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german boy names

The Top 200 Traditional German Boy Names

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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

  1. Achim
    Short form of Joachim (see there).
  2. Adam
    In the Bible, Adam was the first man created by God from clay. So he is considered the father of humankind.
  3. Albert
    The name is a short form of the old name Adalbert and is composed of the Old High German words for noble and famous.
  4. Alexander
    Name of Greek origin. Alexander means something along the lines of “the man-defender” or “protector of men”.
  5. Alfred
    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”.
  6. Andreas
    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.
  7. Anton
    Originally a Roman family name. The veneration of St. Anthony of Padua (13th century) made it popular in Germany as well.
  8. Armin
    Armin is the Latin form of an originally Germanic name, Arminius. Germanic ermana or irmina means “all-encompassing” or “great”. See also Herrmann.
  9. Arnd / Arndt
    Short form of Arnold = the eagle, the ruler.
  10. Arne / Arno
    Also short forms of Arnold.
  11. 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).
  12. Axel
    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

  1. Benedikt
    The Christian given name Benedict means “the blessed one” or “the blessing one.”
  2. Bernd
    Short form of Bernhard.
  3. 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”.
  4. 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).
  5. Björn
    Name of Scandinavian origin, meaning “bear”.
  6. Bodo
    Ancient German name, derived from Old Saxon bodo (=ruler).
  7. Boris
    Boris is a short form of the Slavic given name Borislaw. The Slavic parts of the name are “boru” (fight) and “slava” (glory).
  8. Bruno
    From old German “brun”: brown, the brown one – in a figurative sense this means the bear.
  9. Burkhard
    Derives from Burg (castle) and hart = (hard/strong). So it means “strong castle” or “strong protector.”
old german boys names
Image by Natalia K from Pixabay

German Boy Names starting with C

  1. Carl / Karl
    see Karl
  2. Carsten / Karsten
    A variation of Christian, popular in Northern Germany.
  3. Christian / Kristian
    Traditionally characterized a man converted to the Christian faith.
  4. Christoph / Christopher
    Literally the “Christ bearer”. Goes back to St. Christopherus, the patron saint of travelers.
  5. Claas / Klaas
    A short form of Nikolaus, popular in Northern Germany and the Netherlands.
  6. Clemens / Klemens
    Of Latin origin, derives from Latin meaning “mild, gentle”.
  7. Cornelius
    Meant originally a member of an important Roman family (gens Cornelia).

German Boy Names starting with D

  1. Daniel
    Biblical origin, meaning “God is my judge.”
  2. David
    Also of biblical origin, referring to King David. David stands for “beloved.”
  3. Dennis
    English short form of Dionysius, “The one consecrated to the god Dionysus”.
  4. Detlef / Detlev
    Derives from old German “diut leif” (friend of the people).
  5. Dieter
    Name with old German origin. Combination of the two parts “diot” (people) and “heri” (army).
  6. Dietmar
    Dietmar comes from the Gothic name Thiudamer. It consists of the Gothic words “thiuda” (the people) and “mers” (famous).
  7. Dietrich / Diedrich
    Also of Gothic origin. Consists of the Gothic words “thiuda” (the people) and “rihhi” (mighty).
  8. Dirk
    Lowgerman form of Dietrich.
  9. Dominik
    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 names for guys
Image by Natalia K from Pixabay

German Boy Names starting with E

  1. Eberhard
    Strong, wild boar.
  2. Eckard / Eckart / Eckhard
    Originally “Ekkehard”, “the sword strong one.”
  3. Edgar
    Anglo-Saxon name meaning “the one defending his property with a spear.”
  4. Eduard
    German version of “Edward”, “guardian of wealth.”
  5. Egon
    From Germanic “Agi” for “fear, terror.”
  6. Eike
    North German name derived from the Old High German “Akki” for “blade.”
  7. Erhard
    Typical German name, standing for “noble and strong.”
  8. Erich
    Scandinavian “Eirik”, “sole ruler.”
  9. Erik
    see above
  10. Ernst
    Originally “Ernust” meaning “dispute or fight”. Nowadays the word “Ernst” stands for “seriousness” in the German language.
  11. Erwin
    Germanic origin, meaning “noble friend.”
  12. Eugen
    Originally Greek “the well-born.”

