ACHTERBERG Dutch, 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
ACKER German, English
Denoted a person who lived near a field, derived from Middle English aker
or Middle High German acker
Denoted a person who lived near a field, from Middle High German acker
"field" and man
Denoted a person from the town of Adenau in Germany. The name of the town is of uncertain etymology.
Name for a person dwelled in or by an old house, from German alt
"old" and haus
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
From German meaning "meadow by a river, wetland". There are many places with this name in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
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).
Denoted a person who lived near a stream, from German bach
"stream" and mann
Originally referred to a farmer whose farm was beside a stream, from Middle High German bach
"stream" and meier
"steward, tenant farmer".
Derived from Old High German bad
"bath", most likely referring to a bath attendant.
From Middle High German bër
"bear" or ber
"boar". This was originally a nickname for a strong or brave person.
From Old High German bur
meaning "peasant, farmer".
Occupational name for a person who worked or lived at an orchard, from German Baumgarten
"orchard" (derived from Baum
"tree" and Garten
Occupational name meaning "woodcutter", derived from German Baum
"tree" and hauen
Derived from Middle High German becker
Occupational name for a tanner of hides, derived from Middle High German belz
BEST (2) German
Derived from the name of the river Beste, meaning unknown.
From Middle High German biutel
meaning "bag", originally belonging to a person who made or sold bags.
Means "farmers village", from German Bauer
meaning "farmer" and Dorf
BIEBER German, Jewish
From Middle High German biber
meaning "beaver", possibly a nickname for a hard worker.
Derived from German bier
"beer" and mann
"man". The name may have referred to a brewer or a tavern owner.
Means "blue" in German, most likely used to refer to a person who wore blue clothes.
Occupational name for someone who worked with tin or sheet metal, from German blech
Occupational name for a worker of lead, derived from German blei
Derived from the name of several German towns called Boll
, meaning "hill".
Originally indicated a person from the region of BOHEMIA
Occupational name for a bean grower, derived from Middle High German bone
Occupational name meaning "cooper, barrel maker" in German.
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.
Derived from the given name ABRAHAM
. A famous bearer of this surname was the German composer Johannes Brahms (1833-1887).
Originally denoted one who came from the town of Breisach, in Germany. The town's name is possibly from a Celtic word meaning "breakwater".
From Old High German breit
"broad" and bart
"beard", originally a nickname for someone with a full beard.
Indicated a person from the town of Breetz in Brandenburg, Germany. The meaning of the town's name is unknown.
Means "bread baker" from Middle High German brot
"bread" and becke
From Middle High German brun
meaning "brown". It was originally a nickname for a person who had brown hair or skin.
From Middle High German buoche
"beech" and holz
From German Burg
"fortress, castle" and Stelle
"place, position". This was a name given to a person dwelling at or near such a site.
Means "bush" in German, a name for someone who lived close to a thicket.
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.
Derived from Middle High German dreschen
"to thresh". A thresher was a person who separated the grains from a cereal plant by beating it.
Originally indicated a person who came from the city of Dresden in German.
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.
Derived from Middle High German dunst
EBNER (1) German
Originally indicated a dweller on a flat piece of land, derived from Middle High German ebene
From German eck
meaning "edge, corner" and stein
South German occupational name for a plowman or farmer, derived from German eggen
"to harrow, to plow".
Means "acorn" in German, indicating a person who lived near an oak tree.
Means "cartwright", related to Old High German ahsa
Occupational name meaning "dyer", derived from German Farbe
, a German carnival (Fastnacht
meaning "eve of the beginning of the fast", or the time before Lent) celebrated in Austria and Bavaria, and bauer
FELD German, Jewish
Means "field" in German. The name was originally given to someone who lived on land cleared of forest.
Name for someone who lived near ferns, from Old High German farn
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".
Means "free" in German, probably referring to someone outside the feudal system.
FREUD German, Jewish
Means "joy" in German, a nickname for a cheerful person. A famous bearer was the psychologist Sigmund Freud (1856-1939).
From Middle High German vriunt
, modern German Freund
From a nickname derived from Middle High German vrom
meaning "noble, honourable".
FROST English, German
From Old English and Old High German meaning "frost", a nickname for a person who had a cold personality or a white beard.
From Old High German fuhs
meaning "fox". It was originally a nickname for a person with red hair.
