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Whimsical baby names from the Brothers Grimm

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We all imagine fairytale lives for our children, though more the happily ever sort than the slaying of giants or climbing of beanstalks. Putting aside the Disney princesses and modern adaptations for a moment, we traveled back to the original Brothers Grimm tales, recorded in early 19th century Germany, to find some bona fide fairy tale baby names. 

We think of fairy tales as child's play, but the Grimms' renditions are anything but. Often gruesome — one story involves a young girl whose father cuts off her hands as part of a deal to save the farm — the Grimm brothers sanitized the stories more and more over the years as their collection grew. Even in the 1800s, parents didn't want their children exposed to egregious violence in media. Ignoring some of the subject matter, the old German names were pretty neat, and will sound refreshing on babies born in the modern day.

Brothers Grimm names for baby boys

One warning: We recommend reading up on the fairytale name you choose. You might want to stay away from Hans — he's not nearly as clever as the title of his story would have you think.

  • Christopher: "The Two Kings' Children"
  • Conrad: "The Goose Girl"
  • Ferdinand: "Ferdinand the Faithful and Ferdinand the Unfaithful"
  • Fitch: "Fitcher's Bird"
  • Fox: "The Golden Bird"
  • Frederick: "Frederick and Catherine"
  • Griffin: "The Singing, Springing Lark"
  • Hans: "Clever Hans" and "Hans in Luck"
  • Hansel: "Hansel and Gretel"
  • Heinrich: "The Frog Prince"
  • Henry: "Lazy Henry"
  • Hildebrand: "Old Hildebrand"
  • Miller: "Rumpelstiltskin"
  • Jacob: older Grimm brother
  • John: "Trusty John" and "Iron John"
  • Peter: "The Peasant in Heaven"
  • Philipp: illustrator of the original Grimm editions
  • Roland: "Sweetheart Roland"
  • Seame: "The Griffin"
  • Taylor: "The Valiant Little Tailor"
  • Tom: "Thumbling"
  • Uele: "The Griffin"
  • Wilhelm: younger Grimm brother

Brothers Grimm names for baby girls

With a dearth of named characters throughout the Grimms' works, we got creative and threw in some prominent noun names. Our favorite of the bunch is Juniper, which has been climbing in popularity for baby girls over the last few years.

  • Anne: "The Maid of Brakel"
  • Catherine: "Frederick and Catherine"
  • Elsie: "Clever Elsie"
  • Gretel: "Hansel and Gretel"
  • Hulda: "Mother Hulda"
  • Ilsebill: "The Fisherman and His Wife"
  • Juniper: "The Juniper Tree"
  • Katrinelje: "Fair Katrinelje and Pif-Paf-Poltrie"
  • Lark: "The Singing, Springing Lark"
  • Lenchen: "Foundling-Bird"
  • Maleen: "Maid Maleen"
  • Mary: "Our Lady's Child"
  • Raven: "The Raven"
  • Rosamund: "Little Briar Rose"
  • Rose: "Snow White and Rose Red"
  • Snow: "Snow White and Rose Red"
  • Trina: "Lazy Henry"
  • Trudy: "Frau Trude"

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Photo credit: FamVeld/iStock/360/Getty Images

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