Czech people tend to stick to tradition when it comes to their given names. It’s highly unusual for a Czech person to have a foreign name. In fact, the Czech Republic can be quite strict when it comes to which names are allowed and which are not. Unusual spellings, made-up names, and pet names will most likely not be approved by the registry.
More often than not, parents will choose a common Czech name for their children. This is because of the Czech svátek (name day) tradition.
In the Czech Republic, each day of the year has a name assigned to it. For example, the popular Czech boy name Jan appears in the calendar on June 24. On that day, every Jan in the country celebrates their name day. They get gifts and chocolates from their loved ones.
Most Czech names appear in the calendar, which is why it is much rarer for Czech people to use foreign or unusual names. No one wants to miss out on their svátek.
This list is a comprehensive guide to some of the most traditional Czech boy names, as well as to some unique Czech boy names.
Most Czech names are not very common in English. Many of them are either of Slavic origin or have been adapted to sound more natural to the Czech ear. Even names that are of Germanic or French origin often look nothing like their English equivalents.
One thing to remember about Czech names is that Czech people rarely call each other by their full name. Instead, they opt for a nickname or a diminutive version of the name. Someone’s full name is often only used in formal settings (such as one’s workplace).
Here is a list of some of the most common Czech boy names:Aleš Nicknames: Alešek, Alda Name day: April 13
The Czech name Aleš comes from the Greek Alexein. It means “defender”.
While Greek in origin, the name is thought to have been adapted from the Russian name Alexej.Antonín Nicknames: Tonda, Anton Name day: June 13
The name Antonín comes from the Latin name Antonius, meaning “highly praiseworthy”. It is the Czech equivalent of the English name Anthony.
Czech is a Slavic language, so unlike the Romance languages, Czech is not a language which comes from Latin. However, alongside Slavic names there are a number of Latin-derived names which are common in the Czech Republic.Daniel Nicknames: Dan, Danek Name day: December 17
Daniel is a popular Czech boy name. Its origin can be traced back to the Old Testament. In Hebrew, Dániel means “God is my judge”.Dominik Nicknames: Domek, Dominiček Name day: August 4
The name Dominik comes from the Latin word dominus. It means “of the Lord” or “belonging to the Lord”.Jakub Nicknames: Kuba, Kubík Name day: July 25
Jakub is the Czech equivalent of the English name Jacob. It is of Hebrew origin, and it means “supplanter” or “he who grasps the heel”.Jan Nicknames: Jenda, Honza Name day: June 24
Jan is the second most common Czech boy name. It’s the Czech equivalent of John, and it means “God is gracious”.
Most Czech people named Jan will often go by the nickname “Honza”. This version of the name comes from the German name Hans.Jindřich Nicknames: Jindra, Jindřišek Name day: July 15
The Czech name Jindřich is of Germanic origin, and it means “ruler of the house”.
Jindřich is the Czech version of the English name Henry. When Czechs learn about British history, they talk about Jindřich VIII instead of Henry VIII.Jiří Nicknames: Jirka, Jíra Name day: April 24
Jiří is the number one most common Czech boy name. It comes from the Greek geórgos, meaning “farmer” or “Earth worker”.
The English equivalent of Jiří is George.Josef Nicknames: Pepa, Pepík Name day: March 19
The name Josef is of Hebrew origin. It means “he will add” or “God increases”.
Most Czech people named Josef go by the nickname Pepa. This nickname comes from the Italian version of the name - Beppe.
While Josef is still one of the most common Czech boy names, its popularity has decreased among new parents.Karel Nicknames: Kája, Karlík Name day: November 4
The name Karel comes from the German name Karl. It means “free man”, and it is the Czech equivalent of the English name Charles.
Czech people often associate the name Karel with the king Karel IV (or Charles IV).
