Herman (name)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Word/nameGermanic languages
Meaningarmy's man
Region of originNorthern Europe, Western Europe
Other names
Related namesHermann, Armand, Armando, Ermanno
Popularitysee popular names

Herman is masculine given name, from an ancient Germanic name consisting of the elements harja- "army" and mann- "man". Hermine is the feminine form of Herman.[1] It is first recorded in the 8th century, in the forms Hariman, Heriman, Hairman, Herman.[2]

The given name was taken to England by the Normans, but it became obsolescent as an English given name in the later Middle Ages (while remaining common in the other Germanic languages). It regained popularity in the English-speaking world in the 19th century, particularly in the United States amongst German Americans.[3]

Herman remains widely used in Dutch. Variant forms include German Hermann, French Armand, Italian and Iberian Armando, Italian Ermanno.[3]

Herman has also been in use as a German surname since the 16th century.[citation needed]

The name of Arminius, the 1st-century leader of the Cherusci, became identified with the name Hermann in German historiography in the early modern period; thus, Arminius is traditionally known as Hermann der Cheruskerfürst in German. The name of Arminius is in fact from a stem ermen- "strong". Conflation of this element with the name Herman may indeed date to the medieval period, via variant forms such as Ermin, Ermen, Erman, Ermanno, feminine Ermina, Ermana, Hirmina, Hermena.[4]

Middle Ages[edit]

Early Modern[edit]


The name Herman was popular in the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, consistently ranking between 55 and 44 throughout the 1880–1914 period. Beginning with World War I, the name's popularity entered a steady decline for the remainder of the twentieth century, falling below rank 1,000 in the year 2000.[5]

Fictional characters[edit]

As a surname[edit]

Variants Herrmann, Herrman, Herman, Hermann, Hermanns

Early modern


see also:

Fictional characters[edit]

  • Pee-wee Herman, a character played by actor Paul Reubens
  • Gunther Hermann, a character from the computer game Deus Ex
  • Herman Carter/The Doctor, a character from the horror game Dead by Daylight

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Behind the Name
  2. ^ E. Förstemann, Altdeutsches Namenbuch (1856:627).
  3. ^ a b Katie Martin-Doyle, The Treasury of Baby Names, Worth Press, Cambridge 2005. ISBN 978-1903025116
  4. ^ E. Förstemann, Altdeutsches Namenbuch (1856:792f.)
  5. ^ behindthename.com