In Germany, children tend to be named after one of their baptismal sponsors. Normally a child would be given three names, the first two names and then the surname. Even though there are many German male names, many German families followed a specific pattern when naming their children, hence there were some male German names that are more favored.
Germany is a very religious country, and most first names of all newborns are normally given during baptism. The Roman Catholics in German, name their children after saints while the Protestants groups have an expanded canon of names involving most of the names in The Old Testament, some even include non-Christian mythology. Some of the German male given names are just nicknames, referred in German as Kurzformen which means short form. These names are created by shortening other names.
Unlike the German male first names, the surnames were derived from patrons, occupations, geographical features and characteristics. The family surnames have been inherited from one generation to another with very minimal changes or no changes at all.
When giving out male names in German, families followed a certain pattern. The most widespread pattern being, naming the boy children after older male family members.
- 1st son: named after the paternal grandfather
- 2nd son: named after the maternal grandfather
- 3rd son: after the father
- 4th son: after the father of his paternal grandfather
- 5th son: after the father of his paternal grandmother
- 6th son: after the father of his maternal grandfather
- 7th son: after the father of his maternal grandmother
Because of the above naming pattern, it was very common to find men sharing the same names in a family. Children who died in infancy, had their siblings inherit their names, however, this practice seems to be very uncommon these days. This is also contributed by the fact that the German male first names, which were the spiritual names were mostly used repeatedly in families.
The second German male names were secular and referred to as the “call name”. A person is normally known by his second name in Germany. The naming pattern in the German communities makes it very easy for one to trace their family origin and ancestors.
There are German boy names that are popular. Below is a German male names list together with the meaning of the names.
- Ben: Son Of
- Paul: the small and humble one
- Jonas: it means a dove. People who are named Jonas tend to be soft spoken and very kind-hearted. Helping others and offering guidance to their family and friend is their main trait.
- Elias: the one who believes that Yahweh is Lord
- Leon: name meaning Lion
- Finn/Fynn: A 'white' or ‘fair’ person
- Noah: relaxation, harmony, restful, calm.
- Luis/Louis: a fame searching war warrior
- Lukas/Lucas: he who illuminates
- Felix: a man blessed with good luck, fortune and success
- Luca/Luka: this is a place name, a region in southern Italy
- Maximilian: one who is best of the best, the greatest one of them all.
- Henry/Henri: estate ruler
- Max: the greatest or the best. A superlative person.
- Oskar/Oscar: Noorali the brightness of Ali, the nimble of Ali.