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Boys names that work in English and German - help!

96 replies

indecisiveAprikose · 08/09/2023 18:49

Ideally we are looking for
Not too common (outside U.K. and German top 100)
Works in both English and German (both pronunciation and culturally ie not super dated sounding)
Two syllables

OP posts:
indecisiveAprikose · 08/09/2023 22:33

Bruisername · 08/09/2023 22:31

I personally would avoid an overtly German name if you have a German surname.

We don't have our hearts set on an overtly German name just one that works well in both. I like names that work well across different cultures. Stefan is a great example if this but we can't use it.

OP posts:
SerenityNowInsanityLater · 08/09/2023 22:36

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indecisiveAprikose · 08/09/2023 22:36

Thanks for all suggestions so far, super helpful. Quite like Felix, Lukas and Nico.

OP posts:
Bruisername · 08/09/2023 22:37

to me stefan doesn’t work as an English name

however, I would just got with whichever name you like best (after stefan!) as in the UK I think people will accept anything

SerenityNowInsanityLater · 08/09/2023 22:38

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This has been withdrawn by MNHQ at the poster's request.

Ellmau · 08/09/2023 22:45


mathanxiety · 09/09/2023 00:35

Killian/ Kilian
Oscar/ Oskar

indecisiveAprikose · 09/09/2023 07:38

I like stefan as I've come across it in various countries/languages not just Germany and U.K. (I know a few British ones too so to me it works here) so I don't think of it as a 'German name' but it comes up a lot in our family already and probably sounds quite dated in germany now so won't be using it. Something else that works in this way would be a good choice which is why I like Lukas, but it's just a bit boring.

OP posts:
Bruisername · 09/09/2023 07:40

Other than stefan - what names do you like that you don’t think work in both?

indecisiveAprikose · 09/09/2023 07:51

We quite like Felix, Noah, Nico, Finn but don't love any of them. I'm finding boys names so much harder than girls names!

OP posts:
ShoesoftheWorld · 09/09/2023 08:13

indecisiveAprikose · 08/09/2023 22:23

Slightly different pronunciation is ok, our daughter's name sounds slightly different in the two languages.

It's when it sounds it weird, difficult to pronounce or getting lost in translation that I'm trying to avoid. For example, I really like the Jude in English but it doesn't work in German. Same when naming our daughter I liked Lila but it obviously doesn't work in German. Also names that sound cool in English like Otto can actually seem quite odd and old fashioned in German or vice versa.

Ultimately we live here so it working here is most important but we are a two language household and visit Germany often to see family so do need to think this through haha.

Old man chic is just as much a thing here in Germany as in the UK - I know of a Friedrich in his teens, and my children have variously gone to school with a Nikolai, a Willy (there's one that won't work in English!), various Johanns and Hannes-es, several Brunos, and so on. Otto wouldn't raise an eyebrow. It's more the names of the next generation down, whose bearers are about 45-70, that seem unusably dated - Rüdiger, Horst, Heinz, Uwe, Kai and so on.

ShoesoftheWorld · 09/09/2023 08:15

Oh, and a lot of the names you like break your popularity rule, certainly in Germany. This may not bother you, though, in the end. I do think it would me - we were going to call dd Louis if she'd been a boy (would have been our third boy) and subsequent to her birth we suddenly encountered millions of them.

ShoesoftheWorld · 09/09/2023 08:17

Apologies for multiple posts - yes to Stefan being dated, a typical one is in his 30s or 40s. I knew one growing up in the UK as well so it never seemed that exotic a name to me.

bobby81 · 09/09/2023 08:19


woowowsanti · 09/09/2023 08:23

@ShoesoftheWorld this is super helpful!

LilyLemonade · 09/09/2023 08:26

Darius / Dario

Bruisername · 09/09/2023 08:29

theres overlap with Nikolai - definitely not just Russian. In dh’s family it is spelt Nikolay and is a family name

i like it and can shorten to Niko

ShoesoftheWorld · 09/09/2023 08:33

Thank you, woowowsanti!

I really like Nikolai. It very much suits the boy I know, who prefers to go by the full version rather than Niko. It's what churches dedicated to St Nicholas (of which there are a lot in the part of Germany I'm in) are called - Nikolaikirche.

Nodeepdiving · 09/09/2023 11:05

What's boring about Lukas? Going on the defensive here for obvious reasons 😂 It's a classic, international name. You could consider spelling it with a C, which is certainly much more common in the Netherlands and in the UK, don't know about Germany. The only thing going against it is its increasing popularity - again, not sure about Germany, but it's been top 3 for years in NL and is increasingly common in the UK as well. Oh, you'll get MNers saying it's horrible because it sounds like mucous, but I've never had that association and find it a bit of a stretch

LilyLemonade · 09/09/2023 14:44


(I know none of these is German but I think they work in both languages)

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