Occupational name meaning "blacksmith" in Old French, derived from Latin faber
From Middle High German lehenman
meaning "vassal, liege man".
Means "the mayor" in French. It was a title given to a town official, or else a nickname for someone who was pompous and officious.
Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac an Fleisdeir
meaning "son of the arrow maker".
MACHADO Portuguese, Spanish
Denoted a person who made or used hatchets, derived from Spanish and Portuguese machado
"hatchet", both from Latin marculus
From Georgian მაისურა (maisura)
meaning "shirt", perhaps an occupational name for one who made or sold them.
MANDEL German, Yiddish
Means "almond" in German, an occupational name for a grower or seller, or a topographic name for a person who lived near an almond tree. As a Jewish name it is ornamental.
From the Italian title marchese
meaning "marquis". It was probably a nickname for a person who behaved like a marquis or worked in the household of a marquis.
Means "marble" in Italian, possibly indicating a person who lived near a quarry or one who worked with marble.
From Old High German marka
"border, boundary" and wart
"protector". This was an occupational name for a border guard.
Derived from Middle English mareschal
"marshal", ultimately from Germanic marah
"horse" and scalc
"servant". It originally referred to someone who took care of horses.
MARTEL (2) French, English
Nickname for a smith, derived from Old French martel
"hammer", ultimately from Late Latin martellus
Referred to one who churned or sold butter or buttermilk, derived from Czech máslo
Occupational name for a stoneworker or layer of bricks, from Old French masson
, ultimately of Germanic origin (akin to Old English macian
Patronymic derived from Middle English maister
meaning "master", via Old French from Latin magister
Occupational name for a person who made water bottles or flasks, from Turkish matara
Occupational name meaning "mower, cutter of hay" in Old English.
Occupational name meaning "wall builder" in German.
MAYER (3) English
Occupational name for a mayor, from Middle English mair
, derived via Old French from Latin maior
From a nickname (perhaps occupational) meaning "maul, mallet" in Italian.
From Scottish Gaelic Mac an tSaoir
meaning "son of the carpenter".
Possibly an occupational name derived from Polish maczarz
Occupational name for a trader in textiles, from Old French mercier
, derived from Latin merx
Occupational name for a person who made knives, from Middle High German messer
Occupational name for a sexton or churchwarden, from Old High German mesinari
Derived from Greek μεταξι (metaxi)
meaning "silk", most likely referring to a silk merchant or another occupation dealing with silk.
METZ (1) German
Occupational name for maker of knives, from Middle High German metze
MEYER (1) German
From Middle High German meier
meaning "bailiff, administrator", derived from Latin maior
meaning "greater". Later it also denoted a tenant farmer. The spellings Meier
are more common in northern Germany while Maier
are more common in southern Germany.
Occupational surname referring to a person who owned or worked in a grain mill, from Middle English mille
Name for someone whose house was in a mill or who worked in a mill.
Originally given to one who lived near a mill or who worked in a mill, from Middle English mille
From Scots and Middle English milne
(a variant of mille
) meaning "mill".
From Irish Ó Maol Dhomhnaigh
meaning "descendant of a church servant".
From Italian mondatore
meaning "weeder". This was an occupational name for someone who kept fields clear of weeds.
Means "mortar" in Polish. It probably referred to someone who worked with or sold mortar.
German equivalent of MILLER
, derived from Middle High German mülnære
Occupational name for a wall builder, from Italian murare
meaning "to wall up".
Means "brine" in Sardinian, perhaps a nickname for someone who pickled foods.
Referred to a shepherd or else someone who in some way resembled a sheep, derived from Norman French mouton
NAGEL German, Dutch
Means "nail" in German and Dutch, an occupational name for a carpenter or nailsmith.
Possibly from Italian neccio
, a type of flat bread.
Possibly a nickname for an innkeeper, from archaic Milanese nervètt
, a local meal prepared from a calf.
From the Italian word nicchio
meaning "shell", possibly a nickname for people related to the sea.
