The most unique German baby names and their meanings

Would you ever consider these traditional and German origin names for your baby?

german names

by Samantha Price |
Updated on

From the weird and wonderful to timeless and traditional, names shape our entire lives and a rather large part of our identities. So if you're in the midst of choosing a name for your baby - and if you've ended up on this page you're likely interested in a German name ­čĹÇ - no pressure.

If you're looking for unique and unusual names, this list might do the trick. It's especially a lovely idea if distant family are of German origin.

If you're looking to relocate to Germany however, you might want to reconsider some name choices, as the rules are a lot stricter there. Baby names have to be approved by the civil registration office and if the name is rejected, parents have to appeal or submit a new name. Who'd have thought?

So take a good look, have a good think and see if any of these beautiful names offer some inspiration.

Popular German names

For boys

german names
German names for boys ┬ęGetty

Anton: German form of Anthony, meaning 'priceless'.

Archie: diminutive of Archibald, which is composed of the Germanic elements 'ercan', meaning 'genuine' and 'bald', meaning 'brave.'

Charles: from the Old German 'carl,' meaning 'a man'.

Edward: strong as a boar.

Harry: from the Germanic name Heimirich, with 'heim' meaning 'home' and 'ric' meaning 'power, ruler'.

Henry: also from the Germanic name Heimerich.

Johan: German variant of the Hebrew name Yohanan, meaning 'God gave pardon.'

Leon: lion.

Louis: from Old German name Ludwig, meaning 'famous warrior'.

Lukas: German variant of Lucas.

Max: a Germanic name which can ultimately be traced back to the common Roman family name Maximus, meaning 'greatest'.

Oskar: German variant of Oscar.

Otis: wealthy.

Theo: from Germanic name Theobald, composed of the elements 'theod' meaning 'people' and 'bald' meaning 'bold'.

William: from Old Germanic name Wilhelm which means 'resolute protector' or 'strong-willed warrior'.

For girls

german names
German names for girls ┬ęGetty

Alice: sweet, pleasant, noble.

Adele: same as Alice!

Amelia: industrious.

Ella: from the Old German name Alia, meaning 'all'.

Emily: feminine form of Emil, from the Roman family name Aemilius, meaning industrious.

Emilia: variant of Emily.

Emma: from the Old German 'ermin' or 'irmin', meaning universal.

Hanna: German variant of Hannah.

Ida: industrious.

Johanna: of Hebrew and German origin, meaning 'God is Gracious.'

Louise: feminine form of Louis, meaning 'famous warrior'.

Lorelei: the enchantress.

Marlene: star of the sea.

Matilda: mighty in battle.

Stefanie: crown.

Names with German origin for boys

german names
Names with German origin ┬ęGetty

Arnie: diminutive of Arnold. The eagle rules, strong as an eagle.

Armin: Old German name taken from the latin 'arminus', meaning 'hero'.

August: German form of the Latin name Augustus, meaning 'majestic dignity'.

Axel: father of peace

Barrett: from the Old German name Beroald meaning 'bear power'. Brave as a bear.

Brendan: flame.

Bruno: from the Old German 'brun' meaning 'brown'.

Christofer: with Christ inside.

Emery: meaning 'industrious'.

Emerson: son of Emery.

Emil: of German origin that means 'to strive'.

Emmett: powerful.

Engel: angel.

Everett: comes from Germanic composed of the elements 'eber' meaning 'wild boar' and 'hardy' or 'strong.'

Franz: meaning French man, or free man.

Hayden: of Old German origin, meaning heathen.

Hugo: mind.

Jay: swift.

Kellen: slender.

Luther: of Old German origin, meaning is "warrior, soldier of the people".

Leonard: of Old German origin, Leonhard meaning 'brave lion'.

Raymond: from Germanic name Reginmund, in Old German 'regin' meaning 'counsel'.

Richard: brave ruler, from Germanic elements ric 'ruler, mighty' and hard 'brave, hardy'.

Roland: meaning 'famous throughout the land'.

Rudy: abbreviation of Rudolph, meaning famed wolf.

Rupert: comes from the Germanic 'hrod', meaning 'fame' and 'berhtl', meaning 'bright'.

