The names are derived from the Roman cognomen, Germanus, which is derived from the Latin, germen, meaning “seed.” The meaning may have been synonymous with “brother; relative” or “blood relation.”
Germain is the French masculine form while Germaine (jer-MANE) Eng; (zhare-MEHN) Fre, is the feminine form.
St. Germaine Cousin was a 16th-century French saint and shepherdess. She was said to have suffered from a debilitating form of Tuberculosis, which crippled her, and she was also physically abused by her stepmother. She was renowned for her piety.
After her death, several miracles were attributed to the saint, and she has been venerated ever since, being canonized by the Catholic Church in 1867.
In France, the designated name-day is June 15.
Other forms of the name include:
- Germana (Italian/Polish/Portuguese/Spanish)
- Zermena (Latvian)
Another masculine form is the Italian/Spanish/Portuguese, Germano. A Polish masculine form is German.