NORRIS (2) English
Means "wet nurse, foster mother" from Old French norrice
, from Latin nutricius
Occupational name for a clerk, derived from Latin notarius
From Dutch offer
meaning "offering, donation", referring to a person who collected money in a church.
Ó MÁILLE Irish
Means "descendant of a nobleman" from the Irish Gaelic mál
PAGE English, French
Occupational name meaning "servant, page". It is ultimately derived (via Old French and Italian) from Greek παιδιον (paidion)
meaning "little boy".
From Italian paladino
meaning "knight, defender", from Late Latin palatinus
meaning "palace officer".
Means "pilgrim", ultimately from Latin palma
"palm tree", since pilgrims to the Holy Land often brought back palm fronds as proof of their journey.
PAQUET (1) French
Occupational name for a firewood gatherer, from Old French pacquet
PARK (2) English
From Middle English park
, from Latin parricus
, of Germanic origin. This was a name for someone who worked in or lived in a park.
Means "keeper of the park" in Middle English. It is an occupational name for a person who was a gamekeeper at a medieval park.
Originally denoted a son of a parson, a derivative of Latin persona
PASTERNAK Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Yiddish
Means "parsnip" in various Slavic languages, ultimately from Latin pastinaca
. A famous bearer was Boris Pasternak (1890-1960), author of 'Doctor Zhivago'.
PATERNOSTER English, Italian
Occupational name for a maker of rosaries, also called paternosters. They are derived from the Latin phrase pater noster
"our Father", the opening words of the Lord's Prayer.
PECK (2) English
Occupational name for a maker of pecks (vessels used as peck measures), derived from Middle English pekke
Means "sheep" in Italian, an occupational name for a shepherd.
From Dutch meaning "pear tree", referring to someone who lived or worked at a pear orchard.
PENDER (1) English
From Middle English pind
"to pen up". This was an occupational name for someone who penned animals.
From Middle Dutch paender
meaning "brewer", derived from panne
meaning "pan, pot", ultimately from Latin patina
PENN (2) English
Occupational name for a person who kept penned animals, from Old English penn
Means "fish" in Italian, referring either to a fisherman or to a person who resembled a fish in some way.
Originally given to a person who played on a pipe (a flute).
PLANK German, English
Means "plank", from Old French, itself from Late Latin planca
. This could have referred to a person who lived by a plank bridge over a stream, someone who was thin, or a carpenter.
Possibly derived from French palourde
, a type of a shellfish.
Means "one who sits behind" in Czech, an equivalent to Zahradník
mainly used in the region of Moravia.
Derived from Czech polo
"one half" and lán
, a medieval Czech measure of land (approximately 18 hectares). The name denoted someone who owned this much land.
PORCHER English, French
Means "swineherd" from Old French and Middle English porchier
, from Latin porcus
Occupational name meaning "doorkeeper", ultimately from Old French porte
"door", from Latin porta
Occupational name for a potter, one who makes earthen vessels.
Occupational name, either for an apothecary, from Old French potecaire
, or a seller of stew, from Old French potagier
Derived from Old French poule
meaning "chicken". It was most likely used to denote a person who raised or sold poultry.
Occupational name for a person who kept animals, from Old English pund
PRETORIUS Southern African, Afrikaans
From Latin praetor
meaning "leader". This name was adopted in the 17th century by Wesselius Praetorius as a Latin translation of his previous surname Schulte
. It is now common in South Africa.
Means "walk, wander, stroll" in Czech. This was an occupational name for a travelling tradesman.
Originally belonged to one who was a prior (a religious official), or one who worked for a prior.
Derived from the medieval status name purkrabí
meaning "burgrave". It is derived from German Burggraf
meaning "castle count".
From Old French pourcel
"piglet", from Latin porcellus
, a derivative of porcus
"pig". This was a nickname or an occupational name for a swineherd.
