Latinised form of the Greek form of Andrew. The name has been used in Germany since the Middle Ages; a famous medieval namesake is Andreas Osiander, a Lutheran mystic and theologian. The name Andreas was used in Britain too, although probably the name was still pronounced the same way as Andrew in everyday life. Just outside the Top 100 in Germany, Andreas is less often seen in English-speaking countries, perhaps because of fears it will be be confused with its feminine counterpart, Andrea. This German classic seems like a fresh update to flagging Andrew, and has recently had some publicity from the disaster movie San Andreas.
The equivalent of Antony, used since the Middle Ages, and a traditional name amongst European nobility and royalty. Antons in fiction tend to be baddies, which isn’t a help to the name’s image. One exception is the children’s book Summer of My German Soldier, where Anton is an escaped German POW who befriends a little Jewish girl. Anton is a popular name in Germany, and just returned to the US Top 1000 last year. A suave multicultural choice – and even the villainous Antons in fiction give it a an edge.
From from the Roman name Florianus, derived from Florus, which is from the Latin for “flower.” Florianus, or Florian, was one of the Roman emperors, and Saint Florian was a Roman soldier whose duties included organising fire brigades. He was martyred by drowning in an Austrian river and is a favourite saint in central Europe. With such imperial, noble, saintly, patriotic, and butch firefighting associations, it’s little wonder elegant Florian is a popular name in Germany. It’s rare in English-speaking countries, but the rise of Florence in some ways gives it more familiarity.
Latin form of the Greek form of John. Famous German namesakes are seriously heavy duty achievers, including Johannes Gutenberg, astronomer Johannes Kepler, and composer Johannes Brahms. Popular in central Europe and Scandinavia, Johannes is #56 in Germany. A strong, handsome, intelligent classic which can give the nickname Joe.
Latin name meaning “just.” There are quite a number of saints named Justus, including two early Christians in the New Testament, a Pope, and an Archbishop of Canterbury. A famous German namesake is Justus Perthes, an 18th century publisher who founded the Almanach de Gotha, a directory of European royalty and nobility. Justus is popular in Germany, and #817 in the US. It seems like a solid alternative to the virtue name Justice.
German form of Christian. It is more common as a surname than a first name in Germany, and is rare in English-speaking countries, although very much like familiar names such as Carson and Carter.
Short form of Nikolaus, a German form of Nicholas. Well known in fiction due to teen bookworm Klaus Bauldelaire from A Series of Unfortunate Events and vampire-werewolf hybrid Klaus Mikaelson from The Vampire Diaries. Slightly dated in Germany, this charming name is very rare in English-speaking countries, probably because it reminds people of Santa Claus. Klaus is said to rhyme with house though.
Modern form of the ancient Germanic name Audo or Odo, originally short forms of names beginning with aud-, meaning “wealth, riches, fortune.” A name in common use by German royalty and nobility, there have been four Holy Roman Emperors named Otto. The name might also remind you of statesman Otto von Bismarck or film director Otto Preminger. In fiction, Otto has often been used as a comedic or joke name, but “Big Otto” Delaney from Sons of Anarchy is an example of it being both serious and powerful. Currently #320 in Germany, Otto is #627 and rising in the US, and #399 in the UK. It seems hip and rather quirky.
Modern form of the ancient Germanic name Hrodulf, translated as “famous wolf”. It was commonly used by German royalty and nobility, and Rudolf II was a Holy Roman Emperor. Modern namesakes include ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev and philosopher Rudolf Steiner. The name features in Anthony Hope‘s classic adventure novel, The Prisoner of Zenda: a European king named Rudolf is impersonated by his distant relative, also named Rudolf. Despite all these interesting Rudolfs, the name is rarely used in English-speaking countries as it reminds people of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Rather a shame, as this name is strong and charismatic.
Short form of names such as Wolfgang (“wolf path) and Wolfram (“wolf raven”), sometimes used as an independent name. The word wolf is the same in English and German, and you can also see this as a vocabulary name referring to the animal. Humans have always been fascinated by wolves, and Wolf is right on trend along with other animal names. It’s now Number 216 on Nameberry