German Surnames

German names are used in Germany and other German-speaking areas such as Austria and Switzerland. See also about German names.
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ABEL (2)German
Derived from a diminutive of the given name ALBERT.
ABELNGerman
Patronymic derived from a diminutive of ALBERT.
ABRAHAMJewish, English, German, French, Spanish, Dutch
Derived from the given name ABRAHAM.
ABTGerman
German cognate of ABATE.
ACHILLESGerman
Derived from the given name ACHILLES.
ACHTERBERGDutch, German
From the name of various places in the Netherlands and Germany, for example the village of achterberg in Utrecht. The place names are derived from Low German achter "behind" and berg "mountain, hill".
ACKERGerman, English
Denoted a person who lived near a field, derived from Middle English aker or Middle High German acker meaning "field".
ACKERMANNGerman
Denoted a person who lived near a field, from Middle High German acker "field" and man "man".
ADAMEnglish, French, German, Polish, Romanian, Jewish
Derived from the given name ADAM.
ADENAUERGerman
Denoted a person from the town of Adenau in Germany. The name of the town is of uncertain etymology.
ADLERGerman, Jewish
Means "eagle" in German.
AHLERSLow German
Means "son of ALARD".
ALBERTEnglish, French, Catalan, Hungarian, Romanian, German
Derived from the given name ALBERT.
ALBRECHTGerman
From the given name ALBRECHT.
ALESHIREGerman
Anglicized form of ALSCHER.
ALSCHERGerman
Means "son of ADALHEIDIS".
ALTHAUSGerman
Name for a person dwelled in or by an old house, from German alt "old" and haus "house".
AMSEL (2)German
Means "blackbird" in German.
ANDREASGerman, Greek
Derived from the given name ANDREAS.
ANDRESGerman
Derived from the given name ANDREAS.
ARBEITGerman
From German arbeit meaning "work".
ARMBRUSTERGerman
Means "crossbow maker" from German armbrust "crossbow". The word armbrust was originally from Latin arcuballista meaning "bow ballista", but was modified under the influence of German arm "arm" and brust "breast".
AUEGerman
From German meaning "meadow by a river, wetland". There are many places with this name in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
AUERGerman
From German aue meaning "meadow by a river, wetland".
AUGUSTINFrench, German
From the given name AUGUSTIN.
AUSTGerman
Derived from Aust, an archaic diminutive of AUGUST.
BAASCHLow German
From Middle Low German baas meaning "boss".
BACHGerman
Topographic name for someone who lived by a stream, from Middle High German bach meaning "stream". This name was borne by members of the Bach musical family, notably the composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750).
BACHMANGerman
Anglicized form of BACHMANN.
BACHMANNGerman
Denoted a person who lived near a stream, from German bach "stream" and mann "man".
BACHMEIERGerman
Originally referred to a farmer whose farm was beside a stream, from Middle High German bach "stream" and meier "steward, tenant farmer".
BÄCKERGerman
Variant of BECKER, mostly found in northern Germany.
BADERGerman
Derived from Old High German bad "bath", most likely referring to a bath attendant.
BÄHRGerman
From Middle High German bër "bear" or ber "boar". This was originally a nickname for a strong or brave person.
BAIERGerman
Variant of BAYER.
BAUERGerman
From Old High German bur meaning "peasant, farmer".
BAUERSGerman
Variant of BAUER.
BAUMGerman, Jewish
Means "tree" in German.
BAUMANNGerman, Jewish
From Middle High German bumann meaning "farmer, builder".
BAUMBACHGerman
From a place name meaning "tree stream" in German.
BAUMERGerman
Variant of BAUM.
BAUMGARTNERGerman
Occupational name for a person who worked or lived at an orchard, from German Baumgarten "orchard" (derived from Baum "tree" and Garten "garden").
BAUMHAUERGerman
Occupational name meaning "woodcutter", derived from German Baum "tree" and hauen "to chop".
BAYERGerman
Originally denoted a person from Bavaria, from its German name BAYERN.
BECK (1)English, German, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian
Cognate of BACH, from Middle English bekke (from Old Norse), Low German beke or Old Norse bekkr all meaning "stream".
BECK (2)German
Variant of BECKER, from southern German beck.
BECKENBAUERGerman
Means "farmer living by a stream" in German.
BECKERGerman
Derived from Middle High German becker meaning "baker".
BEHRENDGerman
Derived from the given name BERND.
BEHRENDSGerman
Derived from the given name BERND.
BEHRINGERGerman
From the given name BERENGAR.
