Looking for German names for your future Kind or Kinder? We’ve got well over 100 of them, from the old-school to the current favs, right here.
Did you know that German is the most widely spoken mother language in Europe?
Since over 130 million people have this language close to their hearts, let’s look at some German names for your future Sohn or Tochter (that’s son or daughter, to all those who’re still practicing their Deutsch).
In this article: 📝
- What are common German names?
- What’s a good German name for a boy?
- What’s a German girl’s name?
- What are traditional German names?
- What are cool German names?
What are common German names?
Parents in German-speaking countries have some rules to follow when it comes to naming their babies.
They have to submit the name to the local town hall so it can be checked and approved.
Some names are forbidden.
And you have to pair a gender-neutral first name (like Alex) with a traditionally masculine or feminine middle name.
If you want to use a less common name in Austria, you have to prove that you didn’t make it up by showing the authorities a baby name book or a piece of literature from its culture of origin.
And in Switzerland, you can’t use a surname as a first name, give a name that’s traditionally for the opposite sex (like calling your daughter James or Thomas), or use a name that’s insulting or a joke.
So if unique names are harder to organize, you might be wondering: what are some common German names?
We’ll leave the stereotypes at the door, mama.
If you came here to find out what’s the most German name?, you won’t only find Heinrichs or Helgas on the list (not that there’s anything wrong with those if they’re your favorites!)
You’ll be pleased to know that the most common German names sound pretty fresh right now, wherever you are in the world.
What’s a good German name for a boy?
- Levi, which is pronounced LEH-vee auf Deutsch.
What’s a German girl’s name?
You’ll find more inspiration if you look to Austria and Switzerland.
Although these countries share a language, they have very different tastes in baby names.
Austria, for example, also loves the name Elias, but the rest of their top 10 for boys is completely different.
- Maximillian (usually shortened to Max or Maxi)
And the Swiss are fans of the name Matteo.
Right now, there are lots of interesting Austrian girls named:
And in Switzerland, Ida and Clara are standout choices.
What are traditional German names?
German families can have very deep roots.
Outside the main cities, families often live in the same place — even the same house — for generations.
Many German surnames have strong ties to a certain job or region.
And if you spend time traveling around rural Germany, it won’t be long before you notice the strong dialects and unique traditions in each part of the country.
If you want to capture this spirit, take a look at our post on Old German Names.
And we have plenty more classic German first names right here.
What are traditional German names for girls?
Let’s hear it for the Mädchen!
- Adalee: Meaning “noble wood,” this is the first of many German names with a forest flavor 🌳
- Adele: Pronounced Ad-EL-uh, this name means “noble.”
- Alina: Related to Helen, meaning “light” or “truth.”
- Anneliese: You might already know the shortened forms of Lise, Lisa, or Liesel. This name means “graced with God’s bounty.”
- Annika: This name has a beautiful catalog of meanings, including gracious, merciful, brilliant, unique, sweet, and elegant. 🥰
- Christine: In German, this name is pronounced Kris-TINE-uh and often shortened to Tine.
- Claudia: A Latin name meaning “enclosure,” this name features in the New Testament of the bible.
- Dorothy: “Gift of God”
- Elke: Pronounced Elk-uh, this name is related to the more familiar Alice and Eleanor.
- Elise: “Noble”
- Elisabeth: Always spelled with an S in German, this name belonged to Austria’s most famous empress, popularly known as Sissi.
- Gisele: A name fit for a princess 👑
- Gretchen: A nickname for Margarethe, which can also be shortened to Gretl.
- Heidi: A nickname for Adelheid, this name will always be associated with Johanna Spyri’s famous story of the Swiss Alps.
- Ilse: A traditional German spelling of the more familiar Elsa.
- Inge/Ingeborg: The name of a famous Austrian author, Ingeborg Bachmann.
- Jutta: A shortened form of the Biblical name Judith.
- Katharina/Katrin/Katja: These various German forms of the name Catherine are enduringly popular.
- Karin: The German spelling of Karen, meaning “pure.”
- Karlotte: This form of Charlotte is pronounced Kar-LOT-uh, and often shortened to Lotte (Lot-uh).
- Lynde: Meaning “gentle”. A linde is also a lime tree that grows in the parks of many German-speaking cities.
- Magdalena: After Mary Magdalene.
- Marlene: Pronounced Mar-LEH-nuh and often shortened to Leni.
