Wednesday, September 16, 2015

10 German Names You Never Thought of Using: Girls

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As you will be able to tell from today's post, I love German names. Some of my very favorites are on this list, as well as some real wild choices. Let me know your favorites in the comments.

Anke- If you're looking for a slimmer, more exotic version of Annika, Anke is your girl. She's pronounced much the same--AHN-ka--though is actually the German form of Agnes.

Ida- Sweet sweet Ida is due for a comeback. Americans love short vowel names ending in -a--Eva, Ava, Ella, etc.--so Ida seems like the next step. Ida is delightfully vintage--let's hope she can shake off the dust.

Isa- Isa is Ida's more stylish cousin. She sounds very modern, thanks to full forms Isabel and Isabella being so trendy. She doesn't have quite the same pronounciation as those two--it's EE-sah. Isa is a cross cultural choice, with roots in German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, and Arabic (where it's a male name).

Lotte- A helpful hint with the German pronounciations: names ending in -e are said as if it is an -a. Therefore, the gorgeous Lotte is pronounced like Lotta (which is the Swedish form). She's originally a nickname for names like Charlotte, Liselotte, and Carol, but I think Lotte is wonderful on her own.

Mareike- Mareike is pronounced mah-RYE-kah--sort of a cross between Mariah and Micah. Infact, Meike (said like Micah) is one of her nicknames. Mareike has a beautiful sound, but are her spelling and pronounciation too hard for English speakers to handle?

Minna- Minna is one of my all time faves. I'm always suggesting her to people--I'm astonished she isn't more popular! She came about as a nickname for Wilhelmina, though nowadays she's better off on her own.

Romy- How lovely is Romy? By origin she's a nickname for Rosemary, though many a baby namer will suggest Romilly for a more contemporary full form. As I always say, I think Romy would be just as dashing in her own right.

Tilda- I know I've told you guys how much I love so many of the names on this list, but Tilda really is my favorite. She's currently one of my tops--she's just so darn cute! The -da sound isn't all that trendy right now, but with Matilda as a possible full name, and Tilda Swinton glamorizing her name, Tilda wouldn't be an outrageous choice for a daughter.

Zelma- Speaking of sounds that aren't very stylish right now, how about the -elma names? Abby's a big champion of Thelma (which I'm still on the fence about), and Nelma, Selma, and Velma just aren't doing it for me. Zelma, however, is a name I can get behind. The zippy Z beginning adds a faux modern touch to a very old-fashioned name.

Ziska- Ziska comes from Franziska--a German form of Frances. While Franziska might be a little much for an American girl to wear, Ziska has just the right amount of quirkiness.


  1. Oh this one is fun, since I am German myself. I am especially fond of Ida and Lotte. Ida and Isa in german sound very alike, but Isa feels very much like a nickname.
    I prefer Antje (Uhnt-ya) over Anke.
    Lotte and Lotta sounds distinctly different to a German, by the way. It is Lott-uh vs. Lott-ah. Not too fond of German names that start with a Z, as the German pronounciation is really harsh (TS). I am a little suprised to see that they sound better with an English pronounciation.
    My favorite female German names are Hermine, Matilda, Annelie and Emma.

    1. This is so interesting, thank you! It's so nice to hear about name from people who share their country of origin. I never thought about that with the Z names, though that definitely makes sense. Annelie is so pretty! I think I am featuring her in an upcoming post.