BEITELGerman
Variant of BEUTEL.
BELTZGerman
Occupational name for a tanner of hides, derived from Middle High German belz meaning "fur".
BERGGerman, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From a Germanic word meaning "mountain".
BERINGERGerman, English
From the given name BERENGAR.
BERNHARDGerman
From the given name BERNHARD.
BEST (2)German
Derived from the name of the river Beste, meaning unknown.
BEUTELGerman
From Middle High German biutel meaning "bag", originally belonging to a person who made or sold bags.
BEYERGerman
Variant of BAYER.
BEYERSDORFGerman
Means "farmers village", from German Bauer meaning "farmer" and Dorf meaning "village".
BIEBERGerman, Jewish
From Middle High German biber meaning "beaver", possibly a nickname for a hard worker.
BIERMANNGerman
Derived from German bier "beer" and mann "man". The name may have referred to a brewer or a tavern owner.
BISCHOFFSGerman
German cognate of BISHOP.
BLAUGerman
Means "blue" in German, most likely used to refer to a person who wore blue clothes.
BLECHERGerman
Occupational name for someone who worked with tin or sheet metal, from German blech "tin".
BLEIERGerman
Occupational name for a worker of lead, derived from German blei "lead".
BLUMGerman, Jewish
Means "flower" in German and Yiddish.
BLUMENTHALGerman, Jewish
Derived from German Blumen "flowers" and Thal "valley".
BÖHLERGerman
Derived from the name of several German towns called Boll or Böhl, meaning "hill".
BÖHMGerman
Originally indicated a person from the region of BOHEMIA (Böhmen in German).
BÖHMEGerman
Variant of BÖHM.
BOHNGerman
Occupational name for a bean grower, derived from Middle High German bone "bean".
BORCHARDGerman
Derived from the given name BURKHARD.
BORCHARDTGerman
Derived from the given name BURKHARD.
BÖSCH (1)German
Derived from a diminutive of the given name SEBASTIAN.
BOSCH (1)Dutch, Low German
Derived from Middle Dutch bosch meaning "wood, forest".
BÖTTCHERGerman
Occupational name meaning "cooper, barrel maker" in German.
BRABANDGerman
Derived from the name of the region of Brabant in the Netherlands and Belgium. It possibly means "ploughed region" or "marshy region" in Old High German.
BRAHMSGerman
Derived from the given name ABRAHAM. A famous bearer of this surname was the German composer Johannes Brahms (1833-1887).
BRANDGerman, English
Derived from the Germanic given name BRANDO or its Old Norse cognate BRANDR.
BRÄNDLEGerman
Derived from Old High German brant "fire". This was a name for a person who lived near an area that had been burned.
BRANDTGerman
Variant of BRAND.
BRAUERLow German
Derived from Middle Low German bruwer meaning "brewer".
BRAUNGerman
Variant of BRUN.
BRAUNEGerman
Variant of BRUN.
BREINERGerman, Swedish
Occupational name derived from Middle High German brie "porridge".
BREISACHERGerman
Originally denoted one who came from the town of Breisach, in Germany. The town's name is possibly from a Celtic word meaning "breakwater".
BREITBARTHGerman
From Old High German breit "broad" and bart "beard", originally a nickname for someone with a full beard.
BRETZGerman
Indicated a person from the town of Breetz in Brandenburg, Germany. The meaning of the town's name is unknown.
BRINKERHOFFGerman
From a German place name meaning "farm near a slope".
BRODBECKGerman
Means "bread baker" from Middle High German brot "bread" and becke "baker".
BROSEGerman
Derived from the given name AMBROSE.
BROTZGerman
Variant of PROTZ.
BRUHNGerman
Variant of BRUN.
BRUNGerman
From Middle High German brun meaning "brown". It was originally a nickname for a person who had brown hair or skin.
BRUNEGerman
Variant of BRUN.
BUCHHOLZGerman
From Middle High German buoche "beech" and holz "wood".
BUHRLow German
Low German form of BAUER.
BURGSTALLERGerman
From German Burg "fortress, castle" and Stelle "place, position". This was a name given to a person dwelling at or near such a site.
BUSCHGerman
Means "bush" in German, a name for someone who lived close to a thicket.
CARLEnglish, German
From the given name CARL.
CHRISTIANFrench, German, English
Derived from the given name CHRISTIAN.
CLINEGerman, Jewish
Anglicized spelling of KLEIN.
DANIELEnglish, French, German, Portuguese
Derived from the given name DANIEL.
DAUBEGerman
Variant of TAUBE.
