German Culture

Naming

  • Germany uses similar naming conventions to Anglo-Australians. Most Germans have two personal names (one that is a first name and one as a middle name) and a family name (e.g. Maria Anna SCHAFER).
  • Surnames are passed down to subsequent generations through the father’s lineage.
  • Women often adopt their husband’s surname in marriage but sometimes choose to keep their maiden name.
  • The most common surnames include MÜLLER, SCHMIDT, SCHMITZ, SCHNEIDER, FISCHER, WEBER, MEYER, MAYER, MEIER and WAGNER.
  • German first and middle names are generally gender-specific and left to the parents’ personal choice. Traditionally, children were named after grandparents, but this practice is fading.
  • The most common and traditional German names are biblical, such as Johann/Hans (John), Georg/Jörg (George), Jakob (Jacob), Anna, Maria and Christina. Other popular names have Germanic origins, such as Friedrich and Ludwig.
  • Germans have recently begun choosing more English and international names. For example, of those born in 2015, the following six names were most popular: Mia, Emma and Hannah for girls; Ben, Jonas and Leon for boys.
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