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Drachen Jager
02-16-2011, 11:57 PM
I need a first name for a German woman. I know there are lists, I've combed the lists but I'm looking for something specific. I want a name that people in English speaking countries immediately associate as being German.

For example, Angela is a common German woman's name, but she could be from any European nation, you wouldn't instantly go, "oh, she's probably German"

Something like the female equivalent of Franz, Heinrich, Fritz, Gerhard, Jurgen... Also, I can't use Ursula (my first choice) because it's my sister in law's name and my wife told me I need to change it.

Medievalist
02-17-2011, 12:11 AM
Brunhilde
Gertrude
Anneke
Elise
Elsa
Hildegarde

alleycat
02-17-2011, 12:12 AM
Frieda / Frida / Fredda

Wilhemina

Sigfreda

Chase
02-17-2011, 12:56 AM
I can't think of a more Germanic name than sweet Gei▀ele (geese-el-la, stress on the first syllable) from G÷ppingen.

In 1961, before the current reform of German spelling, she spelled her name with the eszett in place of the double s.

Nick Blaze
02-17-2011, 01:17 AM
Names that Americans immediately associate with German? Eleanor is the first to come to mind.

cbenoi1
02-17-2011, 01:26 AM
Names that Americans immediately associate with German? Eleanor is the first to come to mind.
As in the Beatles song Eleanor Rigby? Sounds brit to me.

Bertha. Like the WWI German gun.

-cb

Buffysquirrel
02-17-2011, 02:01 AM
Christiana.

JustLooking
02-17-2011, 02:10 AM
What year was your character born?

cryaegm
02-17-2011, 02:53 AM
Brunhilde
Gertrude
Anneke
Elise
Elsa
Hildegarde
Elsa should actually be Ilse. :D My grandmother was German and came from Germany when she was five. Elsa and Ilsa are spelling variations of Ilse. My mom gets picky about because Ilse is her name as well (named after my grandmother; she just happened not to inherit the name Bertha, or she'd have been Ilse Bertha).

Drachen Jager
02-17-2011, 03:27 AM
What year was your character born?

1820-1830

She's not a terribly significant character, after the first three pages her name is never mentioned again, but her name is the very first word in the book so it's important to me that it helps give a bit of the setting (which is why it's important it should be obviously Germanic). I suppose I shouldn't be too concerned as I mention Berlin at about the 100 word mark, but I want to set the tone just right.

Ilsa is tempting but for two movies.

Casablanca and Ilsa, She Wolf of the S.S. (I never saw anything but the cover of the latter, which came out while I was a hormonal teenager and featured sexy women in leather, that and the name made it stick in my memory).

I might also go for Hilda (from Medievalist's suggestion of Hildegarde).

Medievalist
02-17-2011, 03:28 AM
Elsa should actually be Ilse. :D My grandmother was German and came from Germany when she was five. Elsa and Ilsa are spelling variations of Ilse. My mom gets picky about because Ilse is her name as well (named after my grandmother; she just happened not to inherit the name Bertha, or she'd have been Ilse Bertha).

Elsa is common in Hesse; it's a family name for multiple generations in my dad's family.

All those names are names of my relatives, in Hesse and Prussia.

cryaegm
02-17-2011, 03:36 AM
Elsa is common in Hesse; it's a family name for multiple generations in my dad's family.

All those names are names of my relatives, in Hesse and Prussia.
I wish I knew what my great grandparents' names were (I know the last name and my mom's uncle's name was Emile. I only know that because I was named after him [one middle name is Emily]). u.u All I know about them is that they came from Germany right before Hitler went into power.

Oh good. My post did make it through. Firefox crashed after I hit submit. x_x

Medievalist
02-17-2011, 03:40 AM
I wish I knew what my great grandparents' names were (I know the last name and my mom's uncle's name was Emile. I only know that because I was named after him [one middle name is Emily]). u.u All I know about them is that they came from Germany right before Hitler went into power.

It's a bit easier for me (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spangenberg) I suspect.

Steam&Ink
02-17-2011, 04:16 AM
Hi Drachen,
here are some that I noticed old ladies being called when I lived in Germany in 2002 and 2006:

Ilse
Maike
Ingrid
Birgitte
Ute (different from the male version - such as Uta on The Simpsons)
Agathe
Hilda

Obviously these old ladies wouldn't have been born in 1820 (!) but the names are more traditional, and they sound german-y to me.

ETA: checked on the interwebz, and these names were all used in the 19th century.

Drachen Jager
02-17-2011, 04:31 AM
It is Elsa for now. Thank you everyone for your input. Especially Medievalist. I wish I had a jar of jelly beans for the winner, instead all I have is this poem.

Oh Medievalist you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind.
Medievalist. >clap< >clap< - >clap<
Medievalist. >clap< >clap< - >clap<

:D

cryaegm
02-17-2011, 04:33 AM
Hi Drachen,
here are some that I noticed old ladies being called when I lived in Germany in 2002 and 2006:

Ilse
Maike
Ingrid
Birgitte
Ute (different from the male version - such as Uta on The Simpsons)
Agathe
Hilda

Obviously these old ladies wouldn't have been born in 1820 (!) but the names are more traditional, and they sound german-y to me.

