Pre-WWI Grand European Names

Names that evoke princesses dripping with jewels and arch dukes decked in their finery.
  1. Ferdinand
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "bold voyager"
    • Description:

      Ferdinand, a traditional name in the royal families of Spain and a handsome young prince shipwrecked on Prosper's island in Shakespeare's The Tempest has, unfortunately, to the American ear a somewhat heavy and clumsy feel – most likely because of the bull connection. In the 1880's it was in the 200's on the US pop list, but has been off completely since 1986.
  2. Leopold
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "brave people"
    • Description:

      This aristocratic, somewhat formal Germanic route to the popular Leo is a royal name: Queen Victoria used it to honor a favorite uncle, King Leopold of Belgium. Though Leopold sounds as if it might be a leonine name, it's not really a relative of such choices as Leon, and Leonard.
  3. Otto
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "wealthy"
    • Description:

      Otto is cool again. Long a quintessential Old Man Name, Otto has been promoted to trending darling of adventurous baby namers.
  4. Wolfgang
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "traveling wolf"
    • Description:

      Chef Wolfgang Puck has helped soften this thunderous Germanic name; music-lovers will appreciate its association with Mozart, though the composer's middle name Amadeus is more appealing.