Derived from Middle High German vuorman
From a nickname meaning "prince" in German. The word fürst
itself is derived from Old High German furisto
Occupational name for someone who made or sold forks, from German gabel
GASS German, Jewish
Name for someone who lived on a street in a city, from German gasse
Means "vulture" in German, a nickname for someone who is greedy.
Means "fiddle player" in German. This was an occupational name for a fiddler.
Occupational name for a goat herder, from southern German Geiss
meaning "goat" and the suffix ler
signifying an occupation.
German for "tanner" or "leather dresser", which makes it an occupational German surname. This surname is common in Germany and Switzerland, as are its variants Garber and Garver. Many families with this surname in Europe were members of the Anabaptist peace sects who immigrated to America to escape the widespread persecutions which followed the Reformation. Upon arrival to America as early as the beginning of the 18th century, the original form of the Gerber surname changed spelling in some families to Kerwer, Kerper, Kerwar, Gerver and Carver.
Derived from Middle High German gerst
GIESE German, Danish
Derived from a short form of the given name GISELBERT
or any other Germanic name with the first element gisil
GLASS English, German
From Old English glæs
or Old High German glas
meaning "glass". This was an occupational name for a glass blower or glazier.
Derived from Middle High German glocke
"bell". The name might have referred to a person who worked at or lived close to a bell tower.
Derived from the given name Göbel
, a diminutive of the Old German name Godebert
, which is derived from god
"God" and beraht
GORMAN (1) German
From a given name derived from the Germanic elements ger
"spear" combined with mann
Derived from the short form of various Germanic compound given names whose first element is either god
meaning "good" or god
From a given name meaning "servant of god" from Germanic god
"god" and scalc
From the German noble title Graf
GRANER German, Hungarian
Meaning "of Gran", Gran being the German name for Esztergom, a small city in northern Hungary.
GREENBERG German, Jewish
Anglicized form of the German surname Grünberg
, which is formed from the words grün
"green" and Berg
"mountain". This name indicated a person who lived on or near a forest-covered mountain.
From Old High German groz
meaning "tall, big".
Means "green forest" from German grüne
Derived from the Middle High German words guot
meaning "good" and muot
meaning "mind or spirit". It also means "good spirit, good cheer". It was a name for an optimistic person.
HABER German, Jewish
Derived from Middle High German haber
"oats". This was an occupational name for one who grew or sold oats.
Derived from Middle German hafen
"pot, dish", referring to a potter.
From Middle High German han, hane
meaning "rooster". It was originally a nickname for a proud and pugnacious person.
From Middle High German and Middle Low German hase
meaning "hare, rabbit". It is a nickname for a timid person.
Means "rabbit field", from Middle German hase
"rabbit" and kamp
"field". It was documented in the year 1300.
From the given name Hasso
, a diminutive of Germanic names beginning with the element hadu
Derived from Middle High German houwen
"to chop", referring to a butcher or to a woodchopper.
From the German word haus
meaning "house", combined with the suffix -er
denoting an inhabitant. It was a reference to a resident of a house with no land.
From the German given name Heidenreich
(nowadays merely used as a surname) which comes from the Old High German words heidan
meaning "heathen", and reich
Derived from the German given name Hellwig
, which is a newer form of both Helmwig
meaning "helmet and battle" and HEILWIG
HERSCHEL German, Yiddish
Diminutive form of HIRSCH (1)
or HIRSCH (2)
. A famous bearer was the British astronomer William Herschel (1738-1822), as well as his sister Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) and son John Herschel (1792-1871), also noted scientists.
Derived from German herz
meaning "heart", a nickname for a big-hearted person.
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.
Occupational surname meaning "farmer" in German.
From Middle High German hove(s)man
meaning "farmer, owner of a farmstead".
Means "master of the household", from Middle German hof
"household, court" and meister
HOLST Danish, Low German, Dutch
Referred originally 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).
Means "a person who lives near a forest" in German.
Occupational name for a woodworker's apprentice, from Old German holz
"wood" and knecht
Derived from German holz
"wood" and mann
"man". The name was given to someone who lived close to a wood, or worked with wood.
Name for a land-owner, from Old German huoba
, a measure of land.
HORN English, 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.
HOROWITZ German, Jewish
From the German name for Horovice
, a town in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic.
Derived from the medieval German region of Huc, located in northeastern Germany.
From Middle High German huober
meaning "man who owns a hube" (a hube
is a piece of land of 30-60 acres). This name is from southern Germany.