DENZELGerman
Variant of TANZER.
DERICHSGerman
Means "son of DIRK".
DIEFENBACHGerman
From a German place name which meant "deep creek".
DIETERGerman
Derived from the given name DIETER.
DIETRICHGerman
Derived from the given name DIETRICH.
DIRKSDutch, German
Means "son of DIRK".
DIRKSENDutch, German
Means "son of DIRK".
DITTMARGerman
Derived from the given name DIETMAR.
DOHMANGerman
Derived from a diminutive of the given name THOMAS.
DREHERGerman
Means "a turner" from Middle High German drehen "to turn". A turner was a person who used a lathe to create small objects from wood or bone.
DREIERGerman
Variant of DREHER.
DRESCHNERGerman
Derived from Middle High German dreschen "to thresh". A thresher was a person who separated the grains from a cereal plant by beating it.
DRESDNERGerman
Originally indicated a person who came from the city of Dresden in German.
DRESSLERGerman
Means "turner" from Middle High German dreseler, an agent derivative of drehen "to turn". A turner was a person who used a lathe to create small objects from wood or bone.
DREYERGerman
Variant of DREHER.
DUERRGerman
Variant of DÜRR.
DUNKELGerman
Means "dark" in German.
DUNSTGerman
Derived from Middle High German dunst "haze".
DÜRRGerman
Means "thin" in German.
EBERHARDTGerman
Derived from the given name EBERHARD.
EBNER (1)German
Originally indicated a dweller on a flat piece of land, derived from Middle High German ebene "plateau".
EBNER (2)German
Means "judge, arbiter" from Middle High German ebenære.
ECKSTEINGerman
From Old High German ecka meaning "edge, corner" and stein meaning "stone".
EGGERGerman
South German occupational name for a plowman or farmer, derived from German eggen "to harrow, to plow".
EICHELGerman
Means "acorn" in German, indicating a person who lived near an oak tree.
EILERTSGerman
Derived from the given name EILERT.
ENGELGerman
Derived from German given names beginning with Engel, such as ENGELBERT.
ENNSGerman
Derived from a short form of the German given name ANSELM.
ESSERGerman
Means "cartwright", related to Old High German ahsa "axle".
ESSERTGerman
Variant of ESSER.
FABELGerman
Derived from a diminutive of the given name FABIAN.
FABIANGerman, English, Polish
Derived from the given name FABIAN.
FALKSwedish, Danish, Norwegian, German
From Old Norse falkr or Middle High German valke "falcon".
FALKENRATHGerman
Derived from Germanic falke "falcon" and rad "counsel".
FÄRBERGerman
Occupational name meaning "dyer", derived from German Farbe "colour".
FASHINGBAUERGerman
From Fasching, a German carnival (Fastnacht meaning "eve of the beginning of the fast", or the time before Lent) celebrated in Austria and Bavaria, and bauer meaning "farmer".
FAUSTGerman
Derived from the given name Faust, a form of FAUSTUS.
FEIGENBAUMGerman, Jewish
Means "fig tree" in German.
FELDGerman, Jewish
Means "field" in German. The name was originally given to someone who lived on land cleared of forest.
FELDTGerman, Danish, Swedish
North German, Danish and Swedish variant of FELD.
FENSTERMACHERGerman
Means "window maker" in German.
FERTIGGerman
Means "ready, prepared" in German.
FIEDLERGerman
Means "fiddler" in German.
FISCHERGerman
Occupational name meaning "fisherman" in German.
FLATERGerman
Means "reed bed" in German.
FLEISCHERGerman
Occupational name meaning "butcher" in German.
FORNEYGerman
Name for someone who lived near ferns, from Old High German farn "fern".
FORSTGerman
Derived from Old High German forst "forest". Probably unrelated to the Old French word forest, which was derived from Latin, Old High German forst was derived from foraha meaning "fir tree".
FÖRSTNERGerman
Denoted a keeper or one in charge of a forest (see FORST).
FOTHLow German
From a nickname meaning "foot" in Low German.
FRANK (3)German, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian
Name for a person from Franconia in Germany, so called because it was settled by the Frankish people.
FREIGerman
Means "free" in German, probably referring to someone outside the feudal system.
FREUDGerman, Jewish
Means "joy" in German, a nickname for a cheerful person. A famous bearer was the psychologist Sigmund Freud (1856-1939).
FREUDENBERGERGerman, Jewish
Ornamental name from old German freud meaning "joy" and berg meaning "mountain".
FREUNDGerman
From Middle High German vriunt, modern German Freund meaning "friend".
