Wolfgang? Too bizarre?

My husband and I both have traditional names...grew up with at least two classmates with identical first names. Frustrating! So in naming our baby, we're looking for a name that is somewhat traditional but also unique. Wolfgang is the only boy's name that makes us gasp with excitement. But would it be better as a middle name? Any ideas of a first or middle name that would go with it? We have strong Irish and German ties... Thanks for your input!


November 10, 2015 10:53 PM

I have a family member named Wolfgang! I have long loved his name (it's always a thrill to address holiday cards to him). If I met a young Wolfgang I would also be delighted. I see no reason not to use the name you love. I used a bold choice that was a name that made me gasp with excitement and it still makes me thrill a little whenever I get to use the name.

I might pair Wolfgang with a more staid middle name, perhaps one that honors family members. I tend to have a preference along those lines not only because I find the contrast pleasing (I think a more conservative classic middle name tends to ground the more fanciful first names I prefer), but also because I think that it gives maximum options to a young Wolfgang if he can go by W. James Surname (or Thomas or John or whatever) if he ever wants a more sedate choice.

I would stay away from nature names given that Wolf seems like a likely nickname, and Wolf River, say would be too much for me. I'd likewise tend to prefer to avoid other noun names.

November 10, 2015 11:21 PM

Eddie van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli have a son Wolfgang William.  I am personally a fan of wolves and wolf names.  One of my grandfather's names was Wolf.  Other wolf names you might like: Wulfram and Wulfstan.

November 11, 2015 4:52 AM

Go for it! If nothing else, your German ties give you free reign to use it!

November 11, 2015 9:02 AM

Not too bizarre. There is a boy named Pinch at my son's school. Now THAT is unusual. Wolfgang? Sure, it's going to raise a few eyebrows, but so what? If it gives you a thrill to say it, you're going to regret going with James instead.

November 11, 2015 6:38 PM

Depending on where you live Wolfgang might read as a little eccentric, but I don't think it's crosses over into bizarre. Like Miriam, I also thought of Wolfgang Van Halen.  I believe I've heard his mother refer to him as Wolfie in interviews.  I see no reason not to use it.  

As for middle names, you could also pair it with something more common, just in case he ever decides Wolfgang is too much.  Or perhaps you could go with something Very Irish to really celebrate your family's heritage.  Aidan, Declan, Kieran, Tiernan, Teague, Rowan, Brendan, Cian, Cormac, Finn/Finley/Finnegan, etc.

November 11, 2015 7:26 PM

Or you could go totally wolfie with Conan, Con(n)or, Conroy.

November 11, 2015 11:25 PM

Oh, great idea!  Connor would be a nice choice if he wanted something to blend in someday.

November 22, 2015 6:18 PM

My oldest nephew just started college, and they got to choose their own roommates. He, and the rest of my family, were excited that he decided to room with a kid named Wolfgang. We are a musical/artistic minded family, I will grant, but we all think it's a great name. Plus, it makes you gasp with excitement, which is a great quality in a name, so go for it! We gave my 8-week-old son another of Mozart's names, I'm a fan of them. :-)

I like pairing slightly more traditional middle names with obscure first names. I also always prefer honor names as middles when that is an option. Are there any family or other honor names that you're considering?

February 13, 2016 3:08 PM

I love it. And it's not bizarre at all – there are two in my circle!

March 6, 2017 10:24 PM

Glad to find this forum on Wolfgang! I'm 36 weeks with our second baby, and we didn't find out the gender. If it's a boy, we are almost completely set on Wolfgang- we brought it up jokingly early in my pregnancy and let it go, thinking it was "too much."  The other night we brought it up again, and my husband and I were like, "whoa, I think this is the name if it's a boy!"  My husband is 50% German, speaks German, my mother in law still has a thick German accent, and we've been to Germany multiple times to meet his Oma and Opa...so super German heritage for this baby!


Thanks for all of the responses to the original post- they helped a lot!

We have a pretty strong middle name chosen too- Galilee. My husband was born in Israel to a German mother and American father, and we recently returned to Israel last year, and our favorite place was Galilee, and it has tons of spiritual meaning for us too. 

So, the name Wolfgang Galilee Thomas would be it if we have a boy! We decided we will likely call the baby "Wolfie" or "Wolf" for short which just sounds awesome.  Not sure if anyone will see this post, but it is good to get it "out" there, since we are keeping the name a secret until I deliver!

May 16, 2017 10:12 PM

To be perfectly honest, Wolfgang has always struck me as a rather comical name, maybe just because it is SO German. (I say that with love; I'm a big fan of the German language). On the other hand, it would probably start to seem normal to people pretty quickly, and at least he wouldn't be Yet Another Mike. And Wolf seems like a very manageable nickname if Wolfgang is too much for everyday use.

August 29, 2017 2:25 PM

This is obviously a very old post, but it fascinates me that two people lamenting their ordinary names ended up choosing an "unusual" baby name that, within a few years, actually became trendy itself. It remains to be seen whether Wolfgang is the new Jayden or anything like that, but I will say that naming a baby boy in a major coastal city of the US, I've already come across quite a few young Wolfgangs in digging around the local naming landscape. it's definitely a name on the rise, and a name that, depending where you live and what kind of circles you run in, could result in your child being one of two Wolfgangs in his class.