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.
SISKIN German, Jewish
Means "sweet child" from the words suess
meaning "sweet" and kind
SITZ (1) German, Jewish
Derived from a given name beginning with the Germanic element sigi
SOMMER (1) German
From Middle High German sumer
and Middle Low German sommer
meaning "summer". This was a name for farmers who had to deliver their taxes in the summer or who had their fields in the south of the village.
SOMMER (2) German
From Middle High German soumære, sommer
and Middle Low German somer(e)
meaning "sumpter, animal driver".
SOMMER (3) German
From Middle High German sumber, sommer
meaning "basket, wickerwork or drum".
Means "sun" from Middle High German sunne
. It probably denoted someone of a cheerful temperament, though in some cases it could describe a person who lived in a sunny area.
Means "worry, care, anxiety" from Middle High German sorge
Means "nailsmith" from Middle High German span-nagel
The second element meyer
means "village headman". The first element is possibly from the Germanic spielen
meaning "to play, jest". Perhaps it referred to someone who was playing or acting as the village headman.
STARK English, German
From a nickname meaning "strong, brave" in Old German and Old English.
STEIN German, Jewish
From the Old High German word stein
meaning "stone". It is common in German-Jewish names like Bernstein and Orenstein.
Means "stone man" either used as an occupational name for a stone worker, a habitational name for a man who lived by a stone or as a nickname for a strong man. It most commonly a habitational name.
Means "dweller on a starry hill, mountain" from German stern
"star" and berg
Derived from the High German verb stiuben
"to escape". The name was given as a nickname to a cowardly person, or a thief.
STOPPELBEIN (2) German
Means "dweller by a tree stump on communal land" from the Middle Low German stoppel
"stump" and bein(t)
Means "rough, unkempt" from Middle High German strup
Means "rough, unkempt" from Middle High German strob
Means literally "straw church" in German. Apparently it is a German translation of a Swedish aristocratic name.
Occupational surname meaning "straw-dealer" in German.
Derived from German die Stube
"room". The name was most likely used to denote the owner of an inn.
Toponymic name from places named Sulzbach, which were named such because the area had salty water, hence the meaning "salty brook".
Originally indicated a person from a place named Tange in northern Germany.
Means "dancer" in German, derived from Middle High German tanzen
From a nickname meaning meaning "dove" in German.
From a nickname meaning "devil" in German, given to a mischievous person or one who was devil-like.
Derived from the Saxon Tollkühn
meaning "foolhardy". A famous bearer was the English author J. R. R. Tolkien (1892-1973).
Originally denoted someone who lived by a set of steps, from Middle High German trit
Possibly from Middle High German trame
"rafter, frame" and bauer
Possibly derived from a Slavic given name of unknown meaning.
Possibly denoted a person from the town of Unkel in Rhineland Palantinate, Germany.
Refers to a restless, fidgety, nervous person, from German unruhe
UNTERBRINK Low German
Means "dweller under the slope" from Old Low German undar
"under" and brink
VOGEL German, Dutch
From Old High German and Old Dutch fogal
meaning "bird". It was originally an occupational name for a bird catcher, or a nickname for a person who liked to sing.
Occupational name from Middle High German voget
meaning "bailiff, lawyer", ultimately from Latin advocatus
Derived from given names beginning with the Germanic element fulc
VON BRANDT German
Means "from the area cleared by fire", from Middle High German brant
VON ESSEN German
Means "from Essen", a city in Germany, possibly a derivative of Old High German asc
meaning "ash tree".
VON GRIMMELSHAUSEN German
Means "from Grimmelshausen", a town in Germany. It is itself derived from Grimmel
, of uncertain meaning, and hausen
meaning "houses". A famous bearer was the German author Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen (1621-1676).
Possibly from the Germanic vonn
meaning "hunting track" and gut
meaning "good". A famous bearer was the American author Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007).
From Middle Low German vos
meaning "fox". It was originally a nickname for a clever person or a person with red hair.
From Middle High German wagener
meaning "wagon maker, cartwright". This name was borne by the German composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883).
Possibly derived from a German place name Falkenhorst
, from Falken
meaning "falcons" and Horst
WANG (2) German, Dutch
From Middle High German and Middle Dutch wange
meaning "cheek", possibly a nickname for someone with round or rosy cheeks.
Denoted a person from Waxweiler, a village in the Eifel region of Germany.
From German Wein
meaning "wine", an occupational name for a wine seller or producer.
From Middle High German wiz
meaning "white". This was originally a nickname for a person with white hair or skin.
WEST English, German
Denoted a person who lived to the west of something, or who came from the west.
Means "village, town", derived from Latin vicus
From the name of a German town, derived from German wild
"wild, untamed" and Grube
Derived from Old High German winkil
WINTER English, German, Swedish
From Old English winter
or Old High German wintar
meaning "winter". This was a nickname for a person with a cold personality.
WIRTH German, Jewish
Occupational name for an innkeeper, derived from German wirt
WOLF German, English
From Middle High German or Middle English wolf
meaning "wolf", or else from a Germanic given name beginning with this element.
From Middle Low German wrok
From Greek ξυλον (xylon)
meaning "wood, forest" and ανδρος (andros)
meaning "man". This surname was a Greek translation of German surnames of the same meaning.
ZELLWEGER German (Swiss)
Originally denoted a person from the Appenzell region of Switzerland. The place name is derived from Latin abbatis cella
meaning "estate of the abbot". A famous bearer is actress Renée Zellweger (1969-).
ZIMMERMANN German, Jewish
From the German word for "carpenter", derived from Middle High German zimber
"timber, wood" and mann