Let us inspire you with ancient names, their meanings, and how they’ve evolved. These 90+ Old German names work just as well in the new millennium. Read on!
Are you on the hunt for a gorgeous baby name for your little sausage?
Old German names could be the way to go.
If you have German heritage or just an affinity for vintage names, you might find just the thing you’re looking for on this list.
These Old German baby names are cool, quirky, and anything but run-of-the-mill.
It’s tradition in Germany to give your child several first names.
So if you’re stuck and can’t choose just one, feel free to use many!
In this article: 📝
- What is the most German first name?
- What is the rarest German name?
- What is a very German girl name?
- What is a very German boy name?
What is the most German first name?
While we can’t say for sure what the most German first name ever is, we can give you ideas for those that have been around for a long time.
The Germanic peoples of Northern Europe traveled down from Scandinavia in the first millennium BC.
The language they spoke closely resembles Germanic languages today, although their tribes were made up of Vandals, Franks, Saxons, Swedes, and others.
Old German names were often combinations of specific roots like ermen in the case of Emma, or adal in Ada.
That’s why you’ll see so many of the same themes running throughout the names.
Often those of nobility, peace, bravery, and strength.
What is the rarest German name?
Again, the more ancient ones probably top the list when it comes to the most rare.
In many of the names below, you’ll see we’ve included the original version of the name as well as the more modern form (which is often easier to pronounce!).
What is a very German girl name?
When it comes to old German girl names, these are our favorites.
They are strong, fierce, and striking. What a gift to give to your girl child!
- Adelheidis: This tricky to say if-you-don’t-speak-Old-German name, has evolved into the gorgeous Ada, which means “noble.”
- Alba: A lovely little name meaning “elf.”
- Alia: This name meaning “completely” or “fairy maiden” has both Hebrew and old Germanic connections. Its more modern version is Ella.
- Amelia: This name meaning “work” comes from Amalia.
- Astrid: This name means “super strength.”
- Ava: A name that has become popular in recent times, Ava is a short form of Germanic names beginning with avi, like Avila.
- Berhta: This might look like a spelling mistake, but it is actually the older form of what we now know as Bertha, meaning “bright and famous.”
- Caroline: With its many forms like Karolina, Carrie, Lina, and Kerrolyn, this versatile name means “strong.”
- Emma: Originally a diminutive form of Germanic names that began with the ermen root, meaning “whole or universal,” Emma has come to hold its own.
- Emmeline: Also a derivative of Amal/Amalia meaning “work,” this classic name has all sorts of charm.
- Frida: A lovely name meaning “peace.”
- Genovefa: This ancient name evolved into Genevieve, meaning “of the race of women.”
- Gertrudis: Now known as Gertrude, this classic name means “strength.”
- Gisila: This name we now know as Giselle is as gorgeous as the famous model herself.
- Heidi: The shortened version of Adelheid, meaning “noble and serene.”
- Hilda: This strong female name has a mighty meaning — “battle.”
- Ida: This short and sweet name means “industrious one” or “youthful.”
- Ima: This lovely variant of Emma is ever so sweet.
- Inga: Feminine form of Inge, meaning “hero’s daughter.”
- Leyna: “Little angel.”
- Linda: This modern-sounding name is actually a medieval short form of Germanic names with the root lind, meaning “flexible, soft, mild.”
- Lorelei: Meaning “alluring,” this German name is unsurprisingly the name of Marilyn Monroe’s character in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
- Matilda: This popular name means “battle mighty.”
- Maud: “Strength in battle.”
- Millicent: This old-fashioned name meaning “gentle strength” comes with the adorable diminutive of Millie.
- Nadine: A lovely name meaning “brave as a bear.”
- Odilia: With roots meaning both “fatherland” and “wealth,” this stunning name is a great choice if you’re looking to rock a vintage vibe.
- Pepin: “Perseverance”
- Roderica: Feminine form of Roderick meaning “famous one.”
- Rosmunda: This is the Germanic form of the lovely Rosamund, meaning “protection.”
- Roza: From its Germanic roots, Roza means “fame.”
- Saxa: This fabulous girl’s name is the older form of the more familiar Saskia and refers to a Saxon woman.
- Willa: This feminine version of the classic name William means “resolute protection.”
- Win: Meaning “friend,” this simple little name packs a gentle punch.
- Zelda: “Gray warrior”
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What is a very German boy name?
