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PRONOUNCED: ERMAHN (German), ARMAWN (French)
CONTRIBUTOR: kpax23 on 4/11/2016
Meaning & History
Erman is a shortened French adaption of the Swiss-German surname Ermendinger
, itself derived from the older surname Ermatinger
, a name connected to the village of Ermatingen on the Swiss shore of Lake Constance, and came into existence during the early or middle 18th century when Jean-Georges Ermendinger (1710-1767), a Swiss fur trader from Geneva, married into a French speaking Huguenotte family. Eventually his family was forced to flee from persecution and joined a growing colony of French Huguenottes living in exile in Prussian Berlin. At some point during this process his original name Ermendinger
was shortened and adapted to be more compatible with the French language. The surname Erman with this particular spelling is not related in any way to the more common German and/or Jewish surname Ehrmann
, which comes with a variety of spellings, and which derives from the German word for "Man of Honor", "Ehrenmann". The use of this particular surname Erman is limited to exactly one family with French Huguenotte roots in Prussian Berlin.