Do people with German ancestry tend to have Biblical or Old Testament names for children?

It is a common misconception that people of German ancestry tend to give their children Biblical or Old Testament names. While it is true that some German names have biblical origins, such as Johannes (John), Matthias (Matthew), and Samuel, there is no evidence to suggest that German-Americans are more likely to choose biblical names than any other group.

In fact, when looking at the most popular names for babies in Germany today, many of them have no biblical roots at all. According to data from the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache (Society for the German Language), the top names for boys in 2020 were Noah, Ben, and Paul, while the top names for girls were Emma, Mia, and Hannah. While some of these names may have biblical origins, they are not exclusively biblical and can be found in many cultures.

It is also worth noting that the use of biblical names in Germany has changed over time. In the Middle Ages, it was common for German parents to name their children after saints or biblical figures as a way of seeking divine protection. However, during the Reformation, many Protestants rejected the veneration of saints and instead began to use names that reflected their beliefs, such as Faith, Hope, and Charity.

In the United States, many German-Americans have assimilated into American culture and have adopted common American naming practices. While some may choose to give their children names of German origin, such as Hans or Wolfgang, there is no evidence to suggest that they are more likely to choose biblical names.

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Jamie Larson