In the village of Jollenbeck Germany, there is a river called the Jölle river which gave Jöllenbeck its name.
From Middle High German junc
From a nickname meaning "bald-headed" in German.
From Middle High German keiser
meaning "emperor", originally a nickname applied to someone who acted kingly. The title ultimately derives from the Roman name CAESAR
Occupational surname that indicated a butcher who sold veal meat or a butcher who slaughtered calves. In German kalb
means "calf" and fleisch
KAPPEL German, Dutch
Means "a person who lives near or works at a chapel" from Middle High German kappel
From the Low German area around Paderborn. The ending of the name is derived from German meyer
Derived from the German word Katze
Means "wedge shaped" in German. It was used to denote a person who owned a wedge-shaped piece of land.
KELLER German, Hungarian
From Middle High German këller
meaning "cellar". This is either an occupational name for a cellarer or a name for a person who lived in a cellar.
German form of KEMP
. In order to Americanize the name, some people dropped the letter f
, altering the name to the English version.
Derived from German kern
"seed". It is an occupational name for one who sold or planted seeds.
KIEFER (2) German
Derived from German kufe
meaning "barrel". This was an occupational name for a barrel maker.
Derived from Middle High German kirche
"church". The name was probably given to someone who worked at a church or lived near one.
Occupational name meaning "chest maker, cabinetmaker" in German.
KLEID German, Jewish
Occupational name for a tailor, from German Kleid
meaning "garment, clothing".
KLEIN German, Dutch, Jewish
Means "small, little" from German klein
or Yiddish kleyn
. A famous bearer of this name is clothes designer Calvin Klein (1942-).
Occupational name for a shoemaker (derived from Low German knif
meaning "shoemaker's knife").
Originally a nickname for a noisy or disruptive person, derived from Old German knellen
"to make noise, to cause a disturbance".
From German knochen
"bone" and mus
"sauce". It probably referred to someone who worked in the butcher trade.
Means "button" in German, originally belonging to a button maker or button seller.
Derived from Middle High German kol
From Middle High German koler
meaning "charcoal burner" or "charcoal seller".
Means "mace" in German. A mace is a heavy medieval war club with a spiked or flanged metal head, used to crush armour.
From Middle High German kræmer, kramære, kromer
and Middle Low German kramer, kremer, kromer
meaning "shopkeeper, grocer".
From Middle High German krus
meaning "curly". Originally a nickname for a person with curly hair.
German word meaning "crab", perhaps a nickname for a person with a crab-like walk.
KRON German, Swedish
Means "crown", perhaps a nickname for one who worked in a royal household.
Nickname for a crippled person or someone who walked with a cane, from German krücke
KRÜGER (2) German
In southern Germany: Means "potter" from Middle High German kruoc
meaning "jug, pot".
KRUSE (2) German
Occupational surname meaning "potter", from Middle High German kruse
Occupational surname for a baker who made small cakes or cookies. It is derived from Middle High German kuoche
Occupational name for a maker of spindles (Middle German kunkel
"spindle", ultimately from Latin conus
From Middle High German lehenman
"vassal, liege man".
Referred to one who dwells on the hillside; one who came from the Leite
"slope". This is the name of several places in Germany.
Derived from either Leitzkau
, a town close to Magdeburg, Germany, or from LEITZ
Means "springtime" in German, from a nickname.
MANN German, English
From a nickname meaning "man". This may have originally been given in order to distinguish the bearer from a younger person with the same name.
From Old German marka
"border, boundary" and ward
"protector". This was an occupational name for a border guard.
Occupational name meaning "wall builder" in German.
From a nickname meaning "mouse" from the word mûs
(Middle High German, Old High German).
MENDEL Jewish, German
Derived from the given name MENDEL
. A famous bearer was Gregor Mendel (1822-1884), a Czech monk and scientist who did experiments in genetics.
Occupational surname for one who made knives, from German messer
METZ (1) German
Occupational name for a cutler derived from Middle High German metze
Means "butcher" in German, given to people who practiced that profession.
MEYER (1) German
From the Middle High German word meier
meaning "higher, superior". It was used for landholder's stewards or great farmers or leaseholders (nowadays a Meier
is a dairy farmer). Meier
are used more often in northern Germany while Maier
are used in southern Germany.
Name for someone who lived near a peat bog, from the Middle High German word mos
German equivalent of MILLER
, derived from Middle High German mülnære
NAGEL German, Dutch
Means "nail" in German and Dutch, and is probably related to the occupation of carpenter. It could also refer to a smith who specifically made nails.
Derived from the name of a city in Germany. It was first spelled Nurnberger and then Nuremberger.
NUSSBAUM German, Jewish
Means "nut tree" from the Germanic words nuß
meaning "nut" and baum
Means "from the uppermost end of a village, top of a house" from Middle High German ober, obar
Means "oil hill" from the Germanic oel
"oil" and berg
Means "tall, thin, pole-like" from Old French piel
, although it may also have denoted a person who lived by a pole, or who worked with poles.
PAPP (2) German
Means "glutton" from Late Latin pappare
meaning "to eat".
PATERNOSTER English, French, German, 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.
PENZIG German, Yiddish
Denoted a person who came from Penzig, the German name for Pieńsk, a town in southwest Poland. Pieńsk
is derived from Polish pień
meaning "tree stump" or "tree trunk".
