Type Surname (from occupation)
Edit Status Status
Contributor Contrib.anonymous on 12/18/2015
From Middle High German klingen "to ring or sound" and bīl "axe", literally "sound the axe", an occupational nickname for a journeyman, carpenter, shipwright (or any occupation involving the use of an axe). Journeymen's names often contained a humorous element, as they were bestowed at merry promotion parties or "christenings" held to celebrate the recipients successful completion of their apprenticeship.