The spelling Wotan appears as a variant of Wodan in the Middle Ages, in the 12th century in the Chronicon of Godfrey of Viterbo.
In Old High German, the name could be spelled Wodan, Wotan, Wuotan or Woatan, depending on regional dialect. After Christianization, the name persisted in folklore and formed various derivations, such as Old High German Wuotunc, Wodunc, medieval Wüetung. In modern (19th century) folklore invocations of the God could still be found (Grimm, w:Deutsche Mythologie), especially in Westphalia as Wuodan and in Mecklenburg as Wode (also spelled Waur after its approximate pronunciation). However, they descend not from Old High German but from Old Saxon Wodan and Middle Low German variant Wode.
In literary modern German, the spellings Wodan and Wotan competed during the early 19th century, but Wotan becomes prevalent in the wake of Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, published in 1853.
A male given name Wotan (also Wuotan, Woatan) is attested beginning in the 9th century. It became obsolete during the high medieval period, but was revived as a rare given name in the 20th century.
Wotan m (genitive Wotans)
- A deity of the old Germanic religion, and of modern German reconstructions of this religion. See Odin.
- A male given name.
- Wotan Wilke Möhring (b. 1967)
- J. Grimm, Teutonic Mythology