German Boy Names starting with F

  1. Falk
    From falcon, the famous bird of prey.
  2. Felix
    Originally Latin, meaning “the lucky one.”
  3. Florian
    From Latin “florus” for “blooming, magnificent.”
  4. Frank
    Originally denotes a member of the Franconian tribe, where “Frank” stands for “free” or “brave”.
  5. Franz
    Short form of “Franziskus”, origin see “Frank.”
  6. Fred
    Short form of either “Manfred” or “Friedrich.”
  7. Frederik
    see Friedrich below
  8. Friedhelm
    Meaning “protector of peace.”
  9. 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.
traditional boy names in german
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German Boy Names starting with G

  1. Georg
    From greek “Georgios”, stands for “farmer.”
  2. Gerald
    Germanic for “the one ruling with his spear.”
  3. Gerd / Gert
    Short forms of Gerhard
  4. Gerhard
    From Old High German, meaning “the bold one with the spear.”
  5. Gerrit
    Frisian form of “Gerhard”, see above.
  6. Götz / Goetz
    Short form of originally “Gottfried,” which stands for God and peace or protection.
  7. Gregor
    Greek origin, meaning “I’m on guard.”
  8. Guido
    Form germanic Withold, meaning “man from the woods.” Common in Germany and Italy.
  9. Gunnar
    Nordic name, meaning “fighter from the north.”
  10. Gunter / Gunther
    From the old words for “battle” and “army.”
  11. Günter / Günther
    Variation of Gunther.

German Boy Names starting with H

  1. Hans
    Short form of “Johannes”, English “John.” One of the most common German boy names in the 20th century.
  2. Harald
    Germanic male name, meaning “commander of an army.”
  3. Harry
  4. Hartmut
    Old high German name from the words for “strength, courage” and “mind, spirit.”
  5. Hartwig
  6. Hauke
    Frisian form of Hugo.
  7. Heiko
    Low German form of the name “Heinrich.”
  8. Heiner
    Another variant of “Heinrich.”
  9. Heino
    Frisian short form of Heinrich.
  10. Heinrich / Henry
    Old High German for “ruler” and “home.”
  11. Heinz
    Short form of Heinrich.
  12. Helge
    From Scandinavia, meaning “holy.”
  13. Helmut
    A name with exclusive German heritage. Going back to the Germanic words for either “sound” or “courageous” and “spirit.”
  14. Hendrik
    German / Dutch variant of the name “Heinrich.”
  15. Henning
    Low german form of “Johannes.”
  16. Henrik / Henrick
    Scandinavian and north German form of “Heinrich.” A popular German boy’s name in the North.
  17. Herbert
    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.”
  18. Hermann
    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.
  19. Holger
  20. Horst
  21. Hubert
  22. Hugo
    Of germanic origin, meaning “mind, thinking spirit.”
common german boy names
Image by Natalia K from Pixabay

German Boy Names starting with I

  1. Ingo
    Short form of Ingolf.
  2. Ingolf
    Derives from Ingwio, the name of a Germanic tribal god.

German Boy Names starting with J

  1. Jakob
  2. Jan
  3. Jasper
  4. Jens
  5. Joachim
    Joachim is a biblical name of Hebrew origin. Original forms are Jehoiakim and Jehoiakin. In Hebrew the name means “God erects” or “God founds”.
  6. Jochen
  7. Johannes / Johann
  8. Jonas
  9. Jonathan
    Hebrew for “the Lord has given.”
  10. Jörg
    Short form of “Georg”, meaning “farmer.”
  11. Jörn
  12. Josef / Joseph
  13. Julius
  14. Jürgen
  15. Justus
    Latin name, stands for “the just.”
boy names in german
Image by Luda Kot from Pixabay

German Boy Names starting with K

  1. Kai / Kay
  2. Karl
    From the Middle Low German “kerle” (free man).
  3. Klaus
    Short form of Nikolaus.
  4. Knut
  5. Konrad
    From Middle High German, stands for “the bold advisor.”
  6. Konstantin
  7. Kurt

German Boy Names starting with L

  1. Lars / Lasse
    Scandinavian short form of “Laurentius”, origin unclear.
  2. Lennard / Lennart
    Scandinavian forms of Leonard.
  3. Leonard
    From old Germanic for “brave as a lion.”
  4. Lorenz
    German derivation of the Latin name Laurentius.
  5. Lothar
  6. Ludwig
    “Glorious fighter” in Old Franconian.
  7. Lukas
  8. Lutz
    Short form of Ludwig.

