„… ab morgen nennen wir uns Ultras …“ Die Benennungen von Ultrafangruppen in deutschen Fußballligen


  • Tim Köring
  • Barbara Aehnlich




This article deals with the as yet unexplored class of fan group names and shows that they form a separate subclass of ergonyms. Fan group names from the so-called ultra scene are characterized by unique formation patterns, naming motifs and naming fashions, which can be observed from their distribution and development. For this purpose, we analysed 305 names of fan groups active in Germany in the period from 2016 to 2021.
The analytic strategies included analysing the individual fan group names themselves, information about these names presented in fan magazines, on internet sites, interviews in fan media, and individual statements from fan groups that were requested for this study.
The results indicate that fan group names are typically formed from the combination of certain components: nickname, place name, founding year, and fan cult name. Most of the fan group names consist of two to four of these components. Similarities to and differences from the formation patterns of company names and club names were discussed.
Additionally, eleven naming motifs were highlighted, of which the motifs fan culture, origin and community were most prominent. The motifs club, masculinity, military, youth, anarchy, violence, passion and (sub)culture were also found.
An analysis of the explanations given for the names showed clearly that a person’s own fan group name is generally extremely important and that the process of naming is complex. These names thus have an identity-forming effect for the fan groups and often refer to fan culture and practice.