[ 2 syll. ot-to, ott-o ] The baby boy name Otto is pronounced in English as AA-Tow or in German as AO-Tow †. Otto is used predominantly in the Czech, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, and Scandinavian languages, and it is derived from Germanic origins. Eudes (Old French), Oda (Old French), and Ote (Old French) are original forms of Otto. This developed as a short form of Germanic names with the first element 'uod' (meaning wealth, fortune). Odo is an earlier form of Otto. The former was borne by the half-brother of William the Conqueror, while the latter was borne by Otto the Great (912-973), the first Holy Roman Emperor. The name was popular in the medieval times, and was also known from Saint Otto of Bamberg (1060-1139), a German bishop and missionary to Pomerania. It was also borne by various members of royalty in Germany and Austria. The name was first introduced by the Normans into England in the 11th century, and it saw a modest revival in the 19th century. The term Otto has sometimes been used as a derogatory name for Germans in general. Like most Germanic names, the use of the name has declined among English speakers since World War I. The name Otha (English) and the name Ute (German) are the female versions of Otto.
Otto is a widely used name; it has 37 variants that are used in English and other languages. Variants used in English include Otess, Otha, Otis, Otoe, Otón, and Ottis. The pet form Othello (used in French, Italian, and Spanish too) is another English variant.
Foreign variants of Otto include Audr (Scandinavian), Eudes (French), Oddo (German and Italian), Odilon (French and Portuguese), Odo (German, Italian, and Scandinavian), Odon (French), Okke (Frisian), Okko (Frisian), Onek (Polish), Ota (Czech), Otek (Polish), Otello (Italian), Otfried (German), Otho (German), Othon (French and Greek), Otik (Czech), Otilio (Spanish), Otman (Spanish), Oto (Basque, Czech, Italian, Slavic, and Spanish), Oton (Polish and Spanish), Ottocar (German), Ottomar (German), Otton (Polish), Ottone (Italian), Ottorino (Italian), Ottó (Hungarian), Tilo (Spanish), Tonek (Polish), and Udo (German). Another foreign variant is the contraction Ot (Dutch).
Otto is a classic favorite. Today it is still somewhat popular as a baby name for boys, though not to the extent it was in the past. Its usage peaked in 1902 with 0.145% of baby boys being given the name Otto. Its ranking then was #101. The baby name has since experienced a marked loss in popularity, and it is used on a very modest scale in recent years. In 2012, its usage was only 0.014% and its ranking #785. Among the group of boy names directly linked to Otto, Cody was the most regularly used. In 2012, its use outnumbered Otto's by 7 times.
† Pronunciation for Otto: AA as in "odd (AA.D)" ; T as in "tee (T.IY)" ; OW as in "oak (OW.K)" ; AO as in "ought (AO.T)"
Details of famous persons named Otto:
Aristocrat Otto von Bismarck, born 1 April, 1815 - 30 July, 1898, Schönhausen, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.
Film Director Otto Preminger, born Otto Ludwig Preminger, 5 December 1905 - 23 April 1986, Wiznitz, Austria-Hungary.