Swiss Surnames

Swiss names are used in the country of Switzerland in central Europe.
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FORESTEnglish, French
Originally belonged to a person who lived near or in a forest. It was probably originally derived, via Old French forest, from Latin forestam (silva) meaning "outer (wood)".
FORESTIERFrench
French cognate of FORESTER.
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).
FORTIERFrench
Derived from Old French fort "stronghold", indicating a person who lived near or worked at such a place.
FORTUNATOItalian
From the given name FORTUNATO.
FOSSEEnglish, French
Derived from Old French fosse "ditch".
FOURNIERFrench
Occupational name for a baker, from French fourneau meaning "oven".
FRANÇOISFrench
Derived from the given name FRANÇOIS.
FRANK (3)German, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian
Name for a person from Franconia in Germany, so called because it was settled by the Frankish people.
FRANZESEItalian
From a nickname which indicated a person who came from France. It is typical of the area around Naples.
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".
FURLANItalian, Slovene
From the name of the Italian region of Friuli, in the northeast of Italy, which is derived from the name of the Roman town of Forum Iulii meaning "forum of Julius".
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".
GABRIELLIItalian
From the given name GABRIELE (1).
GAERTNERGerman
German form of GARDENER.
GAGEFrench, English
Occupational name derived either from Old French jauge "measure" (a name for an assayer) or gage "pledge, payment" (a name for a moneylender). Both words were ultimately of Frankish origin.
GAGLIARDIItalian
From Italian gagliardo meaning "strong, vigorous".
GAGNEFrench
Variant of GAGNEUX.
GAGNEUXFrench
Derived from Old French gagnier meaning "to farm, to cultivate".
GAGNONFrench
Derived from old French gagnon "guard dog". The name most likely originated as a nickname for an aggressive or cruel person.
GALLOItalian, Spanish
Means "rooster", ultimately from Latin gallus. This was a nickname for a proud person.
GANZAItalian
Probably from the feminine medieval given name Allegranza or Alleganza, a derivative of ALLEGRA. It comes from northern Lombardy.
GARBGerman
Variant of GARBER.
GARBERGerman
Variant of GERBER.
GARÇONFrench
Means "boy" in French, referring to a servant.
GARDINIERFrench
French form of GARDENER.
GARFAGNINIItalian
Originally denoted one from the region of Garfagnana in Tuscany, Italy, near the historical city of Lucca.
GARNIER (1)French
From the given name GARNIER.
GAROFALOItalian
From a nickname, from a southern variant of the Italian word garofano meaning "carnation".
GÄRTNERGerman
German form of GARDENER.
GARVERGerman
Variant of GERBER.
GASPARIItalian
From the given name GASPARE.
GASSGerman
Name for someone who lived on a street in a city, from German gasse.
GATTIItalian
Means "cat" in Italian, originally a nickname for an agile person.
GAUTHIERFrench
Derived from the given name GAUTHIER.
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.
GENOVESEItalian
Denoted a person from the Italian city of Genoa (Genova in Italian).
GENSCHGerman
From the given name Gensch, a Sorbian form of JOHN.
GENTILEItalian
From a nickname meaning "gentle, kind" in Italian.
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.
GERMAINFrench
From the French given name GERMAIN.
GERMANOItalian
From the given name GERMANO.
GÉROUXFrench
Derived from the Germanic name GERULF.
GERSTGerman
Occupational name for a barley farmer, derived from Old High German gersta "barley".
GERSTLEGerman
Variant of GERST.
GERVERGerman
Variant of GERBER.
GIANNINOItalian
Derived from the given name GIANNINO.
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.
GIMONDIItalian
Probably derived from the Germanic given name GISMUND.
GIORDANOItalian
Derived from the given name GIORDANO.
GIRARDFrench
From the given name GÉRARD.
GIROUXFrench
Derived from the Germanic name GERULF.
GISMONDIItalian
From the Germanic given name GISMUND.
GIUGOVAZItalian
Italian form of the Croatian surname JUGOVAC.
GIUNTAItalian
From the old Italian given name Bonagiunta or Bonaggiunta (derived from bono "good" and aggiunto "assistant").
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.
GORETTIItalian
Derived from the given name GREGORIO.
GORIItalian
Derived from the given name GREGORIO.
GORMAN (1)German
From the Germanic given name GERMUND.
GOSSEFrench
Derived from the Norman given name GOSSE.
GOSSELINFrench
Derived from a diminutive of the French given name GOSSE.
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.
GRANGEREnglish, French
Means "farm bailiff" from Old French grangier, ultimately from Latin granum meaning "grain". It is borne in the Harry Potter novels by Harry's friend Hermione Granger.
GRECOItalian
Means "from Greece" in Italian.
GREENBERGGerman, Jewish
Anglicized form of GRÜNBERG.
