I've been looking for sources regarding this question, but can't seem to find them.

I was wondering if a person's name can be "glued" together as with other nouns, for example,

Finanz + Amt = Finanzamt

Is there any situation where this can happen with people's or places's names? Can anyone share some resource about this topic (in english, preferably)?


Thanks to everyone that replied. Although the answers showing up are very helpful, I was wondering if there was an english resource someone could share regarding this subject.

Also, the main point of my question, rather than acknowledging that this type of composition was in fact possible, was to understand the cases in which it was made. But I understand I didn't make it very clear with my question, I apologize.

For instance, all (or at least most) of the examples in the answers "glue" (using my terminology) like this:

[given name]+[common name]

I was wondering if one could also "glue" like:

[given name]+[verb]

[given name]+[adverb]

... Other cases?

I imagine this is something like (american?) english, when they say paper-bagging for putting things in paper bags, but with given names. Imagine something more along of Mario-jumping (as in Super Mario Bros.).

For instance, imagine this sentence:

"Yesterday, he Mario-jumped over the fence."

I would translate it to (sorry, but my german is very bad):

"Gestern sprang er über den Zaun wie Mario."

I was wondering if it could be:

"Gestern er Mario-sprang über den Zaun."

EDIT2: As per @Robert's suggestion, I'll try to clarify (although I'll leave the rest of the info aswell).

What I wish to know is if given names - ie, people's names or place's names - are compoundable with any other types of words besides common nouns.

It has already been established here that this last case ([given name]+[common noun]) is possible. Regarding the other cases ([given name]+[verb]; [given name]+[adverb]), not so much.

In these cases, any hint towards a grammatical reference is very desirable.

  • 5
    Gestern tat er einen Mariosprung über den Zaun, vollführte anschließend eine Bielmannpirouette, zeigte die Beckerfaust um dann in einen Schneewittchenschlaf zu fallen. Bei Verben kommen mir nur unverkoppelte Namen in den Sinn: Er müllerte den Ball ins Tor. Ebenso Adverbien - eine kafkaeske Situation! May 11, 2016 at 15:23
  • @userunknown your müllerte example is what I was wondering about (you are talking about Müller, the Bayern München forward, right?). On the other hand, kafkaesque isn't because its not compounded - what is -esque/-esk? Do you have any references on this subject?
    – Joum
    May 11, 2016 at 16:00
  • 3
    Maybe you should just really clarify your question, edit out all the irrelevant parts, and post new questions as needed. I am still not sure if you ask about people's names, nouns in general, verb and noun combinations, or something completely different.
    – Robert
    May 11, 2016 at 22:17
  • 5
    Müller, der historische, wahre Müller, Gerd Müller, 40 Tore in einer Saison, 365 Pflichttore, 68 Länderspieltore, der Müller. Thomas Müller ist auch internationale Klasse aber nicht exceptionell - dafür gibt's kein eigenes Verb. :) Müllern oder zu müllern, ist aber auch keine Zusammensetzung. Man könnte versuchen etwas wie müllerbomben zu bilden, aber gehört ich das noch nicht und erinnere mich auch nicht an vergleichbares. Es wirkt sehr konstruiert. Kafkaesk ist eine Sitution die karg, bürokratisch und absurd ist, wie es oft in Kafkas Erzählungen der Fall ist. May 11, 2016 at 22:23
  • 1
    It seems to me you could say 'Er sprang gleich Mario über den Zaun"...
    – malte
    May 13, 2016 at 16:19

6 Answers 6


Yes, the type of compound words you are looking for is possible. One of the most well-known a few years ago was:

Effefinger (Effenbergfinger)
Also: Effe-Finger, Effenberg-Finger

This derived from footballer Stefan Effenberg showing his fans the finger during a football match (which, according to Wikipedia, led to his expulsion from the national team).

But other types of compound words with proper nouns are possible. I would immediately understand Mariosprung (noun), maybe even Mario-springen (verb) or Navi-nerven (from Navi, Link’s fairy in Ocarina of Time. Not to be confused with Navi, short for Navigationsgerät, GPS. Admittedly, it will only be understood by those who have played the game or watched a lot of it). Prinz-Charles-Gesicht or Guttenbergfrisur would also be widely understood.

With nouns, it is always possible to write them together. With verbs, capitalisation rules conflict, the proper noun wanting a capital letter and the verb wanting a lowercase one, so leaning out of the window I would assume verbs to generally be hyphenated.

