German First Names Lexicon
German-English Names Glossary
In English we call it your "given name," "Christian name," or "first name" (Vorname). Such names are subject to fashion; they come into and fall out of favor. In the German-speaking world today, traditional Germanic names for boys and girls are largely out of fashion. (Maximilian would be the current exception, but that popular "German" name actually comes from Latin. Also see First Names in Germany and the USA.) The following list of Germanic first names is more of a linguistic and historical look at Germanic first names.
|German First Names - Vornamen
|Symbols used: f. (feminine), m. (masculine), Gr. (Greek), Lat. (Latin), OHG (Old High German), Sp. (Spanish).
The gender of names is only indicated in cases where that may not be obvious.
|Abbo, Abo m.
Short form of names with "Adal-" (Adelbert)
From Gr. hagnos (pure)
The "Amal-" prefix may refer to the Amaler/Amelungen, the name of the eastern Gothic (ostgotisch) royal house. OHG "beraht" means "shining."
Short form of "Joachim" (of Hebrew origin, "whom God exalts"); Joachim and Anne were said to be the parents of the Virgin Mary. Name Day: 16 August
|Alberich, Elberich m.
From OHG for "ruler of natural spirits"
See "Amal-" above. OHG "fried" means "peace."
|Ada, Adda f.
Short for names with "Adel-" (Adelheid, Adelgunde)
|Amalie, Amalia f.
Short for names with "Amal-"
|Adalbald, Adalbold m.
From OHG for "noble" and "bold"
From Gr. ambr—sios (divine, immortal)
|Adalbert, Adelbert m.
See explanation below.
|Albrun, Albruna f.
From OHG for "advised by natural spirits"
|Andrea f., Andreas m.
From Gr. andreios (brave, masculine)
|Adal-/Adel-: Names beginning with this prefix derive from the OHG adal, meaning noble, aristocratic (modern Ger. edel). Representative are: Adalbrand (Adelbrand), Adalbrecht, Adalfried, Adalger, Adelgund(e), Adalhard, Adelheid (Engl., Adelaide), Adalhelm, Adelhild(e), Adelar, Adelinde, Adalmann, Adalmar (Adelmar, Aldemar), Adalrich, Adalwin, Adalwolf.|
From Gr. for "protector"
from Gr./Lat. for angel
|Adolfa, Adolfine f.
from masc. Adolf
from Sp. for Anna/Johanna
|Adrian (Hadrian) m.
from Lat. (H)adrianus
|Anna/Anne/Antje: This popular fem. name has two sources: Germanic and Hebraic. The latter (meaning "grace") predominated and is also found in many Germanic and borrowed variations: Anja (Russian), Anka (Polish), Anke/Antje (Niederdeutsch), Ännchen/Annerl (diminutive), Annette. It has also been popular in compound names: Annaheide, Annekathrin, Annelene, Annelies(e), Annelore, Annemarie and Annerose.|
|Agathe, Agatha f.
from Gr. agathos (good)
From Italian; popular in Catholic regions. Possibly originally Germanic: "very wise"
|Anselm, Anshelm m.
From OHG for "helmet of God" - Name Day: 21 April
From OHG for "shining blade/sword"
Lat. form of Ger. Gottlieb (God + love)
|Anton, Antonia, Antoinette
From Lat. Antonius; see below
|Anton/Antoinette: Antonius was a Roman family name. Today Anthony is a popular name in many languages. The fem. Antoinette, made famous by the Austrian Marie Antoinette, is the French diminutive form of Antoine/Antonia. The German author Erich KŠstner used the name for a character in his story "PŸnktchen und Anton".|
|German First Names:
Abb-Ant | Ara-Cha | Chl-Eri | Erk-Geo
Ger-Götz | Gra-Hans | Hansd-Heinr
More coming | Walb-Wern
German Names: First Names
Part One of our names series: German first names (Vornamen).
First Names in Germany and the USA
A comparison of names for boys and girls in the two countries.
Barbara: The Name and the Legend
All about the name and the women who have borne it.
What's in a Name? - Ludwig
All about the German form of Lewis or Louis.
German Surname Lexikon
A glossary of German last names and their meanings.
Germanic Name Links in English and German
A collection of Web links related to first names.
All of our annotated English-German vocabulary lists.
German for Beginners - Contents
Our free online German course.
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