50+ German Baby Names That Are Total Gems
Looking for a cute German baby name to make your babe stand out? Search no further than this list of the best German baby names. Interestingly, the top German baby names the past few years are probably quite familiar to English-speaking parents; among them are Noah and Paul for boys and Hannah and Marie for girls. While some of these more common names made our list, we’ve also dug up many more unique Germany baby names for your little one. With bold sounds and sweet meanings, these German names work just as beautifully here as they do abroad!
German Baby Names for Boys
Adler: This strong German name for boys means “eagle,” an animal reference that coincidentally gives the meaning an American twist. Even though it’s not super common, it doesn’t sound that different or unusual rolling off the tongue.
Ansel: Perhaps most commonly associated with the great photographer Ansel Adams, this popular German boy name translates to “with divine protection,” or “follower of a nobleman.”
Archie: After the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s little boy was given this cute take on an old-school British name (Archibald), the popularity skyrocketed. But many might not know that the shortened form, Archie, is a German baby name in its own right, meaning “truly brave.”
Baer: If you have a soft spot for cuddly names, consider this one for boys. Pronounced like the English word bear, this German name means “bearlike.”
Baden: Such a unique German boy name! It’s a derivative of the name Bade, and simply translates to “son of Bade,” so if you’re looking for an extra meaningful German name this probably isn’t the one for you. However, it sounds lovely and has an attractive, strong impact.
Bernard: More widely used in Europe than here in the States, we love this popular German name meaning “strong, brave as a bear.”
Carlin: Less heard than Carl, but a nice alternative if you’re looking for a strong German name for your son. Carlin means “a man” in German and has the alternative Irish translation of “little champion,” which is very sweet.
Danner: A strong sounding German boys’ name with a spritely and lighthearted meaning—“dancer by the fig tree.”
Decker: The German occupational name means “roofer” and sounds very cool in English.
Frederick: A “peaceful ruler” who can go by Freddie if he prefers! We adore this classic German boy name.
Godfrey: This very bold German name for boys has religious undertones and a stoic feel that will be adorable in preschool and look great on a resume, too. Godfrey means “God’s peace."
Gunther: Another baby name that has German roots yet feels modern enough for today’s parents. Gunther means “battle warrior.”
Hartman: Just as it sounds, this German baby name means “hard, strong man.” It’s a bold choice for a baby boy and a nice option if you’re naming a son after a Harry or Herman in the family.
Humphrey: As in Bogart, and also because it’s so unique and lovely. The traditional German name for boys means “peaceful warrior.”
Jarvis: It’s a saint’s name that was more popular in the 1880’s, and appeared as a character in A Tale of Two Cities; but the vintage German name is feeling contemporary again with a hipster feel that’s hard to resist (consider it an alternative to the similar-sounding, more popular Jasper).
Johan: The German version of John translates to “God is gracious.” It’s in the Top 600 in the U.S., making it just rare enough that you can be pretty sure your son will be the only one at school with this classic German boys’ name. The closest similar name in Germany’s top 10 right now is Jonas, a Greek name meaning “dove.”
Leopold: It’s an aristocratic, formal-sounding German name that can easily be shortened to Leo for your little guy. Another saint’s name, this German baby name means “brave people.” And if you’re looking for a similar but more popular German name for boys, you could try Leon, which currently holds the country’s #4 spot.
Manfred: Your little “man of peace” will grow beautifully into this strong German name that sounds both masculine and charming.
Otto: One of the better known German names for boys, this one means “wealthy.”
Rainer: A German baby name with a French feel, meaning “wise army.”
Richmond: This very cute German name is still not super popular stateside—it hasn’t been in the Top 1,000 in the U.S. since the 1940’s. It means “powerful protector.”
Schaffer: This unique German boy name translates to “shepard.” (Incidentally, Shepard is growing in popularity for boys in America!)
Theobald: A very cool and rare German name for boys that means “courageous people.”
Valentin: This German name for boys has a touch of a romantic vibe with the unavoidable Valentine’s Day association, and this bold pick’s meaning (“strength, health”) has merit in its own right.
Walden: If you’re a lover of literature or poetry, you’re likely catching the Thoreau context here, but the lovely German boys’ name also means “powerful.”
German Baby Names for Girls
Adelaide: A beautiful German girl name meaning “noble” or “nobility,” it’s currently in the top 300 in the U.S.
Aloisa: The German take on Louisa. With a more lyrical vibe than Eloise, this unique German name for girls means “renowned warrior”...it’s the perfect blend of pretty and fierce.
Amalia: To be fair, the more popular version in Germany right now is Emelia at #4, but we love this less-used take on the common name, which means “work.”
Belinda: Despite a brief stint in the U.S. Top 1,000 in the early 2000’s, this pretty German girl name has dipped again. It has a storied past with various cultural references and the German translation is “pretty one.”
