The full guide to German male names

This article will cover nearly 180 German male names, ranging from those that are widely known thanks to famous composers, philosophers, and writers (such as Johannes, Friedrich, and Hermann), to those rarer names that few outside of Germany have encountered.

You will learn more if you read the full article, but, if you wish, you may skip to the section with the list of German male names.

German male names that you may have seen before

Odds are, you are already familiar with at least several German male names.

If you are musically inclined, you have surely encountered the names of famous German and Austrian composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Schubert, and Felix Mendelssohn.

If philosophy interests you, then certainly you have come across the names of famous German philosophers like Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

If you are no stranger to science and mathematics, then without a doubt, you have heard of the German names of scientists and mathematicians like Sigmund Freud, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Werner Heisenberg, and Carl Friedrich Gauss.

If you love art, you have perhaps seen the German names of artists like Gustav Klimt and Otto Dix, authors like Hermann Hesse, Heinrich Böll, and Günter Grass (all three are Literature Nobel Prize laureates), and filmmakers like Fritz Lang and Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

Finally, there are German names that we may have heard in the news or in history books: those of some of the former Chancellors of Germany, such as Konrad Adenauer, Helmut Kohl, and Gerhard Schröder.

Understanding German male names

To understand German male names, it is helpful to organize them into two groups based on their origin.

German names from Germanic languages

The first group consists of names which originate from Germanic languages. Many of these are dithematic names, which means that they are formed by combining two components.

The name Wolfgang, for instance, is one of these: it is formed by combining the Germanic roots “wolf” (which means the same as it does in English) and “gang” (which means “way” or “path”).

The name Sigmund —and its variant, Siegmund— are also constructed by combining two Germanic roots. The first root is related to the German word “Sieg” which means “victory”. The second root means “protection”.

German names from non-Germanic languages

The second group consists of German names that originate from other languages such as Latin, Greek, or Hebrew, and which may have had their spelling adapted to reflect the phonetics of the German language. Names in this group include Johannes, Felix, and Sebastian.

List of German male names

Below is a list of nearly 180 German male names. Some are more common than others, but each one has its own charm.

German male names among historical figures and public personalities

A famous namesake can give additional appeal to a name. In the case of German male names, there are many famous historical figures and public personalities with these names, including composers, philosophers, and artists.

Name Occupation
Ludwig van Beethoven German composer (1770–1827)
Immanuel Kant German philosopher (1724–1804)
Sigmund Freud Austrian neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis (1856–1939)
Johann Sebastian Bach German composer (1685–1750)
Friedrich Nietzsche German philosopher (1844–1900)
Max Weber German sociologist and political economist (1864–1920)
Hans Zimmer German film composer (born 1957)
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz German mathematician and philosopher (1646–1716)
Gustav Klimt Austrian symbolist painter (1862–1918)
Albrecht Dürer German painter (1471–1528)
Carl Friedrich Gauss German mathematician (1777–1855)
Otto von Habsburg Austrian crown prince (1912–2011)
Johannes Kepler German astronomer and mathematician (1571–1630)
Wolfgang Schäuble German lawyer and politician (born 1942)
Theodor W. Adorno German philosopher and sociologist (1903–1969)
Werner Heisenberg German theoretical physicist (1901–1976)
Heinrich Heine German poet and writer (1797–1856)
Ernst Haeckel German biologist and philosopher (1834–1919)
Karlheinz Stockhausen German composer (1928–2007)
Günter Grass German author
Rainer Werner Fassbinder German filmmaker (1945–1982)
Wilhelm II German Emperor and King of Prussia (1888–1918)
Volker Schlöndorff German filmmaker (born 1939)
Herbert von Karajan Austrian conductor (1908–1989)