GRILLOItalian
From an Italian nickname meaning "cricket", perhaps given originally to a cheerful person (the cricket is associated with cheerfulness).
GRIMALDIItalian
From the given name GRIMALDO. It is the surname of the royal family of Monaco, which came from Genoa.
GRONCHIItalian
From the Tuscan word gronchio meaning "numb, bent". This is an Italian regional surname typical of Tuscany. A famous bearer was the Italian president Giovanni Gronchi (1887-1978).
GROOSGerman
Variant of GROß.
GROSFrench
Means "thick, fat, big" in French, from Late Latin grossus, possibly of Germanic origin.
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.
GROSSIItalian
Italian cognate of GROS.
GROSSOItalian
Italian cognate of GROS.
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".
GUARNERIItalian
From the given name Guanero, an Italian cognate of WERNER.
GUÉRINFrench
From the Germanic given name WARIN.
GUERRAItalian, Spanish, Portuguese
From a nickname meaning "war", given to a belligerent person or one engaged in warfare.
GUERRIEROItalian
Italian form of GUERRERO.
GUIDIItalian
From the given name GUIDO.
GUILLORYFrench
Derived from the Germanic given name WILLIRIC.
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.
GUTTUSOItalian
From a Sicilian nickname meaning "sad". It was name of the famous Italian painter Renato Guttuso (born 1912).
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.
HARDYEnglish, French
From Old French and Middle English hardi meaning "bold, daring", of Germanic origin.
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".
HÉBERTFrench
Derived from the given name HERBERT.
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.
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).
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.
HUBERGerman
Occupational name for a farmer, derived from Old High German huoba "plot of land, farm".
HUMMEL (1)German, Dutch
Derived from the given name HUMBERT.
HUMMEL (2)German, Dutch
Nickname for a busy person, from Middle Low German and Middle Dutch hommel, Middle High German hummel, all meaning "bee".
HUTMACHERGerman
German cognate of HOEDEMAKER.
INGERSLEBENGerman
From the name of the town of Ingersleben, Germany, which meant "Inge's village".
INNOCENTIItalian
From a nickname meaning "innocent" in Italian.
JACQUESFrench
From the French given name JACQUES.
JAEGERGerman
Variant of JÄGER.
JÄGERGerman, Jewish
From Middle High German jeger(e) meaning "hunter".
JAGERGerman
Variant of JÄGER.
JANSDutch, German
Means "son of JAN (1)".
JANVIERFrench
Means "(baptized in) January" from French Janvier.
JANZGerman
Means "son of JAN (1)".
JOLLENBECKGerman
In the village of Jollenbeck Germany, there is a river called the Jölle river which gave Jöllenbeck its name.
JORDAN (1)English, French
Derived from the given name JORDAN.
JOUBERTFrench
From a given name derived from the Germanic elements gaut (see JOCELYN) and beraht "bright".
JUNDTGerman
Derived from a diminutive of the feminine given name JUDITH.
JUNGGerman
From Middle High German junc meaning "young".
JUNGEGerman
Variant of JUNG.
KAHLERGerman
From a nickname meaning "bald-headed" in German.
KAISERGerman
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.
KALBGerman
Means "calf" (the animal) in German.
KALBFLEISCHGerman
Occupational surname that indicated a butcher who sold veal meat or a butcher who slaughtered calves. In German kalb means "calf" and fleisch means "meat".
KAPPELGerman, Dutch
Means "a person who lives near or works at a chapel" from Middle High German kappel "chapel".
KARLGerman
From the given name KARL.
KASPARGerman, Slovene
Derived from the given name KASPAR.
KASSMEYERGerman
From the Low German area around Paderborn. The ending of the name is derived from German meyer "farmer".
KÄSTNERGerman
Means "cabinet maker" from German kasten "box".
KATZGerman
Derived from the German word Katze "cat".
KAUBEGerman
From the name of a town, Kaub, in Germany.
KAUFERGerman
Means "a trader" in German.
KAUFMANGerman, Jewish
Means "merchant" in German.
KEILGerman
Means "wedge shaped" in German. It was used to denote a person who owned a wedge-shaped piece of land.
KELLERGerman, 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.
KEMPFGerman
German form of KEMP. In order to Americanize the name, some people dropped the letter f, altering the name to the English version.
KERNERGerman
Derived from German kern "seed". It is an occupational name for one who sold or planted seeds.
KERPERGerman
Variant of GERBER.
KIEFER (1)German
Means "pine tree" in German.
KIEFER (2)German
Derived from German kufe meaning "barrel". This was an occupational name for a barrel maker.
KIRCHNERGerman
Derived from Middle High German kirche "church". The name was probably given to someone who worked at a church or lived near one.
KISTLERGerman
Occupational name meaning "chest maker, cabinetmaker" in German.
KLEIDGerman, Jewish
Occupational name for a tailor, from German Kleid meaning "garment, clothing".