Karel IV was the first King of Bohemia who also became the Holy Roman Emperor. He is perhaps the most well-known and beloved Czech king. His name holds a huge cultural significance – even the biggest Czech university is named after him: Univerzita Karlova (Charles University).Ladislav Nicknames: Láďa, Laděk Name day: June 27
Ladislav is a name of Slavic origin which is commonly used in the Czech republic. It means “glorious ruler”.Libor Nicknames: Liborek, Libek Name day: July 23
The name Libor comes from the Latin Liberius, meaning “free”.Lukáš Nicknames: Luky, Lukášek Name day: October 18
The Czech name Lukáš comes from the Greek name Loukas. It means “man of Lucanus”.Marcel Nicknames: Marcelek, Celda Name day: October 12
Marcel is a name of Latin origin. It means “belonging to Mars”.Marek Nicknames: Mareček, Máca Name day: April 25
The name Marek comes from the Latin name Marcus, meaning “dedicated to Mars” or “warlike”.Martin Nicknames: Martínek, Máca Name day: November 11
Martin comes from the Latin name Martinus. Much like the name Marek, it means “dedicated to Mars” or “warlike”.Matěj Nicknames: Máťa, Matýsek Name day: February 24
Matěj is the Czech equivalent of the English name Matthew. This cute Czech boy name is of Hebrew origin, and it means “gift of God”.Michal Nicknames: Michálek, Míša Name day: September 29
Michal is a name of Hebrew origin. It means “who resembles God”.
In many languages, Michal is considered a girl’s name – the feminine version of Michael. However, both Michal and Michael are considered boy names in Czech.Milan Nicknames: Milda, Míla Name day: June 18
Milan is a Slavic name that comes from the Slavic word “mil”, meaning “kind” or “nice”. It is etymologically related to the Czech word “milý” which means “kind”.Miloš Nicknames: Milošek, Milouš Name day: January 25
Much like the name Milan, Miloš is a Slavic name that comes from the word “mil”. It means “kind” or “nice”.Miroslav Nicknames: Míra, Mirek Name day: March 6
Miroslav is a name of Slavic origin, and a common boy name in the Czech Republic. This name literally means “one who celebrates peace” (mír = peace; slav = celebrate).Ondřej Nicknames: Ondra, Ondrášek Name day: November 30
The Czech boy name Ondřej comes from the Greek andréios. It means “man”, “warrior”, or “brave”.
Ondřej is the Czech equivalent of the English name Andrew.Pavel Nicknames: Pája, Pavlík Name day: June 29
The name Pavel comes from the Latin Paulus. It means “small” or “humble”.Petr Nicknames: Péťa, Petřík Name day: June 29 and February 22
Petr comes from the Greek Petros, meaning “rock” or “stone”.
Petr is a unique name in the Czech calendar – it appears twice. Once in February and once in June. This is a rare occurrence in the calendar and one easily explained.
The June date is closely tied to religion and Saint Petr (also known as Peter the Apostle.) Other countries that celebrate name days (such as Slovakia) also have the name Petr appear in the calendar on June 29.
On the other hand, the February date is a solely Czech tradition.
Anyone named Petr can choose which day they want to celebrate their name day on – some even choose to celebrate twice a year!Radek Nicknames: Ráda, Radoušek Name day: March 21
Radek is a Slavic name. It is etymologically related to the Czech word “rád” which means “glad” or “happy”.Roman Nicknames: Romek, Romy Name day: August 9
The name Roman comes from the Latin word Romanus. It means “citizen of Rome”.Stanislav Nicknames: Standa, Stáňa Name day: May 7
Stanislav is an old name of Slavic origin. It means “he who achieves glory or fame”.Tomáš Nicknames: Tom, Tomášek Name day: March 7
The Czech boy name Tomáš is of Aramaic and Greek origin. It means “twin”.Václav Nicknames: Vašek, Vašík Name day: September 28
Václav is a beautiful Czech boy name that means “wreath of glory” or “having greater glory”.
Václav is a culturally significant name – many famous Czechs were called Václav. Perhaps the most famous one is Saint Václav, Duke of Bohemia and martyr, who is also the subject of the popular Christmas carol, Good King Wenceslas.
