a short form of the old name Adalbert and is composed of the Old High German words for noble and famous.
Name of Greek origin. Alexander means something along the lines of “the man-defender” or “protector of men”.
The name originally goes back to the old German name Alfrad. This consists of the two Old High German words alb for “nature spirit” and rad for “advisor”.
A very common german boy name. In every class on any German school there’s usually at least one boy named Andreas. The meaning of the name is manly or brave.
Originally a Roman family name. The veneration of St. Anthony of Padua (13th century) made it popular in Germany as well.
Armin is the Latin form of an originally Germanic name, Arminius. Germanic ermana or irmina means “all-encompassing” or “great”. See also Herrmann.
- Arnd / Arndt
Short form of Arnold = the eagle, the ruler.
- Arne / Arno
Also short forms of Arnold.
- Artur / Arthur
A common boy name in Germany and England. Popularized by the legend of King Arthur and his knights (6th century). The origin of the name is not clear; it could stem from Celtic ‘arth’ (bear, artos in Latin) or perhaps from Latin “artus” (meaning: firm).
Swedish short form of the Hebrew name Absalom. Became popular in Germany in the 1930s. So maybe not really a traditional German boy name, but rather popular throughout the 20th century.
German Boy Names starting with B
The Christian given name Benedict means “the blessed one” or “the blessing one.”
Short form of Bernhard.
This German name has been in use since the Middle Ages. Bernhard is based on the Old High German words for “bear” and “hard”.
- Berthold / Bertold
The name was often used by the dukes of southern Germany and stems from the Old High German words “beruht” (shiny) and “waltan” (rule).
Name of Scandinavian origin, meaning “bear”.
Ancient German name, derived from Old Saxon bodo (=ruler).
Boris is a short form of the Slavic given name Borislaw. The Slavic parts of the name are “boru” (fight) and “slava” (glory).
From old German “brun”: brown, the brown one – in a figurative sense this means the bear.
Derives from Burg (castle) and hart = (hard/strong). So it means “strong castle” or “strong protector.”
German Boy Names starting with C
- Carl / Karl
- Carsten / Karsten
A variation of Christian, popular in Northern Germany.
- Christian / Kristian
Traditionally characterized a man converted to the Christian faith.
- Christoph / Christopher
Literally the “Christ bearer”. Goes back to St. Christopherus, the patron saint of travelers.
- Claas / Klaas
A short form of Nikolaus, popular in Northern Germany and the Netherlands.
- Clemens / Klemens
Of Latin origin, derives from Latin meaning “mild, gentle”.
Meant originally a member of an important Roman family (gens Cornelia).
German Boy Names starting with D
Biblical origin, meaning “God is my judge.”
Also of biblical origin, referring to King David. David stands for “beloved.”
English short form of Dionysius, “The one consecrated to the god Dionysus”.
- Detlef / Detlev
Derives from old German “diut leif” (friend of the people).
Name with old German origin. Combination of the two parts “diot” (people) and “heri” (army).
Dietmar comes from the Gothic name Thiudamer. It consists of the Gothic words “thiuda” (the people) and “mers” (famous).
- Dietrich / Diedrich
Also of Gothic origin. Consists of the Gothic words “thiuda” (the people) and “rihhi” (mighty).
Lowgerman form of Dietrich.
Variant of the Latin name Dominic. Made famous by St. Dominic, the founder of the Dominican Order in the 13th century. In old times often used for children born on a Sunday.
German Boy Names starting with E
Strong, wild boar.
- Eckard / Eckart / Eckhard
Originally “Ekkehard”, “the sword strong one.”
Anglo-Saxon name meaning “the one defending his property with a spear.”
German version of “Edward”, “guardian of wealth.”
From Germanic “Agi” for “fear, terror.”
North German name derived from the Old High German “Akki” for “blade.”
Typical German name, standing for “noble and strong.”
Scandinavian “Eirik”, “sole ruler.”
Originally “Ernust” meaning “dispute or fight”. Nowadays the word “Ernst” stands for “seriousness” in the German language.
Germanic origin, meaning “noble friend.”
Originally Greek “the well-born.”
German Boy Names starting with F
From falcon, the famous bird of prey.
Originally Latin, meaning “the lucky one.”
From Latin “florus” for “blooming, magnificent.”
Originally denotes a member of the Franconian tribe, where “Frank” stands for “free” or “brave”.
Short form of “Franziskus”, origin see “Frank.”
Short form of either “Manfred” or “Friedrich.”
see Friedrich below
Meaning “protector of peace.”
- Friedrich / Fritz
One of the classic German names, from the Old High German words for “peace, protection” and “mighty, powerful.” Due to the name’s popularity in the 18th and 19th century, British and Russian soldiers called their German enemies “Fritze” during the First and Second World War. The Americans used the nickname “Krauts” instead.
German Boy Names starting with G
From greek “Georgios”, stands for “farmer.”
Germanic for “the one ruling with his spear.”
- Gerd / Gert
Short forms of Gerhard
From Old High German, meaning “the bold one with the spear.”
Frisian form of “Gerhard”, see above.
- Götz / Goetz
Short form of originally “Gottfried,” which stands for God and peace or protection.
Greek origin, meaning “I’m on guard.”
Form germanic Withold, meaning “man from the woods.” Common in Germany and Italy.
Nordic name, meaning “fighter from the north.”
- Gunter / Gunther
From the old words for “battle” and “army.”