German Boy Names starting with M

  1. Maik / Meik / Mike
    Short forms of Michael.
  2. Malte
    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.
  3. Manfred
    An alemannic name, meaning “man of peace.”
  4. Mark
  5. Markus
  6. Martin
  7. Matthias / Mathias
  8. Maximilian / Max
    From Latin “Maximus”, the Greatest.
  9. Michael
    One of the most popular German boy names. Referring to one of the biblical archangels.
  10. Moritz
    German version of “Mauricius”, the black leader of a Roman legion who refused to kill Christians.

German Boy Names starting with N

  1. Niklas
    Short form of Nikolaus.
  2. Nikola / Nicola
    Short form of Nikolaus, can also be used as a girl’s name.
  3. Nikolai
    Variant of Nikolaus.
  4. Nikolas
    Variant of Nikolaus.
  5. Nikolaus
    Greek origin, meaning “victory of the people.”
  6. Nils / Niels
    Scandinavian short name, also related to Nikolaus.
  7. Norbert
    Once a famous German name, but rather rare today. From the old words for “shining and “North.”
  8. Norman
    The man from the north.

German Boy Names starting with O

  1. Olaf
  2. Ole
  3. Oliver
  4. Otto

German Boy Names starting with P

  1. Pascal
  2. Patrick
  3. Paul
  4. Peer
  5. Peter
  6. Philipp

German Boy Names starting with R

  1. Raimund
  2. Rainer / Reiner
  3. Ralf / Ralph
  4. Reinhard / Reinhardt
  5. Reinhold
  6. Richard
  7. Robert
  8. Roland
  9. Rolf
  10. Roman
  11. Ronald
  12. Ronny
  13. Rüdiger
  14. Rudolf

German Boy Names starting with S

  1. Sascha
  2. Sebastian
  3. Sigfried / Siegfried
  4. Simon
  5. Sönke
  6. Sören
  7. Stefan / Stephan
  8. Steffen
  9. Sven / Swen

German Boy Names starting with T

  1. Thilo / Tilo
  2. Thomas / Tomas
  3. Thorsten / Torsten
  4. Til / Till
  5. Tilmann / Tillman / Tillmann
  6. Tim
  7. Timo
  8. Tino
  9. Tobias
  10. Tom
  11. Toni / Tony
  12. Torben / Thorben
german baby boy names
Image by Claudio Claudio from Pixabay

German Boy Names starting with U

  1. Udo
    Related to Ulrich, stands for “the man close to his homeland.”
  2. Ulf
    From old nordic for wolf.
  3. Ulrich
    From the old words for “heritage” and “ruler.”
  4. Uwe
    Origin unclear. Could stem from Ulrich or from frisian “ova”, “being active.”

German Boy Names starting with V

  1. Victor / Viktor
    From Latin for “victorious.”
  2. Vincent
    Related to Victor, “the winning one.”
  3. Volker
    Old High German origin, “the people’s fighter.”

German Boy Names starting with W

  1. Waldemar
    Name from North Germany and Scandinavia, meaning “famous ruler.”
  2. Walter / Walther
    Same origin like “Harald”, only the two original Old High German words making up the name are swapped.
  3. Werner
    Old High German for “keeper of the army.”
  4. Wieland
    Name from old German mythology. Wieland was a blacksmith and the name means “the artful forger.”
  5. Wilfried / Willfried
    Old Saxon for “longing for peace.”
  6. Wilhelm / Willi / Willy
    From Old Saxon words for “determination” and “helmet or protection.”
  7. Winfried
    German first name, meaning “friend of peace.”
  8. Wolf
    From “wolf”, of course.
  9. Wolfgang
    Combination of the words for “wolf” and “walk”, means roughly “he who goes [into battle] with the wolf.”
  10. Wolfram
    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! 🙂