The last President of Czechoslovakia, as well as the first President of the Czech Republic, was also named Václav (Václav Havel).Vít Nicknames: Vítek, Víťa Name day: June 15
The name Vít is thought to be either of Latin origin (meaning “joyful” or “life”) or of Germanic origin (meaning “forest”).Vladimír Nicknames: Vláďa, Vladík Name day: May 23
Vladimír is a Slavic name. It means “of great power” or “great ruler”.Vojtěch Nicknames: Vojta, Vojtík Name day: April 23
This pretty Czech boy name is of Slavic origin. It means “rejoicing warrior” or “he who enjoys war”.Zdeněk Nicknames: Zdenda, Zdeník Name day: January 23
Zdeněk is either of Latin origin (meaning “man from Sidon”) or of Slavic origin (meaning “here famous”).
Not all Czech names are as popular as they used to be. Nowadays, Czechs tend to prefer shorter, more modern-sounding names. Traditional, flowery names are becoming less and less common.
Some of these names might still be in use, albeit sparingly. Others have found their place in history books but are not commonly encountered in day-to-day life.
Still, the popularity of names comes and goes. While some of these may not be popular now, they were once – and it’s possible they might eventually make a comeback.
Here is a list of some of the more traditional Czech boy names:Bohumil
The name Bohumil comes from the Greek Teofil. It means “favored by God”.Bořivoj
The Czech name Bořivoj is of Slavic origin. It means “warrior” or “fighter”.Cyril
Cyril is of Greek origin. It means “lordly”.
The name Cyril is closely tied to Slavic history. Cyril and his brother Methodius are credited with inventing the Glagolitic alphabet, which is the oldest known Slavic alphabet.Čeněk
The Czech name Čeněk is a diminutive form of Vincenc which comes from the Latin name Vincenzo. It means “conqueror” or “winner”.Dalibor
The Czech boy name Dalibor is of Slavic origin. It means “to fight far away”.Drahoslav
Drahoslav is a Slavic name. It means “precious and glorious”.Hynek
The name Hynek is a Czech version of the German name Heinrich. It means “ruler of the house”.Lubomír
Lubomír is a name of Slavic origin. It means “peace-loving”.Mojmír
The Czech male name Mojmír is of Slavic origin. This name means “my peace”.Oldřich
Oldřich is a Czech name which comes from the German name Ulrich, meaning “rich” or “with a great inheritance”.
Oldřich used to be a very popular name in the Czech Republic. Many people over 60 may still be named Oldřich. However, this name is rare among the younger generation.Otakar
Otakar is a Czech boy name of Germanic origin. This name means “watchman of property” or “warden of riches”.Rostislav
The traditional Czech boy name Rostislav is a Slavic name. It means “to increase glory”. (The Czech word « růst » means “to increase”, and the Czech word « sláva » means “glory” )Rudolf
The name Rudolf is of Germanic origin. It’s the Czech version of the English name Rudolph. It means “famous wolf”.
Rudolf used to be a very popular name in the Czech Republic, but this name has become much less common in the last two decades.Vítězslav
Vítězslav is a Czech male name. It means “celebrating victory”. (The Czech word « vítězství » means “victory”, and the Czech word « slavit » means “to celebrate” )
Some Czechs prefer to go for something more unusual when picking a name for their child. Modern Czechs often opt for names that are versions of more popular English names (such as Eduard = Edward).
Here are some of the most unique Czech boy names:
These are just a few of the most interesting Czech boy names. Czech is a beautiful, complex language with much more to offer. There are many more names this guide did not mention.
Some of these may sound familiar to an English speaker – such as David, Filip, Robert, or Richard. Others are much more obscure and Slavic in origin – Čestmír, Bedřich, or Přemysl.
While in recent years, names of Latin and Germanic origin have become increasingly popular in the Czech Republic, Slavic names still have a place in the Czech culture. Many of the more old-fashioned names are closely tied to Czech history and are still celebrated to this day.
This article can be used as a comprehensive guide to some of the most popular Czech boy names.
This article has a companion article on Czech girl names.