From a nickname meaning "priest, cleric" in German.
Derived from the term pfenni(n)c
meaning "penny". It was used in reference to feudal tax obligations.
PLANK German, English
Means "plank" from Latin plancus
. This could have referred to a person who lived by a plank bridge over a stream, someone who was as thin as a board, or a carpenter.
Originally a name for someone who lived by a field where cattle fodder was grown or else grew cattle fodder, from pletsch
Derived from German pfoertner
, which means "gatekeeper".
PRINZ German, Jewish
Means "prince", used as an ornamental surname by Jews or as a nickname for someone who acted in a princely manner.
From a nickname meaning "showy, pompous", derived from an old southern German word meaning "toad".
RADEMAKER Dutch, German
From the old occupation of rademaker
which referred to a person who made raden
"wheels" (singular rad
From a nickname meaning "hot head". It occurs in the northern Eifel region in Rheinland.
Derived from Middle Low German redik
for "radish". It is therefore occupational and applied to greengrocers.
REUTER (1) German, Jewish
Means "dweller in a clearing" or "clearer of woodland" from Middle High German riute
From the German word ritter
meaning "rider, knight", a cognate of RYDER
ROSE (1) English, French, German, Scottish, Jewish
Means "rose" from the Middle English, Old French and Middle High German rose
. All denote a person of a rosy complexion or a person who lived in an area abundant with roses. It is also found derived from the Yiddish royz
, which always referred to the flower.
ROTH German, Jewish
From Middle High German rot
meaning "red". It was originally a nickname for a person with red hair.
From Middle High German roten
"to clear land" and bur
ROTHSCHILD German, Jewish
Means "red shield, sign" from German rot
"red" and German or Yiddish s(c)hild
"sign, shield". The surname originally came from a family who took their name from a house with a red shield or sign on it. It has since been adopted by unrelated Jews.
From Old German sachs
, which means "Saxon". The Saxons were a Germanic tribe, their name ultimately deriving from the Old Germanic word sahs
meaning "knife". Famous bearers of this surname include Hans Sachs (1494-1576), a German poet, and Nelly Sachs (1891-1970), a Swedish dramatist and poet, who was awarded in 1966 with the Nobel prize for literature, poetry and plays about the Jewish people.
SALLER (2) German
Means "(dweller by) a sallow tree" from Middle High German salhe
Originally denoted a person from Salzwedel, Germany, which is of Old Saxon origin meaning "salt ford".
Means "clean" in German. Saüßer is the German spelling, Anglicized to Sauber.
From Middle High German schæfære
From a word meaning "shearer" or "cutter". The word was used both for barbers, who cut hair, and tailors, who cut cloth to make garments.
SCHEINBERG German, Jewish
Means "lovely, beautiful mountain" from German schön
"fine, beautiful" and berg
SCHENCK German, Dutch, Jewish
From Middle High German, Middle Dutch schenke
meaning "wine server" (from Old High German scenken
"to pour out"). As a German name it also denoted a tavernkeeper.
SCHERMER Dutch, Low German
Occupational name for a fencer or swordsman, akin to Old High German skirmen
SCHINDLER German, Jewish
Means "shingler, roof tiler". 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".
From Middle High German slinderen
"to dawdle" or Middle Low German slinden
"to swallow, eat".
Occupational name derived from Middle High German smit
"smith, metalworker", a cognate of SMITH
Means "to frighten, jump" from Middle High German schrecken
SCHREIER German, Jewish
German and Yiddish word meaning "screamer, shrieker, crier", perhaps an occupational name for a town crier. There are two main branches of people with the name: Lutherans from Bavaria, and Ashkenazi Jews from the area of the Austro-Hungarian Empire formerly known as Galicia, which is today in southwestern Ukraine.
From Middle High German schrotaere
meaning "a carrier of wine or beer barrels".
From Middle High German schuochwürhte
, or schuchwarte
From the old German words schouch
"shoe" and wurhte
"maker". This was a name given to cobblers.
From the Middle High German occupational name schuochmacher
Means "scholar, student priest" from German Schule
Occupational surname derived from Middle High German schultheiße
meaning "mayor, judge".
From the Middle High German occupational name schuoster
SCHWARZ German, Jewish
From Middle High German swarz
meaning "black". It originally described a person with black hair or a black complexion.
Means "harrower of the dark fields" or "dark harrower of the fields" from German schwarz
meaning "dark, black" and egge
meaning "harrow". A well-known bearer of this name is actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Derived from the Middle High German word swenke
which means "to swing". This was probably a hint at the gait of the person. Alternatively, it can be derived from the given name Sweneke
, a Low German form of the name SWANHILD
. One last theory states that it is derived from the town of Schwenke (situated in Nordrhein-Westfalen).
From German words for "swing" and "hammer". This was originally a nickname for a blacksmith.
SENFT (2) German
Nickname for a helpful, kind person from Middle High German senfte
meaning "soft, accommodating".
SHEINFELD German, Jewish
Means "lovely, beautiful field" from German schön
"fine, beautiful" and feld
Occupational name referring to an official or public writer, from German schreiben
SIEGEL (2) German
Derived from diminutive forms of Germanic names beginning with the element sigi
SILVERSTEIN German, Jewish
Means "silver stone" from German Silber
. It was adopted when Jews in Europe were compelled to take surnames in the early part of the 19th century.