ETA: checked on the interwebz, and these names were all used in the 19th century.Pfft. My mom's not that old (51) and my sister is only 28 (though, Ilse is her middle name). :D


It's a bit easier for me (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spangenberg) I suspect.
Yeah, not much about Oartlings (I think that's how it's spelled) that I've come across.

Steam&Ink
02-17-2011, 04:53 AM
Pfft. My mom's not that old (51) and my sister is only 28 (though, Ilse is her middle name). :D


My apologies to those esteemed ladies :flag:
I didn't mean to imply that ONLY old gals had the honour of those names :D

Nivarion
02-17-2011, 05:29 AM
Helga was the first one that popped into my head.

I remember when I was little (which would be after the setting) the cartoons would always have a large german lady named Helga who would crush the life out of the main characters with over the top hugs.

Medievalist
02-17-2011, 05:35 AM
Pfft. My mom's not that old (51) and my sister is only 28 (though, Ilse is her middle name). :D


Yeah, not much about Oartlings (I think that's how it's spelled) that I've come across.

That's Norse! You may have Norse cousins, a few hundred years removed.

Xelebes
02-17-2011, 06:41 AM
Brita hasn't been mentioned. Very Scandinavian/German name whereas the English name is Brittany.

Aerial
02-17-2011, 06:41 AM
Maybe Gisele?

Aerial

shakeysix
02-17-2011, 06:46 AM
My German great grandfather had eight daughters: Anna, Augusta, Hermina, Emilia, Terazia, Rosa, Otelia and Hedovic. Otelia had a twin brother named Otis. --s6

Cyia
02-17-2011, 06:59 AM
Cousin's ex-hubby is German. In his family: Christiana, Sonja and Katya (Reinhardt and Holger for the boys). Our German exchange students in high school: Adda and Claudia.

Lil
02-17-2011, 07:00 AM
I have a German friend named Roselle. I've never encountered the name elsewhere.

Priene
02-17-2011, 09:52 AM
Silke
Heike
Elke

LIVIN
02-17-2011, 10:18 AM
It is Elsa for now. Thank you everyone for your input. Especially Medievalist. I wish I had a jar of jelly beans for the winner, instead all I have is this poem.

Oh Medievalist you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind.
Medievalist. >clap< >clap< - >clap<
Medievalist. >clap< >clap< - >clap<

:D

Did you just give Medievalist the clap? 6 times? :D

cryaegm
02-17-2011, 04:11 PM
That's Norse! You may have Norse cousins, a few hundred years removed.
Seriously?

At least, I think my mom said her mom's maiden is Oartling. I know my grandfather's last name is Dougherty and that's Irish. I'd have to ask my mom what my grandmother's maiden was (or see if it's also in the scrapbook my grandmother on my dad's side made. All I remember out of that, though, is Hershmann).

Hallen
02-17-2011, 09:04 PM
Rachel, Liesel, Gretchen. (three of my cousins)

Reziac
02-20-2011, 07:58 AM
Oh Medievalist you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind.
Medievalist. >clap< >clap< - >clap<
Medievalist. >clap< >clap< - >clap<

:D

<Medievalist blinks on and off>

Kate Monster
02-20-2011, 10:16 AM
My German "sister" (former exchange student) is named Wiebke, shortened to Wiebe (VEE-bee).

mattias
02-20-2011, 07:36 PM
Many of the names mentioned are Swedish (as well). (Elsa, Britta, Hilda, Ingrid, Frida)

The following names sound German to me:
Ilse
Ute
Renate

sunandshadow
02-20-2011, 07:52 PM
Anneke

DrZoidberg
02-20-2011, 08:14 PM
Helga
Ute

Bing Z
02-20-2011, 10:44 PM
I like Helga, dunno why. According to Behind the Name (http://www.behindthename.com), its usages are: Scandinavian, German, Ancient Scandinavian. Most of the German names share usages/origins with other European regions. For those German-only, would the readers or characters in the story immediately connect it to a German origin?

Were there some famous or popular German women during that period that could fill this gap? I mean, like, Adolf is a multi-cultural name, but if I meet someone called Adolf, I think I'll assume he's German, to start with. Another example is Ingrid, which is again, according to Behind the Name, Scandinavian & German in origin. But I've always assumed it a Swedish name because of Ingrid Bergman.

jallenecs
02-21-2011, 02:13 AM
I have family in Germany. My cousin's name is Magdalene Margarete. They call her Magde.

boron
02-21-2011, 03:27 PM
The German language is rough and non-fluent as rarely other one. So, Gertrude -- with two sharp r-s and other hard consonants -- sounds like an immediately recognizable German name to me. It's also a common name.

Max Vaehling
02-21-2011, 04:01 PM
Gotta say, speaking as a German, some of these proposals sound quite funny.

Some names, desoite being old enough to work, are still in use (Maike, Ute, Wiebke) and don't exactly scream 19th Century.

My suggestions:

Elsbeth
Agathe

Gertrude's fine, too.