Occupational name for a gunsmith or cannon maker, from Hungarian puska
meaning "gun" (from German, itself from Latin buxis
From the occupation of rademaker
meaning "maker of wheels", from Dutch rad
Occupational name for the fisherman in charge of the boat, from Italian rais
"captain", of Arabic origin. It is typical of Sicily and Sardinia.
Occupational name derived from Middle English reeve
, Old English (ge)refa
meaning "sheriff, prefect, local official".
Derived from Middle High German retich
, Middle Low German redik
meaning "radish", an occupational name for a grower or seller of radishes.
Means "judge" in German, from Middle High German rihtære
Occupational name meaning "poet", from Middle English rime
From Middle High German riter
meaning "rider, knight", a cognate of RYDER
From Old High German riuten
"to clear land" and bur
From French roue
meaning "wheel", ultimately from Latin rota
, an occupational name for a wheelwright.
RYBA Czech, Polish
Means "fish" in Czech and Slovak, an occupational name for a fisher.
Means "fisher" in Czech, from ryba
Occupational name for a mounted warrior, from Old English ridere
Topographic name. It could be a misdivision of the Middle English phrases atter ye
meaning "at the island" or atter eye
meaning "at the river". In some cases it merely indicated a person who lived where rye was grown or worked with rye (from Old English ryge
Occupational name for a maker of sacks, from Italian sacco
, Latin saccus
Occupational name for a make of saddles, from Old English sadol
Occupational name for a salt worker or someone who lived bear a salt works, from Spanish salina
"salt works, salt mine", ultimately from Latin sal
Occupational name meaning "tailor" in Italian, from Latin sartor
, from sarcire
meaning "to mend".
Occupational name for a cobbler, from Latin sutor
From Old French savatier
"shoemaker", derived from savate
"shoe", of uncertain ultimate origin.
Occupational name meaning "sawer of wood, woodcutter" in Middle English, ultimately from Old English sagu
meaning "saw". Mark Twain used it for the main character in his novel 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer' (1876).
Occupational name meaning "acrobat, dancer", derived from Old French sailleor
, from Latin sallitor
Denoted a person who sold or made clothes made of scarlet, a kind of cloth, possibly derived from Persian سقرلاط (saghrilat)
Means "shoemaker" from Italian scarpa
SCHENK German, Dutch
From Middle High German, Middle Dutch schenke
meaning "wine server" (from Old High German scenken
"to pour out").
Occupational name for a cutter of cloth or a sheep-shearer, from Old High German skeran
Occupational name for a roof tiler, from Middle High German schindel
"shingle". A famous bearer was Oskar Schindler (1908-1974), who saved over a thousand Polish Jews during World War II.
Means "fencer, fencing master", from Old High German skirmen
meaning "to defend".
Occupational name for a locksmith, derived from Old High German sloz
Occupational name derived from Middle High German smit
"smith, metalworker", a cognate of SMITH
SCHNUR German, Jewish
From Old High German snuor
meaning "rope, cord", an occupational name for a maker of rope.
From Dutch school
, ultimately from Latin schola
meaning "school", indicating a person who worked at or lived near a school.
SCHREIER German, Jewish
Occupational name for a town crier, from Old High German scrian
meaning "to shout, to yell".
Occupational name for a cabinet maker, from Dutch schrijn
"box, container" and maker
Means "beer-porter, wine-porter" in German, an occupational name for a carrier of wine or beer barrels.
From Middle High German schuochwürte
meaning "shoemaker, cobbler".
From the Middle High German occupational name schuochmacher
Means "scholar, student" in German, ultimately from Latin schola
Occupational name derived from Middle High German schultheiße
meaning "mayor, judge".
Means "shoemaker, cobbler", from Middle High German schuoch
"shoe" and suter
, from Latin sutor
Means "watchman, guard" from Middle High German schützen
Occupational name for a blacksmith, literally meaning "swing hammer" in German.
Occupational name meaning "writer, clerk, scribe" in Old French, derived from Latin scriba