Germain French: from the Old French personal name Germain. This was popular in France, where it had been borne by a 5th-century saint, bishop of Auxerre. It derives from Latin Germanus ‘brother’, ‘cousin’ (originally an adjective meaning ‘of the same stock’, from Latin germen ‘bud’, ‘shoot’). In the Romance languages, especially Italian, the popularity of the equivalent personal name has been enhanced by association with the meaning ‘brother (in God)’, and in Spanish the cognate surname is derived from the vocabulary word meaning ‘brother’ rather than from a personal name. The feminine form, Germaine, which occurs as a place name in Aisne, Marne, and Haute-Marne, is associated with a late 16th-century saint from Provençal, the daughter of a poor farmer, who was canonized in 1867. English: variant of German. German English: ethnic name from Old French germain ‘German’ (Latin Germanus). This sometimes denoted an actual immigrant from Germany, but was also used to refer to a person who had trade or other connections with German-speaking lands. The Latin word Germanus is of obscure and disputed origin; the most plausible of the etymologies that have been proposed is that the people were originally known as the ‘spear-men’, with Germanic ger, gar ‘spear’ as the first element. English (of Norman origin): from the Old French personal name Germain (see Germain). Americanized spelling of Spanish Germán or Hungarian Germán, cognates of 2. German: from the saint’s name German(us). See also Germann. Jewish (eastern Ashkenazic): Russianized variant of Hermann. Greek: reduced form of Germanos, a Greek personal name, bestowed in honor of saints of the Eastern Church distinct from St. Germain: in particular, St. Germanos in the 8th century, liturgical poet and patriarch of Constantinople. The Greek surname can also denote someone associated with Germany or someone with blond hair.