FRIEDGerman
Derived from the given name FRIEDRICH.
FRIEDRICHGerman
Derived from the given name FRIEDRICH.
FROMMGerman
From a nickname derived from Middle High German vrom meaning "noble, honourable".
FROSTEnglish, German
From Old English and Old High German meaning "frost", a nickname for a person who had a cold personality or a white beard.
FUCHSGerman
From Old High German fuhs meaning "fox". It was originally a nickname for a person with red hair.
FUHRMANNGerman
Derived from Middle High German vuorman meaning "cartwright".
FÜRSTGerman
From a nickname meaning "prince" in German. The word fürst itself is derived from Old High German furisto "first".
FUXGerman
Variant of FUCHS.
GABLERGerman
Occupational name for someone who made or sold forks, from Old High German gabala "fork".
GAERTNERGerman
German form of GARDENER.
GARBGerman
Variant of GARBER.
GARBERGerman
Variant of GERBER.
GÄRTNERGerman
German form of GARDENER.
GARVERGerman
Variant of GERBER.
GASSGerman
Name for someone who lived on a street in a city, from German gasse.
GEHRINGGerman
Derived from a short form of Germanic names starting with the element ger "spear".
GEIERGerman
Means "vulture" in German, a nickname for a greedy person.
GEIGERGerman
Means "fiddle player" in German, derived from Old High German giga "fiddle".
GEISSLERGerman
Occupational name for a goat herder, from southern German Geiss meaning "goat" and the suffix ler signifying an occupation.
GENSCHGerman
From the given name Gensch, a Sorbian form of JOHN.
GERBERGerman
Means "tanner, leather dresser" in German, derived from Old High German garawen meaning "to prepare".
GERHARDGerman
Derived from the given name GERHARD.
GERHARDTGerman
Derived from the given name GERHARD.
GERIGGerman
Variant of GEHRING.
GERSTGerman
Occupational name for a barley farmer, derived from Old High German gersta "barley".
GERSTLEGerman
Variant of GERST.
GERVERGerman
Variant of GERBER.
GIEHLGerman
German form of GILES.
GIESEGerman, Danish
Derived from a short form of the given name GISELBERT or other Germanic names beginning with the element gisil.
GLASGerman, Dutch
German and Dutch cognate of GLASS.
GLASSEnglish, German
From Old English glæs or Old High German glas meaning "glass". This was an occupational name for a glass blower or glazier.
GLÖCKNERGerman
Derived from Middle High German glocke "bell". It may have referred to a person who worked at or lived close to a bell tower.
GÖBELGerman
Derived from the given name Göbel, a diminutive of the Old German name Godebert, which is derived from god "God" and beraht "bright".
GOEBELGerman
Variant of GÖBEL.
GOLDSCHMIDTGerman
Occupational name meaning "goldsmith" in German.
GORMAN (1)German
From the Germanic given name GERMUND.
GOTTGerman
Derived from the Germanic given name GODA.
GOTTIGerman
Variant of GOTT.
GOTTLIEBGerman
Derived from the given name GOTTLIEB.
GOTTSCHALKGerman
Derived from the given name GOTTSCHALK.
GRAFGerman
From the German noble title Graf meaning "count", ultimately from Greek γραφευς (grapheus) meaning "scribe".
GRANERGerman
Originally denoted a person from Gran, the German name for Esztergom, a city in northern Hungary.
GREENBERGGerman, Jewish
Anglicized form of GRÜNBERG.
GROOSGerman
Variant of GROß.
GROSSGerman
Variant of GROß.
GROßGerman
From Old High German groz meaning "tall, big".
GROßEGerman
Variant of GROß.
GROSSEGerman
Variant of GROß.
GRÖßELGerman
Variant of GROß, used in southern Germany.
GROßELGerman
Variant of GROß, used in southern Germany.
GROßERGerman
Variant of GROß.
GROSSERGerman
Variant of GROß.
GRÜNBERGGerman, Jewish
From German grün "green" and Berg "mountain". This name indicated a person who lived on or near a forest-covered mountain.
GRÜNEWALDGerman
Means "green forest" from German grün "green" and Wald "forest".
GÜNTHERGerman
Derived from the given name GÜNTHER.
GUNTHERGerman
Derived from the given name GÜNTHER.
GUTERMUTHGerman
Derived from Middle High German guot meaning "good" and muot meaning "mind, spirit". It was a nickname for an optimistic person.
GWERDERGerman (Swiss)
From Swiss German gwerig meaning "agile, alert".
HAASDutch, German
Variant of HASE.
