Regarding popular German male names, one theme jumps out from the current prognosis for the 2024 Top Ten list – there are a lot of links to biblical sources among the up-and-coming German male names, if not necessarily citing Christian roots alone.

Let’s see what prophets and other biblical connotations are present on the nationwide trend prognosis for German male names in 2024 – truth be told, it is a wild mix of influences, so we will also cast a glance at the more obvious influences through phenomena of the popular culture.

The top German male name ‘Matteo’ stays in 1st position and is the Italian version of the more traditional German names Matthias and Matthäus. ‘Matteo’ stands for ‘God’s (or Yahweh’s) gift’. That way, it relates to both the Old Testament and the Tanakh. Now the second name on the list, deriving from Greek, is Theo, basically carrying the same meaning. In Greek, it relates directly to the word ‘theos’, meaning ‘God’.

German male names – Of friends and protectors

In third position, the former No. 10 of German male names ‘Liam’ has Irish roots and is a variation of William – obviously a name of longstanding royal tradition, both here and abroad. Liam stands for ‘the determined, strong-minded protector’ and may thus be given to the son who is hoped to help protect the family during hard times (much like Ganesha, the most popular deity in India). The name has been popular in the UK since the 80s , in Ireland it had its revival in popularity during the 90s – possibly due to the fast ascent of the band ‘Oasis’ with lead singer Liam Gallagher as of 1991.

Looking at No. 4, we have ‘Ben’ as a newcomer. The abbreviation of Benjamin simply means ‘son’ – but also stands for the blessed, and the ‘good speaker’. It has both Germanic, Hebrew as well as Arabic connotations, however the current trend may have been sparked by Berlin-based singer and TV presenter ‘Ben’, whose career has closely been followed by many millennials and ‘generation Z’ parents. In this case, it is short for Bernhard, which leads more in the direction of the old Germanic word element ‘bern’, for ‘bear’.

Position five of the German male names Top Ten 2024 prognosis leads back to religious origins, or more precisely the Tanakh. Elias is related to the prophet Elija and is Hebrew for ‘My God is Yahweh’. Elias has been popular since 1999 among German male names, has not left the Top Ten since 2006 and as of 2010 also gained much popularity in Austria.

‘Henry’ has both English and French roots, however these are translations of the old German name ‘Heinrich’ – standing for ‘strong ruler (of the house)’. Henry the Lion of Braunschweig (Brunswick) comes to mind (1129 – 1195), a member of the Welf dynasty who was Duke of Saxony and Bavaria until 1180. So, royalty is definitely in the mix, especially since Prince ‘Harry’ really is Prince Henry. The current black sheep of the royal family published his memoir Spare in January 2023 and his presence or absence at royal events currently make headlines. And as much as the Germans love King Charles, the ‘Gen Z’ generation may lean towards the family rebel. By the way, the French version ‘Henri’ is also still very popular on the German male names lists. And finally, it should be mentioned, that Henry is currently a very popular pet name, both here and abroad.

German male names – Of friends and protectors

Sticking to the reoccurring religious theme for now, ‘Noah’ has made a sharp decline on the (proposed) popularity scale of German male names, from former top position to estimated No. 10. In top position from 2019 through to 2023, ‘Noah’ bears the wonderful translation as ‘the comforting one’. Obviously, Old Testament’s Noah is also a strong protector of the earth and its creatures, which nowadays and for decades to come will retain a positive connotation. The biblical themed film of the same title with Russel Crowe raised attention in 2014, but also the very popular indie director Noah Baumbach (of e. g. Marriage Story and White Noise), married to Greta Gerwig of Barbie fame, is a household name among many millennial parents.

German male names – Of friends and protectors

Veering back to the lower half of the list, number 7 of the German male names Top Ten is, same as the top runner Matteo, borrowed from Italy: ‘Luca’ stands for the shining, the luminous one and is the title of a highly successful Disney family film. Nominated as best animation film for the 2022 Golden Globes, the story is woven around a deep friendship between two ‘boys’ (aka sea monster kids), so – who knows how many kids voted for ‘Luca’ to become their future sibling’s name right after watching it?

We are approaching the last three of the list, and number eight is the male version of German female names’ number four, ‘Lia’: ‘Leon’ is again borrowed from our Italian neighbours, and one big influence comes to mind: Leonardo di Caprio, American actor and philanthropist – recently again prominently featuring in Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, a story on the attempted genocide of the Osage nation after the discovery of oil springs on their tribal land in the early decades of the 20th century. A strong figure in film history ever since his Oscar-nominated debut in Lasse Halström’s What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, starring as Johnny Depp’s intellectually disabled brother Arnie, Leonardo di Caprio has been a continuous cultural presence since the early 90s (he finally got his long-earned Oscar for The Revenant in 2016). Nowadays, German parents have grown up witnessing this impressive career spanning over the past 3 decades. ‘Leon’ was top of the list in 2021 and since ‘Leonardo’ is far too long a name to holler across the playground, the abbreviated version might stay with us for a good while.

Now, the only name with (possible) Nordic origins on our current German male names Top Ten prognosis is ‘Finn’. A name very present to anyone living in Northern Germany, it may have a more exotic ring in the rest of the country, especially the former east. The Irish meaning mentioned in the list is related to white/blond as well as ‘blessed’. The old Nordic link however relates to the word ‘finnr’ meaning the finder, the wanderer. And of course, it can also just mean, the guy from Finland. So what figure related to positive childhood memories comes to mind? Old Huckleberry Finn, created by Mark Twain. Friend through thick and thin to Tom Sawyer (alias the young Mark Twain), he is as popular in children’s literature in the new millennium as he was in the 19th century.

2024 prognosis: Top Ten German Male Names (source: @knudbielefeld,

1. Matteo – God’s/Yahweh’s gift
2. Theo – (Gift from) God
3. Liam – the determined protector, strong-minded
4. Ben – the son, the blessed, the good speaker
5. Elias – my god is Yahweh
6. Henry – the mighty one, the ruler
7. Luca – the luminous one
8. Leon – the lion, the strong one, the fighter
9. Finn – the light (haired) one, the Finn
10. Noah – the calming, the comforting one

German male names – Of friends and protectors

sources:, @knudbielefeld,, wikipedia et al.

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