KLEINGerman, Dutch, Jewish
Means "small, little" from German klein or Yiddish kleyn. A famous bearer of this name is clothes designer Calvin Klein (1942-).
KLOSSNERGerman
Derived from German Klausner meaning "hermit".
KNEFGerman
Occupational name for a shoemaker (derived from Low German knif meaning "shoemaker's knife").
KNEIBGerman
Variant of KNEF.
KNELLERGerman
Originally a nickname for a noisy or disruptive person, derived from Old German knellen "to make noise, to cause a disturbance".
KNEPPGerman
Variant of KNOPF.
KNOCHENMUSGerman
From German knochen "bone" and mus "sauce". It probably referred to someone who worked in the butcher trade.
KNOPFGerman
Means "button" in German, originally belonging to a button maker or button seller.
KNOPPGerman
Variant of KNOPF.
KOCHGerman
German cognate of COOK.
KOENIGGerman
German cognate of KING.
KÖHLGerman
Variant of KOHL.
KOHLGerman
Derived from Middle High German kol "cabbage".
KOHLERGerman
From Middle High German koler meaning "charcoal burner" or "charcoal seller".
KOLBEGerman
Means "mace" in German. A mace is a heavy medieval war club with a spiked or flanged metal head, used to crush armour.
KÖNIGGerman
German cognate of KING, from Middle High German künnic, künec.
KÖNIGSMANNGerman
Means a "king's man", or someone who played a king in a play.
KOPPGerman
Derived from the given name JACOB.
KRÄMERGerman
From Middle High German kræmer, kramære, kromer and Middle Low German kramer, kremer, kromer meaning "shopkeeper, grocer".
KRANZDutch, German
Derived from Middle High German kranz "wreath".
KRAUSGerman
From Middle High German krus meaning "curly". Originally a nickname for a person with curly hair.
KRAUSEGerman
Variant of KRAUS.
KRAUSSGerman
Variant of KRAUS.
KRAUßGerman
Variant of KRAUS.
KREBSGerman
German word meaning "crab", perhaps a nickname for a person with a crab-like walk.
KRONGerman, Swedish
Means "crown", perhaps a nickname for one who worked in a royal household.
KRUCKELGerman
Nickname for a crippled person or someone who walked with a cane, from German krücke meaning "cane".
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 "pot, jug".
KÜCHLERGerman
Occupational surname for a baker who made small cakes or cookies. It is derived from Middle High German kuoche "cake, pastry".
KUHNGerman
Derived from a diminutive of the German given name KONRAD.
KUNDERTGerman
Derived from the given name KONRAD.
KUNKELGerman
Occupational name for a maker of spindles (Middle German kunkel "spindle", ultimately from Latin conus "cone").
KUNKLEGerman
Variant of KUNKEL.
KUNTZGerman
Derived from a nickname of KONRAD.
KUNZEGerman
Derived from a nickname of the given name KONRAD.
KURZMANNGerman
Means "short man" in German.
LABELLEFrench
Means "fair, good-looking" in French.
LABRIOLAItalian
Originally indicated a person from the town of Abriola in southern Italy.
LACHANCEFrench
Means "chance, luck" in French.
LACHAPELLEFrench
Means "the chapel" in French. It was most likely used to denote a person who lived by a church or a chapel.
LÀCONIItalian
Sardinian surname from a name of the town Làconi near the city of Nuoro.
LAGANÀItalian
Derived from Greek dialects that are spoken in southern Italy, namely in Calabria. It is an occupational surname meaning "greengrocer" (ortolano in Italian). Surnames derived from Greek dialects often end with an accent on final the a, o or i.
LAGOMARSÌNOItalian
Locative surname of Genoa and surroundings derived from the place name Lagomarsino (near Genoa).
LAGORIOItalian
From a nickname meaning "green-lizard". This little reptile is respected because it supposedly protects against vipers. The surname is typical of the Genoa region.
LAGUARDIAItalian
Originally an occupational surname meaning "sentry" or "sentinel". It also had a locative meaning "watchtower". Fiorello Laguardia (1882-1947) was the first mayor of New York of Italian origin.
LAMAItalian
Derived from the name place Lama, quite common around Italy.
LAMARFrench, English
Originally from a place name in Normandy, which was derived from Old French la mare meaning "the pool".
LAMBERTFrench
Derived from the given name LAMBERT.
LAMBERTIItalian
Derived from the given name LAMBERTO.
LAMONItalian
Locative surname from the name of a village near the city of Belluno. This surname is from the area of Venice.
LANDAUGerman, Jewish
Derived from the German town of Landau, which meant "land valley".
LANDIItalian
Derived from the given name LANDO.
LANDOItalian
Derived from the given name LANDO.
LANDOLFIItalian
From the old Germanic given name Lanawulfa.
LANE (2)French
Derived from a French word meaning "wool", designating one who worked in the wool trade.