Milo: soft-hearted, merciful.

Odis: wealthy.

Otto: same as Odis!

Varick: honorable defender.

Names with German origin for girls

german names
Names with German origin ┬ęGetty

Ada: sweet, pleasant, noble.

Adalia: God is my noble one.

Annelise: from the German origin composed of the names Anna and Lisa.

Annemarie: bitter grace.

Amalda: eagle, or strong.

Ava: a bird

Belle: white, light, fair.

Billie: diminutive form of Wilhelmina.

Carla: feminine form of Carl, meaning 'free man'.

Cheryl: feminine form of Charles, also meaning 'free man'.

Edith: riches, blessed.

Eloise: derived from the Old German name Helewidis, meaning 'hale' and 'wide'.

Elsa: a diminutive of Elizabeth, meaning 'my god is bountiful', or 'god of plenty'.

Etta: little one

Freya: from the Old German 'frouwa', meaning 'lady'.

Greta: abbreviation of Margaret, pearl.

Harriet: home ruler.

Heidi: brave, noble.

Ilse: a diminutive of Elizabeth, meaning 'my god is bountiful', or 'god of plenty'.

Isolde: meaning 'ice' and 'rule'.

Juliane: youthful.

Madelyn: means 'woman from Magdala' or 'high tower'.

Millie: variant of Amelia, meaning 'strength'.

Ottilie: feminine form of Otto, meaning Elfin spear.

Ramona: wise protector.

Robyn: bright, famous one.

Romy: means rosemary, or person from Rome.

Rosamund: from the Germanic 'hros', meaning 'horse' and 'mund', meaning 'protection'.

Tilly: variant of Matilda, meaning mighty in battle.

Zelda: strong woman.

Traditional German names

For boys

traditional german names
Traditional german names ┬ęGetty

Albert: bright, noble.

Bill: diminutive of William meaning will-helmet.

Bobbie: diminutive of Robert meaning famed, bright, shining.

Ernest: from the Old German 'Ernust,' meaning serious, determined.

Gunther: from an Old German name meaning war or battle.

Hans: German variant of John, which means 'Gift from God' or 'God has been gracious'.

Herbert: illustrious warrior.

Herman: soldier.

J├╝rgen: son of George.

Karl: man.

Klaus: diminutive of Nikolaus, meaning people of victory.

Stefan: German variant of Stephen, which means 'crown' or 'garland'.

Walter / Walt: commander of the army.

Wagner: is derived from the Germanic surname 'Waganari', meaning 'wagonmaker' or 'wagon driver'.

Wolfgang: from Old German, meaning wolf and 'gang' meaning 'path'.

For girls

traditional german names
Traditional german names ┬ęGetty

Elsie: noble.

Emmeline: variant of Emily, meaning hardworking.

Ernestine: feminine of Ernest, meaning serious.

Ethel: noble

Geraldine: feminine of Gerald. Rules with a spear.

Gertrude:** from the Old German name, meaning strong spear.

Gisela:** plegdge.

Gretel: pearl.

Helga: pious.

Ingrid: beautiful.

Irma: comes from Old German meaning 'world'.

Isolde: variant of Isolda, meaning 'ice' and 'rule'.

Maude:** powerful battler.

Ursula: little bear.

Waltraud: strength.

Names based on German locations

german city baby names
German location names ┬ęGetty

Berlin: the capital of Germany.

Celle: is a town and capital of the district of Celle, features a beautiful castle.

Dresden: a city in the capital of Saxony

Essen: a city in western Germany.

Hagen: German city.

Halle: a city in central Germany.

Jena: German city.

Kiel: a port city in Germany.

Raven: inspired by the district of Ravensburg.

Owen: a German town.

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These common UK surnames are actually of German origin:

Frost: from Old English and Old High German meaning 'frost', a nickname for a person who had a cold personality or a white beard.

Holland: Indicated a person from the Dutch province of Holland

Lowe: means 'lion' in German.

Mann: from a nickname meaning 'man', this may have originally been given in order to distinguish the bearer from a younger person with the same name.

Peters: son of Peter.

Warner: variant of Werner, meaning 'guard' or 'army'.

West: a person who lived to the west of something, or who came from the west.

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