- Günter / Günther
Variation of Gunther.
German Boy Names starting with H
Short form of “Johannes”, English “John.” One of the most common German boy names in the 20th century.
Germanic male name, meaning “commander of an army.”
Old high German name from the words for “strength, courage” and “mind, spirit.”
Frisian form of Hugo.
Low German form of the name “Heinrich.”
Another variant of “Heinrich.”
Frisian short form of Heinrich.
- Heinrich / Henry
Old High German for “ruler” and “home.”
Short form of Heinrich.
From Scandinavia, meaning “holy.”
A name with exclusive German heritage. Going back to the Germanic words for either “sound” or “courageous” and “spirit.”
German / Dutch variant of the name “Heinrich.”
Low german form of “Johannes.”
- Henrik / Henrick
Scandinavian and north German form of “Heinrich.” A popular German boy’s name in the North.
One of the most popular German boy names at the beginning of the 20th century, but seldom used today. It means as much as “famous warrior.”
Different version of the Germanic name Armin or Arminius, meaning “great” or “all-embracing.”
The most famous historical bearer of the name Hermann is a Cheruscan prince. He managed to unite several Germanic tribes and defeated the Romans in the legendary Varus Battle in the year 9 AD. Therefore he is considered the “father” of the German nation.
Of germanic origin, meaning “mind, thinking spirit.”
German Boy Names starting with I
Short form of Ingolf.
Derives from Ingwio, the name of a Germanic tribal god.
German Boy Names starting with J
Joachim is a biblical name of Hebrew origin. Original forms are Jehoiakim and Jehoiakin. In Hebrew the name means “God erects” or “God founds”.
- Johannes / Johann
Hebrew for “the Lord has given.”
Short form of “Georg”, meaning “farmer.”
- Josef / Joseph
Latin name, stands for “the just.”
German Boy Names starting with K
- Kai / Kay
From the Middle Low German “kerle” (free man).
Short form of Nikolaus.
From Middle High German, stands for “the bold advisor.”
German Boy Names starting with L
- Lars / Lasse
Scandinavian short form of “Laurentius”, origin unclear.
- Lennard / Lennart
Scandinavian forms of Leonard.
From old Germanic for “brave as a lion.”
German derivation of the Latin name Laurentius.
“Glorious fighter” in Old Franconian.
Short form of Ludwig.
German Boy Names starting with M
- Maik / Meik / Mike
Short forms of Michael.
Short form of the old German-Danish name Helmolt, meaning “ruling guardian.” Helmolt is no longer in use, but the short form is still popular in North Germany and Scandinavia.
An alemannic name, meaning “man of peace.”
- Matthias / Mathias
- Maximilian / Max
From Latin “Maximus”, the Greatest.
One of the most popular German boy names. Referring to one of the biblical archangels.
German version of “Mauricius”, the black leader of a Roman legion who refused to kill Christians.
German Boy Names starting with N
Short form of Nikolaus.
- Nikola / Nicola
Short form of Nikolaus, can also be used as a girl’s name.
Variant of Nikolaus.
Variant of Nikolaus.
Greek origin, meaning “victory of the people.”
- Nils / Niels
Scandinavian short name, also related to Nikolaus.
Once a famous German name, but rather rare today. From the old words for “shining and “North.”
The man from the north.
German Boy Names starting with O
German Boy Names starting with P
German Boy Names starting with R
- Rainer / Reiner
- Ralf / Ralph
- Reinhard / Reinhardt
German Boy Names starting with S
- Sigfried / Siegfried
- Stefan / Stephan
- Sven / Swen
German Boy Names starting with T
- Thilo / Tilo
- Thomas / Tomas
- Thorsten / Torsten
- Til / Till
- Tilmann / Tillman / Tillmann
- Toni / Tony
- Torben / Thorben
German Boy Names starting with U
Related to Ulrich, stands for “the man close to his homeland.”
From old nordic for wolf.
From the old words for “heritage” and “ruler.”
Origin unclear. Could stem from Ulrich or from frisian “ova”, “being active.”
German Boy Names starting with V
- Victor / Viktor
From Latin for “victorious.”
Related to Victor, “the winning one.”
Old High German origin, “the people’s fighter.”
German Boy Names starting with W
Name from North Germany and Scandinavia, meaning “famous ruler.”
- Walter / Walther
Same origin like “Harald”, only the two original Old High German words making up the name are swapped.
Old High German for “keeper of the army.”
Name from old German mythology. Wieland was a blacksmith and the name means “the artful forger.”
- Wilfried / Willfried
Old Saxon for “longing for peace.”
- Wilhelm / Willi / Willy
From Old Saxon words for “determination” and “helmet or protection.”
German first name, meaning “friend of peace.”
From “wolf”, of course.
Combination of the words for “wolf” and “walk”, means roughly “he who goes [into battle] with the wolf.”
From Germanic “wolf” and “raven.”
Traditional German Boy Names – Conclusion
As you can see, Germany has a long and rich history which also reflects in the names the people give their children. From ancient roman and greek names to the names of famous German rulers and kings. Names from mythology as well as those which stand for attributes they wish their children to have. Rather common German boy names as well as those that sound unfamiliar to the English ear.
In case you were looking for a name for your little baby boy, we hope you found a nice one for him! And in case you were just curious, we hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into Germanic history from the unusual angle of traditional German names.
Auf Wiedersehen! 🙂