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Adolf (also spelt Adolph or Adolphe, Adolfo and when Latinised Adolphus) is a given name used in German-speaking countries, Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Flanders, France, Spain, Portugal and to a lesser extent in various Central European countries. Adolphus can also appear as a surname, as in John Adolphus, the English historian. The name is a compound derived from the Old High German Athalwolf, a composition of athal, or adal, meaning "noble", and wolf. The name is cognate to the Anglo-Saxon name Æthelwulf (also Eadulf or Eadwulf).

PronunciationGerman pronunciation: [ˈaːdɔlf]
Language(s)German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
MeaningNoble wolf
Other names
Variant form(s)Adi (nickname), Addie (nickname), Adolff, Adolph, Adolphe, Adolphus, Adolfo

Popularity and usage[edit]

During the 19th and early 20th century, Adolf was a common name for babies in German-speaking countries and to a lesser extent also in French-speaking countries (spelled there as Adolphe). However, because of negative associations with the dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler, it has become rare as a given name for males since the end of World War II.[1] It remains common among people born before the war. Adolf Dassler, the founder of Adidas, ended up using the nickname 'Adi' in his professional life and for the name of his company.[2] Similarly, the French version, Adolphe—previously a fairly common name in France and the name of a classic French novel—has virtually disappeared, along with Italian Adolfo. In the Netherlands many men who had been given the name Adolf changed their name to Dolf after World War II.[citation needed]

However, the Spanish and Portuguese version, Adolfo, has not become stigmatised in the same way. It is still in common use in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries across the world.[3]

Monarchs and noblemen[edit]


People with the given name in any variant[edit]

People with the surname Adolphus[edit]

Fictional characters[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Name Adolf statistics and meaning / Vorname Adolf * Statistik und Bedeutung". Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  2. ^ "History". Archived from the original on 2015-02-08. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
  3. ^ "Adolfo - Baby Boy Name Meaning and Origin | Oh Baby! Names". Retrieved 2017-06-06.