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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SISKIN     German, Jewish
Means "sweet child" from the words suess meaning "sweet" and kind meaning "child".
SISKIND     German, Jewish
Variant of SISKIN.
SITZ (1)     German, Jewish
Derived from a given name beginning with the Germanic element sigi meaning "victory".
SITZ (2)     German, Jewish
Means "house owner" from Middle High German siz "seat, domicile".
SLUSSER     German
Variant of SCHLUSSER.
SOLBERG     Danish, German, Norwegian, Swedish
From the Germanic elements sol "sun" combined with berg "mountain".
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".
SOMMER (4)     Low German
From Middle Low German somer meaning "long and slim stake, pile, post".
SONNEN     German
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.
SORG     German
Variant of SORGE.
SORGE     German
Means "worry, care, anxiety" from Middle High German sorge.
SPANNAGEL     German
Means "nailsmith" from Middle High German span-nagel "connecting bolt".
SPECHT     German, Dutch
Means "woodpecker" in German and Dutch.
SPELLMEYER     German
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.
SPITZNOGLE     German, Jewish
Means "sharp nail" in German.
SPONAUGLE     German
Americanized form of SPANNAGEL.
STARK     English, German
From a nickname meaning "strong, brave" in Old German and Old English.
STAUSS     German
Means "buttocks" from Middle High German stuz.
STEEN     Low German
Low German variant of STEIN.
STEFFEN     Low German, English
Derived from the given name STEPHEN.
STEIN     German, Jewish
From the Old High German word stein meaning "stone". It is common in German-Jewish names like Bernstein and Orenstein.
STEINMANN     German
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.
STENGER     Danish, German
Occupational name for a post maker, from German stange "pole".
STERNBERG     German
Means "dweller on a starry hill, mountain" from German stern "star" and berg "mountain, hill".
STEUBE     German
Variant of STEUBEN.
STEUBEN     German
Means "dweller by a stump of a large tree".
STIEBER     German
Derived from the High German verb stiuben "to escape". The name was given as a nickname to a cowardly person, or a thief.
STOPPELBEIN (1)     German
Means "stump leg" from the Middle Low German stoppel "stump" and bein "leg".
STOPPELBEIN (2)     German
Means "dweller by a tree stump on communal land" from the Middle Low German stoppel "stump" and bein(t) "communal land".
STRAND     Danish, German, Norwegian, Swedish
From the Middle Low German word strand meaning "sea shore". It was originally given to someone who lived on or near the sea.
STRAUB     German
Means "rough, unkempt" from Middle High German strup.
STROBEL     German
Means "rough, unkempt" from Middle High German strob.
STROHKIRCH     German
Means literally "straw church" in German. Apparently it is a German translation of a Swedish aristocratic name.
STROMAN     German
Occupational surname meaning "straw-dealer" in German.
STUBER     German
Derived from German die Stube "room". The name was most likely used to denote the owner of an inn.
STUECK     German, Jewish
Means "piece, part" from Middle High German stuck.
STUMPF     German
Means "stump" from Middle High German stumpf.
STURM     German
Means "storm".
SUESS     German, Jewish
From Middle High German süss meaning "sweet".
SULZBACH     German
Toponymic name from places named Sulzbach, which were named such because the area had salty water, hence the meaning "salty brook".
SWANGO     German
Americanized form of the German surname SCHWANGAU.
SWITZER     German
Indicated a person from Switzerland.
TANGEMAN     German
Indicated a person from from Tange, Oldenburg. It can also be derived directly from Middle High German tange meaning "sandy ridge between moors".
TANZER     German
Means "dancer" in German.
TAUBE     German
From a nickname meaning meaning "dove" in German.
TEUFEL     German
From a nickname meaning "devil", given to a mischievous person or one who was devil-like.
TIEDEMAN     Low German
Derived from the given name DIEDERICK.
TIFFT     English, German
Variant of TOFT.
TILLENS     Dutch, Flemish, German
From the Germanic name Thietilo, a medieval diminutive of DIETRICH.
TOBIAS     English, French, German, Jewish
From the given name TOBIAS.
TOLKIEN     German
Derived from the Saxon Tollkühn meaning "foolhardy". A famous bearer was author J. R. R. Tolkien (1892-1973).
TRESLER     German
Means "treasurer" in German.
TRITTEN     German
Topographic name for someone who lived by a step or flight of steps, from Middle High German trit "step".
TRUMBAUER     German
Means "strong neighbour, peasant" from German trum "strong" and bauer "peasant, neighbour".
TSCHIDA     German
Derived from a Slavic given name of unknown origin.
UNKLE     German
Denoted a person from the town of Unkel in Rhineland Palantinate, located near Bonn on the Rhine.