These Old German boy names have been around for thousands of years, and many are still in use today. Check out our top picks!
- Adalberht: This fearsome name softened over the years into the cute Albert.
- Adalfuns: This name becomes Alfonso in more modern times.
- Agi: A little name with a big meaning — “edge of a sword.”
- Alaric: “Ruler of all.” ‘Nuff said!
- Aldo: This lovely name means “old” and possibly “noble.”
- Alfwin: This magical-sounding name means “elf friend.”
- Anzo: An interesting name meaning “giant.”
- Archibald: This long name is so easily shortened to the ever-popular stand-alone Archie, and means “truly brave.”
- Baldwin: This German name meaning “bold” and “friend” makes a strong first name.
- Bernard: This strong name means “bear” and “brave.”
- Bertram: This name means “bright raven” and would be perfect for a dark-haired baby.
- Bruno: Here, we have to talk about Bruno and its old German meaning of “armor,” “protection,” and “brown.”
- Chlodovech: This ancient form of Ludwig means “famous warrior.”
- Conrad: Means “brave counsel” and is still a common name in modern Germany.
- Dietrich: “Ever-powerful ruler”
- Eadmund: This royal name found itself changing to Edmund, and means “wealth” and “protection.”
- Eberhard: This strong name meaning “brave as a wild boar” is more commonly seen in its modern form Everett.
- Emmett: We’ve already heard all about the girl name Emma, but did you know it has a masculine version too?
- Ernst: “Vigorous.”
- Erwin: Meaning “army” and “friend.”
- Ferdinand: “Journey” and “daring.”
- Frederick: This powerful sounding name means “peaceful ruler” and pares down so nicely into Fred.
- Gaston: From the Old German Gasto, this name means “foreign warrior.”
- Gerhard: Loose the ‘h,’ and we have the modern form of Gerard, meaning “spear” and “brave and strong.”
- Gerold: This is the German form of Gerald, meaning “spear” and “rule.”
- Gilbert: This lovely name means bright pledge.”
- Godafrid: This older form of Godfrey means ”god” and “peace.”
- Haribert: This old Germanic name has shifted into Herbert over the years and means “army,” “warrior,” and “bright.”
- Heimo: This interesting name draws on the root of heim, meaning “home.”
- Heimrich: This old Germanic name means “estate ruler” and has evolved into Henri and Henry over the years. All three are super strong and commanding.
- Herman: Meaning “army man”
- Johann: “God is gracious”
- Karl: This well-known German name meaning “free man” evolved into the royal-sounding Charles.
- Kuno: This majestic name refers to “clan” or “family”
- Lanzo: The Old German form of Lance.
- Leonard: Meaning “brave lion,” this is a lovely name for a little fighter.
- Leudbald: The old German for Leopold means “people ‘’ and “bold.”
- Louis: Not just regal-sounding, this name also means “renowned warrior.”
- Luther: “Warrior”
- Manno: Meaning “man,” this short form of various Germanic names stands well as a name in its own right.
- Milo: Meaning “soldier” and “merciful,” Mylo is an alternative spelling.
- Norbert: This cute name means “north” and “bright.”
- Norman: This historic name meaning “northman” refers to Vikings.
- Otto or Otis: This luxurious name means “wealthy.”
- Raymond: Meaning “wise protector,” this German name is one many of us are familiar with.
- Regin: A form of Rein meaning “advice counsel.”
- Reinhard: A variation on Reynard, meaning “counsel” and “brave, hardy.”
- Richard: This name with Germanic roots meaning “ruler,” “mighty,” “brave,” and “hardy” has stood the test of time.
- Robert: Another one we’ve all heard before, this name means “bright flame.”
- Rocco: This stunning ancient Germanic name means “rest” and is a popular boy’s name at the moment.
- Rupert: This German form of Robert means “bright flame.”
- Sigimar: A powerful name meaning “fame” and “victory.”
- Ulrich: Meaning “prosperity” and “power”
- Vulfgang: This name molded into Wolfgang over the years.
- Waldhar: This name became the Walter we now know and means “ruler of the army.”
- Waldo: This one means “powerful” and “ruler.”
- Wilbur: This cute name for a baby boy means “resolute” and “brilliant.”
- Willifrid: The old form of Wilfred which means “peace.”
And remember, if you can’t choose, picking more than one name for your child makes it all the more German!