- Maike: “Beloved”
- Matilda/Mathilde: “Mighty in battle”
- Nora: “Honor”
- Sabine: Sometimes shortened to Bine, pronounced “Bee-nuh.”
- Selma: “God’s helmet”
- Silvana: “Of the forest” 🌿 (We told you Germany was big on nature names.)
- Sylvia: “Spirit of the wood”
- Stefanie: This name means “crown” and is frequently shortened to Steffi.
- Thea: “Goddess”
- Valentina: “Healthy and strong.” Valentin is also a trendy name for German boys.
- Wilhelmina: Wondering what German name means “peace”? This one. And there are some more peaceful names on our boy’s list later.
- Zelda: “Strong woman.” Yes, please! More strong and powerful names here.
What are traditional German names for boy?
Boys are known as Jungs in Deutschland, Knaben in Switzerland, and Buben in Austria.
Whichever dialect sounds best to your ears, let’s find the perfect boy’s name for you!
- Arnold: Meaning “strong ruler”
- Bruno: “Brown”
- Caspar: This name is related to the Three Wise Men, who German-speaking countries celebrate on January 6th. It’s sometimes spelled Jesper or Gaspar. And you might consider a little Balthasar or Melchior to complete the set.
- Christopher/Christoph: After the saint of travelers and children.
- Egon: Born just outside Vienna, Egon Schiele is one of Austria’s most famous artists.
- Florian: “Blond” or “flowering”
- Gabriel: For your little angel 😇
- Gustav: Speaking of Austrian artists, Gustav Klimt is responsible for “The Kiss” which is up there with Van Gogh’s Sunflowers in terms of iconic European artwork. 🎨
- Heiko: “Master of the country”
- Heimo: “Home”
- Johann/Johannes: The German form of John.
- Karl: “Free man”
- Karsten: “Christian”
- Kiefer: Both the German word for a pine tree and an occupation name given to barrel makers.
- Konrad: “Bold advisor”
- Konstantin: This bold name is sometimes shortened to Connie, which is a sweet nickname for a little boy.
- Kurtis: “Polite one”
- Leopold: “Brave people”
- Lothar: “Famous warrior”. More names for your little fighter here.
- Manfred: “Man of peace” 🕊️
- Matthias: The German form of Matthew comes with a cool nickname in the form of Matze (MAT-zuh).
- Oscar/Oskar: This name has Irish roots but is very now in German-speaking countries.
- Otto: “Wealth” 🤑
- Rainer: “Deciding warrior”
- Raphael/Rafael: The second angelic boy’s name on this list.
- Sigmund: “Protection through victory.” And you can call him Ziggy!
- Udo/Udi: Short for Ulric, this means “power of the wolf.”
- Wolfgang/Wolf: And speaking of wolves, why not go with the classic?
What are cool German names?
Although some names like Sophie and Theo are popular all around the world, baby name trends can vary a lot between countries.
Some names that we might associate more with the 80s and 90s — like Valerie, Tanya, Kevin, or Ian — are surprisingly common in German Kindergarten.
Likewise, names that sound unique and exciting to us, like Renate or Arthur, are in that category of grandparent names that haven’t circled back to become vintage-chic.
But some names are just cool wherever they place on the charts.
Here are our favorite unique German names with meanings.
What are cool German baby names for boys?
- Acco: “Blade”
- Adalwolf: “Noble wolf”
- Adler: “Eagle”
- Amo: “Power of an eagle”
- Bardolf: “Axe wolf”
- Barnar: “Strong bear”
- Benedikt: “Blessed one”
- Brenner: A name for a tradesperson working with fire 🔥
- Dominik: “Belonging to the Lord”
- Elian: “God is family”
- Emil: “To strive”
- Fedde: “Peace”
- Hannes: A shortened form of Johannes.
- Just: Is Just a German name? Yep. It’s sometimes spelled Jost and means “well-to-do.”
- Martell: “Warrior of Mars”
- Niklas: An alternative form of Nicholas, which is also shortened to the very cool Nico.
What are cool German baby names for girls?
- Conra: “Admired by all”
- Dagmar: “Daughter”
- Jana: A nickname for Johanna
- Juna: From the month of June
- Kaete/Käthe: A nickname for Katherine.
- Mayne: “Powerful”
- Nele: “Horn”
- Noa: “Rest”
- Rainah: “Advice giver”
- Saacha: “Defender”
- Tamina: A fitting name for one of multiples. This name means “twin sister.”
Herzlichen Glückwunsch on your little bundle of joy. 🖤❤️💛