UNRUH     German
Refers to a restless, fidgety, nervous person, from German unruhe meaning "unrest".
UNTERBRINK     German
Means "dweller under the slope, edge" from the Middle Low German unter "under" and brinc "edge, slope".
URSLER     German
Originally a name designating a person from Ursel, Germany.
VIETH     German
From the given name VEIT.
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.
VOGT     German
Occupational name from Middle High German voget meaning "bailiff, lawyer", ultimately from Latin advocatus.
VOGTS     German
Patronymic variant of VOGT.
VOIGT     German
Variant of VOGT.
VOIGTS     German
Patronymic variant of VOGT.
VOLK     German
Derived from given names beginning with the Germanic element fulc meaning "people".
VOLL (2)     German
Variant of VOLK.
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).
VON INGERSLEBEN     German
Means "from Ingersleben", a town in Germany, which means "INGE's village".
VONNEGUT     German
Possibly from the Germanic vonn meaning "hunting track" and gut meaning "good". A famous bearer was the American author Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007).
VOSS     German
From Middle Low German vos meaning "fox". It was originally a nickname for a clever person or a person with red hair.
VOß     German
Variant of VOSS.
WÄGNER     German
Variant of WAGNER.
WAGNER     German
From Middle High German wagener meaning "wagon maker, cartwright". This name was borne by the German composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883).
WÄHNER     German
Variant of WAGNER.
WAHNER     German
Variant of WAGNER.
WALKENHORST     German
Possibly derived from a German place name Falkenhorst, from Falken meaning "falcons" and Horst meaning "thicket".
WALTER     English, German
Derived from the given name WALTER.
WALTHER     German
From the given name WALTHER.
WALTZ     German
From a diminutive of the given name WALTHER.
WANG (2)     German, Dutch
From Middle High German and Middle Dutch wange meaning "cheek", possibly a nickname for someone with round or rosy cheeks.
WANG (3)     German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From Old High German wang or Old Norse vangr meaning "grassy slope, meadow".
WARNER     German, English
Variant of WERNER.
WAXWEILER     German
Denoted a person from Waxweiler, a village in the Eifel region of Germany.
WEBER     German
German cognate of WEAVER (1).
WECHSLER     German, Jewish
Means "money changer, banker", from German wechseln "to exchange".
WEDEKIND     German
From the given name WIDUKIND.
WEEBER     German
German cognate of WEAVER (1).
WEGENER     Low German
Low German variant of WAGNER.
WEGNER     Low German
Low German variant of WAGNER.
WEHNER     German
Variant of WAGNER.
WEHNERT     German
Variant of WAGNER.
WEHUNT     German
Americanized form of German WIEGAND.
WEIGAND     German
From the given name WIEGAND.
WEIMANN     German
From German Wein meaning "wine", an occupational name for a wine seller or producer.
WEINER     German
Variant of WAGNER.
WEISS     German
From Middle High German wiz meaning "white". This was originally a nickname for a person with white hair or skin.
WEIß     German
Variant of WEISS.
WELTER     German
Derived from the given name WALTER.
WENDEL     German
Derived from the given name WENDEL.
WENDELL     German
Derived from the given name WENDEL.
WERNER     German
From the given name WERNER.
WERNHER     German
From the given name WERNER.
WEST     English, German
Denoted a person who lived to the west of something, or who came from the west.
WETZEL     German
From the given name WENZEL.
WIECK     German
Means "village, town", derived from Latin vicus.
WIEGAND     German
From the given name WIEGAND.
WILDGRUBE     German
From the name of a German town, derived from German wild "wild, untamed" and Grube "hollow, pit".
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.
WIRNER     German
From the given name WERNER.
WIRNHIER     German
From the given name WERNER.
WIRT     German
Variant of WIRTH.
WIRTH     German, Jewish
Occupational name for an innkeeper, derived from German wirt meaning "host".
WOLF     German, English
From Middle High German or Middle English wolf meaning "wolf", or else from a Germanic given name beginning with this element.
WOLFF     German, Danish, Norwegian, Jewish
Variant of WOLF.
WOLTER     German
From the given name WALTER.
WÖRNER     German
From the given name WERNER.
WÖRNHÖR     German
From the given name WERNER.
WRUCK     German
From Middle Low German wrok meaning "cantankerous".
XYLANDER     German
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.
YOUNT     German (Anglicized)
Americanized form of JUNDT.
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-).
ZIMMERMAN     German
Variant of ZIMMERMANN.
ZIMMERMANN     German, Jewish
From the German word for "carpenter", derived from Middle High German zimber "timber, wood" and mann "man".
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