Bertina: Meaning “bright” and “glorious” it’s a German name for girls bursting with hope and lightness. It also lends easily to the adorable nickname, Bertie.
Clarissa: Clarissa means “bright, clear.” It’s a more elaborate version of Claire and has literary ties with Charles Dickens and Virginia Woolf's protagonist in Mrs. Dalloway.
Eleonora: If you’re an Eleanor fan on the hunt for a pretty German name for your baby girl, consider this alternative. The German meaning is “the other.”
Elsa: Need we explain why your little girl will love growing up with this name? Princess connotations aside, it’s a darling German name for girls meaning “pledged to God.”
Felicie: The cute German version of Felicity, meaning “good fortune,” “happy.”
Florentia: A German take on Florence, the unique sounding, flowery name means “flourishing, prosperous.”
Geraldine: This German baby name is the feminine version of Gerald and means “ruler with a spear."
Gisella: Exotic-sounding but easy to pronounce, Gisella means “pledge,” and will stand out as a unique German baby name.
Gretta: A more popular German baby name than many on our list, Gretta means “pearl” and is a diminutive of Margarethe or Margaret.
Josepha: A beautiful choice if you’re naming a little girl after a Joseph or Josephine in the family, this unique German baby girl name means, “Jehovah increases.”
Katrina: More popular than many others here, Katrina is a beloved German name meaning “pure.” It is the German version of Katherine.
Lina: Currently ranked #6 in Germany for girls, this pretty moniker means “tender” and cracked the top 800 girls’ names in the United States in 2018.
Lisbeth: The German diminutive of Elizabeth means “pledged to God” in Hebrew.
Lorelei: Falling in popularity in the U.S., this pretty German girl’s name means “alluring, temptress. (Also, this name will have special meaning to Gilmore Girls fans!)
Magda: The German version of Magdalen translates to “high tower.”
Matilda: A “battle-mighty” name for your little girl with a fighting spirit! Matilda is just darling, and so are the nicknames Mattie and Tillie.
Nixie: Such a special and cute-sounding German name, Nixie means “water nymph.”
Rheta: This pretty German name for girls means “eloquent speaker.”
Romantza: A showstopper that actually just means “Roman” but sounds a lot like it could mean romance; let that be the personal meaning to you if you choose this adorable German girl name.
Truda: A chic alternative to Trudy that means “fighting woman” in German.
Zelda: This fresh German name appears in literature and movies more often than it seems to on kindergarten rosters, but we’re loving that it’s made its way back into the top 1,000 in the States. Zelda means “gray fighting maid.”
Gender-Neutral German Baby Names
Auberon: The gender-neutral German baby name means “noble” or “bearlike.”
Axel: It might not be a chart-topper in Germany, but this one is growing in popularity in the states in recent years. Axel means “father of peace.” Though this spelling is considered gender-neutral, you could also further feminize the name for a little girl by giving the French spelling, Axelle.
Berlin: Place names are a fun, unique name choice for boys or girls, and that of the capital city of Germany is no exception!
Emery / Emerson: Meaning “industrious,” Emery is a sweet German name for boys and girls. The similar name Emerson, or “son of Emery,” is another solid gender-neutral German name. Both have place name meanings for U.S. parents, and are rising in popularity here.
Everett: More popular for boys but picking up speed for daughters too, this crossover German name means “brave boar.”
Gannet: A unique German baby name that’s easy to spell and pronounce, it means “goose” and is a way more fun alternative to either Garrett or Janet.
Karsten: This rarely heard German version of Christian is a nice pick for a baby boy or girl.
Keller: A lovely gender-neutral occupational name translating to “cellar master” (making it an apt pick for wine-loving parents), the German moniker is picking up speed for boys and girls.
Romy: This German baby name is a popular choice among celebrity parents, including Sofia Coppola, even though the gender-neutral name isn’t a top choice in the States or in Germany. However, it’s currently ranked #71 in the Netherlands and #160 in France.
Sascha: The German spelling of Sasha is a solid selection for a boy or girl. The name means “defending warrior” and versions of it are popular in France and elsewhere throughout Europe.
Wim: An Old German name meaning “helmet” or “protection” traditionally trends male, but thanks to its whimsical sound, it’s certainly suitable for modern-day baby girls, too!
Ziggy: A sassy diminutive of Siegfried or Sigmund, this German baby name has had its moment over the years, thanks to Ziggy Stardust and Ziggy Marley (not to mention, as a character name in Big Little Lies). Plus, it works for girls as well as boys!
Final Thoughts on German Baby Names
Looking for more inspiration? Take a look at our other favorite baby names:
Though picking the perfect a baby name is a big part of planning for your little one’s arrival, so is planning a baby shower and creating a baby registry. And, as you’re looking ahead to the big day, don’t forget to register for the ultimate baby gift: SNOO Smart Sleeper!
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