Spotlight on: Klaus

A reader is considering the name Klaus for her baby-on-the-way and asked me if I’d get your feedback on it. What an unexpected name!

Klaus is a German short form of Nicholas (and so can take any of the Sts. Nicholas as patron) and is said “klows,” which can be problematic for anyone who doesn’t know that — it might be annoying to have to correct people on a regular basis (though not a deal breaker imo), and said “klaws” would bring Santa to mind right away. But is that really a big deal? It strikes me as such a distinguished name and in fact, one of the comments on the entry for the name at Behind the Name said, “it has a sophisticated brevity.” I love that! Another commenter mentioned the Austrian actor Klaus Maria Brandauer — you guys! Klaus Maria!!! 😍😍😍 So I had to dig a little deeper and I’m fascinated by this: Klaus Maria Brandauer was born Klaus Georg Steng but replaced his middle and last names with his mom’s first and maiden names — Maria Brandauer — to create his professional name. I love that so much!! What a guy!! And not really any different from a man taking a Mary name as his own (religious name, Confirmation name), no?

Klaus is such a short name that it doesn’t really need a nickname (though I did see in its entry on Namipedia the nickname Klausie, which could be cute), but it’s also got some baggage (pronunciation, Santa) that could be managed with an easier nickname. I think Nick/Nicky/Niko/Nico could work, as a nod to its Nicholas connection. Or perhaps KC, if the middle was a C name, like Klaus Christopher (I had a friend in college named Keith Christopher who went by KC). Or Kip if the middle had a P in it (Klaus Patrick), or Kit if the middle had a T (like GoT actor Kit Harington, whose given name is Christopher — Kit is a traditional nickname for Christopher, which makes an extra nice argument for Klaus Christopher nicknamed Kit). Or Kam, for something like Klaus Abraham/Amadeus or Klaus Matthew/Matthias — Kam fits in easily with the Cameron/Cam crowd.

What do you all think of Klaus? Do you know anyone named Klaus? Does he like his name? Does he go by a nickname?



26 thoughts on “Spotlight on: Klaus

  1. I know a woman with a son Klaus. She is only an acquaintance so don’t really know anything about name issues or if he likes the name. He is about 7. They are very heavily involved in the local German-American club so I assume heritage played a big role in the naming. He is an only child so can’t share any sibling names.

    I do think that in this country there would be a lot of people unfamiliar and pronunciation could really be a problem. Because I really like the full Nicolas, my preference would be to use Nicolas and have Klaus as a nickname. But then again there is something really great about the very ethnic name. Part of me wishes we had been more bold in using some ethnic variations (Portuguese, Polish, or Basque) in our naming choices. We only used on as a middle name – though we considered one other as a middle.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. YES, my husband’s name is Klaus!! He really wanted a Klaus, Jr. for our first child but, I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan of juniors in general so I resisted and we went with Konrad; a K name to honor his daddy, and they have the same middle name (Wolfgang). When we first met I thought it was an odd name but now I really dig it. No one ever has trouble remembering Klaus’s name! He pronounces it like it rhymes with house. He sometimes gets the “claws” pronunciation but usually it just takes one correction for people to get it. Growing up he was mostly just Klaus, but sometimes his family calls him Klausy.

    I actually had a dream years ago before we even had kids that we had a little girl named Mary Klaus (in my dream we called her Mary K for short) and I just adore that idea. If we ever have another child we may seriously consider it!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Forgot to mention; his siblings’s names are Jessica, Emily, Karl and Rebecca. The family definitely went for the German heritage theme with the boys and more traditional with the girls.As a name nerd I remember thinking, “what an interesting sib set” when I met his siblings. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    • Oh that’s right! I’d forgotten your hubby is Klaus! I love that you did a German K name to honor him, and I love the idea of Mary Klaus/Mary K! I also love that your husband loves his name and just owns it. That makes such a difference!


  3. Well, this is timely! I have a co-worker expecting her first child (little green bean) in a month. Her husband is a Klaus Jr., so if it’s a boy, it’s going to be Kl@us Arn0ld S– the 3rd. We were trying to think of nns at her shower since it’s a III. She didn’t like Arnie or variants on the third (Trey, Tripp, etc.). We all really like Kash (for the initials KAS–we have a female co-worker named Kass, so without the H it sounded too feminine for us). I suggested Nick as well. I’m hoping it’s a girl, but the office vote swayed toward boy. We will see!

    Anyone on here want to give other nn suggestions for my pal?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t know any Klauses in person, but this made me laugh. My association with the name Klaus is that a friend in college started making fun of me before I studied abroad in Germany that I would fall in love with a man named Klaus while I was there. After that, he could tease me about boys without others catching on by asking about “Klaus.”

    So, if there’s any takeaway from that, it’s that non-German speakers (i.e. my friend) know how to pronounce the name!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I’m here! It was me asking about Klaus for our little green bean!

    It’s so far the only name that hubby and I both love (and have for some time).

    Our other sons are C@ssi@n (Cash), Killi@n, B€nn€tt, and Mil€s. We also have four girls.

    My only hesitation is following a Mil€s with another short 5-letter name, and having so many “K” sounds in our family: Hubby and I both have “K” names too, as do C@sh and Killi@n. And, of course, the Santa connection but that seems to be diminishing.

    We would require a 5-letter middle name to go with Klaus… possibly Maseo as that was hubby’s religious name.

    Thank you for all your thoughts! Please keep them coming!

    Liked by 3 people

    • congratulations on your little green bean! what great names your children have! Would you mind sharing your girls’ names?

      Klaus is a great name; my husband gets compliments on it all the time! Sometimes he has to repeat himself when he introduces himself to people, but for the most part it has served him well. I think it made him have to be a bit assertive when he was little because he had to correct people if they said it wrong and it definitely made him stand out (at least that’s what I have gathered from him).

      I think Miles and Klaus sound different enough that it’s ok if they are both short, 5 letter names. I say go for it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think that most people would know how to pronounce Klaus. I also think that no one will notice that Klaus has the same number of letters as M!les because they have different numbers of syllables.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think spelled with a K the Santa connection would be minimal/a non-issue. My first association with it is the brother in Series of Unfortunate Events, and his is pronounced rhyming with house (in the movie and new TV show anyway), which I think sounds really nice!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m old enough to remember the story about Sunny von Bulow and her husband Claus. I think the character in the Lemony Snicket series was named after him. But I doubt most other people will immediately think of that. Santa Claus is probably the more immediate connection. Especially if the family is German-American, I think it’s a fine name.

    Liked by 2 people

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