When I was at school, I had a German friend called Axel Nagel. His name fascinated me; I always thought he sounded as though he was named after some spare part of an internal combustion engine or at least a piece of vehicular machinery.
I have often wondered since how Germans managed to have such hard, metallic names. Neil means 'champion' and sounds a bit like 'nail'. But it's still a pretty soft name. Of course it also sounds a bit submissive. Hook ought to sound metallic too. But it doesn't quite come off.
I thought of my friend Axel again in recent years when Germany elected a female Chancellor. Angela Merkel, who (especially with the Germanic pronunciation of 'Angela') always sounds to me as though she ought to be a piece of scaffolding. That's pretty metallic.
Why am I wittering on about German names? I have recently been playing bridge with another German lady, whose name is Gerda and my musings about German names came back to me. What name could be harder and more metallic than Gerda?!