HAASEGerman
Variant of HASE.
HABERGerman, Jewish
Occupational name for one who grew or sold oats, derived from Old High German habaro "oat". As a Jewish surname it is ornamental.
HABERKORNGerman
Occupational name for a dealer in oats, derived from Old High German habaro "oat" and korn "kernel, grain".
HABICHGerman
German cognate of HAWK.
HABICHTGerman
German cognate of HAWK.
HAFNERGerman
Occupational name for a potter, derived from Old High German havan "pot, vessel".
HAHNGerman
From a nickname for a proud or pugnacious person, from Old High German hano meaning "rooster, cock".
HALLEnglish, German, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish
Means simply "hall", given to one who either lived in or worked in a hall (the house of a medieval noble).
HALLEGerman
German variant of HALL.
HARTMANNGerman
From the German given name HARTMANN.
HASEGerman
From Middle High German and Middle Low German hase meaning "hare, rabbit". This was a nickname for a person who was quick or timid.
HASENKAMPGerman
From a northern German place name meaning "rabbit field", from Old Saxon haso "hare" and kamp "field" (from Latin campus).
HASSGerman
From the given name HASSO.
HAUERGerman
Derived from Middle High German houwen "to chop", referring to a butcher or woodchopper.
HAUMANNGerman
Derived from Middle High German houwen "to chop" and man "man", referring to a butcher or woodchopper.
HAUPTGerman
German cognate of HEAD.
HÄUSLERGerman
Name for someone who lived in a house with no land, derived rom Old High German word hus meaning "house".
HEIDRICHGerman
From the Germanic given name HEIDRICH.
HEINRICHGerman
Derived from the given name HEINRICH.
HEINRICHSGerman
Derived from the given name HEINRICH.
HEINTZEGerman
Derived from a diminutive of HEINRICH.
HEINZGerman
Derived from a diminutive of HEINRICH.
HEPPENHEIMERGerman
From the name of the city of Heppenheim in Hesse, Germany.
HERBERTEnglish, German, French
Derived from the male given name HERBERT.
HERMANNGerman
From the given name HERMANN.
HERSCHELGerman, Jewish
Diminutive form of HIRSCH (1) or HIRSCH (2). A famous bearer was the British-German astronomer William Herschel (1738-1822), as well as his sister Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) and son John Herschel (1792-1871), also noted scientists.
HERTZGerman
Derived from Middle High German herze meaning "heart", a nickname for a big-hearted person.
HERZOGGerman
From a German title meaning "duke", a nickname for a person who either acted like a duke or worked in a duke's household.
HILDEBRANDGerman
From the given name HILDEBRAND.
HINRICHSLow German
Derived from the given name HINRICH.
HINTZENGerman
Means "son of Hintz", a diminutive of HEINRICH.
HIRSCH (1)German
Means "deer, hart" in German. This was a nickname for a person who resembled a deer in some way, or who raised or hunted deer.
HOCHGerman
Means "tall" in German.
HOCHBERGGerman, Jewish
From place names meaning "high hill" in German.
HOEFLERGerman
Variant of HOFER.
HOFERGerman
Occupational name for a farmer, from German Hof "farm", from Old High German hof "house, estate, courtyard".
HOFFMANNGerman
From Middle High German hofmann meaning "farmer".
HÖFLERGerman
Variant of HOFER.
HOFMEISTERGerman
Means "master of the household", from Old High German hof "house, estate, courtyard" and meistar "master" (from Latin magister).
HOLLAND (2)Dutch, German, English
Indicated a person from the Dutch province of HOLLAND (1).
HOLSTDanish, Low German, Dutch
Originally referred to a person from the region of HOLSTEIN between Germany and Denmark. A famous bearer of this name was the English composer Gustav Holst (1874-1934).
HOLTZGerman
German cognate of HOLT.
HÖLZERGerman
German cognate of HOLT.
HOLZERGerman
German cognate of HOLT.
HOLZKNECHTGerman
Occupational name for a forester's helper, from Old High German holz "wood" and knecht "servant, apprentice".
HOLZMANNGerman
Derived from Old High German holz "wood" and man "man", a name for someone who lived close to a wood or worked with wood.
HOOVERGerman (Anglicized)
Americanized form of HUBER.
HORNEnglish, German, Norwegian, Danish
From the Germanic word horn meaning "horn". This was an occupational name for one who carved objects out of horn or who played a horn, or a person who lived near a horn-shaped geographical feature, such as a mountain or a bend in a river.
HÜBERGerman
Variant of HUBER.
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