  • Nichtsubstantive werden, außer am Satzanfang, immer klein geschrieben, wie ich, ohne zu berlinern leicht nachweisen kann. Dass ein Bindestrich daran etwas ändern könnte ist eine vergeudete Hoffnung; mit Bindestrich wäre es ja immer noch ein Verb und müsste deshalb auch klein geschrieben werden. Siehe auch ohmscher Widerstand, kafkaesk, alpine Sportarten, sächsische Mundart usw. May 11, 2016 at 23:02
  • Thank you, this has been very helpful. Do you know of any grammatical reference to this subject?
    – Joum
    May 12, 2016 at 11:36
  • @Joum sorry, I don’t.
    – Jan
    May 12, 2016 at 22:43
  • @userunknown: Der Hinweis mit dem Bindestrich bezog sich wohl darauf, dass Substantive kleingeschrieben werden können, wenn sie am Anfang einer kleingeschriebenen Wortgruppe auftauchen, außer wenn sie durch einen Bindestrich abgetrennt sind. May 13, 2016 at 15:13
  • 1
    @userunknown Weder rechts noch links sind Substantive, also erst Mal beide klein. Macchiato ist auch keines. Latte, Glas und Kombination aber schon. Die letzten drei behalten ihre Eigenschaft. Schlussendlich sind beide Wörter Substantive, und weil Ober Unter sticht, muss das Gesamtwort groß geschrieben werden. Übrigens bin ich bei deinem Satz kurz links-rechts-schwach geworden ;)
    – Jan
    May 13, 2016 at 23:26

To find that a person's name or a place can be glued together with other nouns, just look at a German map, e.g.

  • Adenauerallee
  • Alexanderplatz
  • Barbarossaplatz
  • Kyotostraße
  • Michigansee
  • Nizzaallee
  • Victoriasee

These are all locations named after a person or place. You may note that there are streets which are not compounds, e.g.:

  • Aachener Straße in Cologne
  • Tempelhofer Damm in Berlin
  • Dachauer Straße in Munich

But these are (or were) headed for the place in the name. A good example for this is maybe the "Mülheimer Straße" in Bergisch Gladbach. In Mülheim (now part of Cologne), the very same street is called "Bergisch Gladbacher Straße".

Then there are names formed of multiple words, from which now a compound should be formed. Normally, this is done using hyphens, e.g.

  • Friedrich-Ebert-Schule
  • Hiroshima-und-Nagasaki-Platz
  • Karl-Marx-Stadt (former GDR, now Chemnitz)
  • Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer
  • Konrad-Adenauer-Flughafen
  • Richard-Wagner-Apotheke
  • Von-Coels-Straße

Furthermore, there are other, less used or obsolete or dialect compound forms, which are kept for historical reasons, especially in city names, e.g.:

  • Wilhelmshaven (Port of William [I, King of Prussia])
  • Bremerhaven (Port [belonging to the city] of Bremen)

And last but not least, there are trademarks, for which normal German grammar does not apply, like "Fritz-kola" or "JadeWeserPort".


This would be somewhat unusual, but if I have won against Karl, I can call myself “Karlbezwinger”.


In fact, some common given names, e.g. Karlheinz, are compounded (Karl + Heinz). But a person can have several given names, so Karl Heinz Böhm is not the same like Karlheinz Böhm.

More often, you see compounds using a hyphen, e.g. Hans-Peter. But only some combinations like that are common; for persons with multiple given names, the hyphen is ommited. (E.g. Erich Maria)


Taking »names« as »Bezeichnungen« this »glueing together« happens with locations like:

Spiel + Platz = Spielplatz

Markt + Platz = Marktplatz

Lager + Platz = Lagerplatz

Fußball + Stadion = Fußballstadion

Haus + Ecke = Hausecke

Kuh + Dorf = Kuhdorf


Under German law, a given name must be a name. That sounds like a tautology but it isn't; it would be child abuse to give a child a name which is not a given name of the appropriate gender. The register office is getting slightly more relaxed about that with increasing internationalization, but the general principle still holds. (That is, the explanation "this is a common name for a boy/girl where come from" should work if it is true.)

This restricts the grammatical freedom to compound nouns when it comes to given names.

  • @Robert, I interpreted the second line of the question that way.
    – o.m.
    May 11, 2016 at 19:53

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