German Submitted Surnames
Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
Occupational name or nickname from Middle High German gumpen, gumpeln ‘to clown’. from a short form of a Germanic personal name formed with gund ‘battle’, ‘war’. Compare Gombert
GUNZENHAUSER German, Jewish
Habitational name for someone from either of two places named Gunzenhausen, one in Württemberg and the other in Bavaria.
German: from a short form of the personal name Jodocus
, which is either a Latinized form of a Breton name, Iodoc
, borne by a 7th-century Breton saint (compare Jost
) or from a reduced form of the personal name Augustus
GUTHRIE Scottish, Irish, German
Scottish: habitational name from a place near Forfar, named in Gaelic with gaothair
‘windy place’ (a derivative of gaoth
‘wind’) + the locative suffix -ach
. Possibly an Anglicized form of Scottish Gaelic Mag Uchtre
‘son of Uchtre
’, a personal name of uncertain origin, perhaps akin to uchtlach
GUTTENBERG German, Jewish
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): habitational name from any of various places, for example in Bavaria, called Guttenberg, from the weak dative case (originally used after a preposition and article) of Old High German guot ‘good’ + berg ‘mountain’, ‘hill’... [more]
Of uncertain origin. Probably from a Germanic personal name formed with god
"good" or god
Metonymic occupational name for a dealer in oats, from Middle High German haber(e)
"oats" and korn
Derived from Late Middle High German haber
and Middle High German and Middle Low German haver(e)
"oat" and man
"man", this surname denoted someone who dealt in oat or who produced and dealt in oat groats, porridge or grits.
HABERMANN German, Jewish
Occupational name for a grower or seller of oats, composed of the elements Haber
and the agent suffix -mann
This surname may have been used by someone whose descendants originated from the House of Habsburg, which was one of the most important royal houses in Europe. It is assumed that the surname is derived from High German Habichtsburg
meaning "hawk castle," but some historians and linguists believe that it may actually be derived from Middle High German hab/hap
meaning "ford", as there is a river with a ford nearby.
HAFER German, Jewish
Metonymic occupational name for a grower of or dealer in oats, from German Hafer
"oats". Compare Haber
. As a Jewish surname, it is in many cases ornamental.
HAGEMANN German, Danish
1. German: topographic name for someone who lived by a hedge or enclosure, from Middle High German hac ‘enclosure’, ‘hedge’, Middle Low German hage + mann ‘man’. ... [more]
Metonymic occupational name for a sealer of weights and measures, from Middle High German hāme ‘(standard) measure’.
Occupational name for a poultry farmer, from an agent derivative of Middle High German hane
Habitational name for someone from any of several places called Hahn or Hag.
Habitational name from any of various places so named, notably the city near Magdeburg and Halberstadt near Königstein in Saxony.
HAMBERG German, Danish, Jewish
German, Danish, and Jewish (Ashkenazic) habitational name from any of several places named Hamberg. Jewish (Ashkenazic) variant of Hamburg
HAMBERGER German, Jewish
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic) habitational name for someone from any of various places named Hamberg. Jewish (Ashkenazic) variant of Hamburger
HAMBURG German, Jewish
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic) habitational name from the great city and port at the mouth of the river Elbe, named with the Germanic elements ham
‘water meadow’ + burg
‘fortress’, ‘fortified town’.
HAMER English, German
From the town of Hamer in Lancashire from the old english word Hamor
combining "Rock" and "Crag". It is also used in Germany and other places in Europe, possibly meaning a maker of Hammers.
HAMMER German, English, Jewish
From Middle High German hamer
, Yiddish hamer
, a metonymic occupational name for a maker or user of hammers, for example in a forge, or nickname for a forceful person.
Habitational name from any of several places named Harbach.
HARDEKOP German (Rare)
Derived from Middle High German hart
"hard" and kopf
"head". As a surname, it was given to a hard-headed, stubborn person.
HARLESS English, German
English: probably a variant spelling of Arliss
, a nickname from Middle English earles
‘earless’, probably denoting someone who was deaf rather than one literally without ears.
HARMSE Dutch, Low German
The surname Harmse is derived from Harms or Harm, a Low-German / Niederdeutsch surname or name. In Plattdeutsch/Low Saxon the word sine is used as a possessive construction, hence Harmse indicates that it is the child of Harms, Harm, or Harmensze... [more]
HAROLD English, Norman, German
English from the Old English personal name Hereweald
, its Old Norse equivalent Haraldr
, or the Continental form Herold
introduced to Britain by the Normans. These all go back to a Germanic personal name composed of the elements heri
‘army’ + wald
‘rule’, which is attested in Europe from an early date; the Roman historian Tacitus
records a certain Cariovalda
, chief of the Germanic tribe of the Batavi, as early as the 1st century ad... [more]
Habitational name from any of the places in various parts of Germany called Hasselbach.
HÄSSLI German (Swiss), French (Rare)
Swiss German diminutive form of Haas
. This is a French surname via Alsace-Lorraine. A notable bearer is French footballer (soccer player) Eric Hassli (1981-).
HATTENDORF German, Jewish
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): habitational name from places called Hattendorf, near Alsfeld and near Hannover. The element hatt
Derived from Middle High German houwen
"to beat" and isen
"iron". This surname denoted a smith.
Topographic and occupational name for someone who lived and worked in a great house, from Middle High German, Middle Low German hus
"house" (see House
From the Germanic personal name Huso
, a short form of a compound name composed with hus
‘house’, ‘dwelling’ as the first element.
HAUSER German, Jewish
From Middle High German hus
"house", German haus
, + the suffix -er
, denoting someone who gives shelter or protection.
HAUSLE German (Austrian)
Topographical name for someone who's House was near the Woods, from German "Häus" House "le" Woods
From Middle High German haus
'house' and wirt
'owner' or 'master'.
HAY English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Frisian
Scottish and English: topographic name for someone who lived by an enclosure, Middle English hay(e)
(Old English (ge)hæg
, which after the Norman Conquest became confused with the related Old French term haye
‘hedge’, of Germanic origin)... [more]
Meaning "heathen". It is used in honour of the Austrian composer Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809).
Occupational name for a carrier (someone who loaded or transported goods), from an agent derivative of Middle High German heben
HECHT German, Dutch
From Middle High German hech(e)t
, Middle Dutch heect
"pike", generally a nickname for a rapacious and greedy person. In some instances it may have been a metonymic occupational name for a fisher and in others it may be a habitational name from a house distinguished by a sign depicting this fish.
HEID German, Jewish
Topographic name from Middle High German heide, German Heide ‘heath’, ‘moor’. Compare Heath.... [more]
From the medieval personal name Heidenrich, ostensibly composed of the elements heiden 'heathen', 'infidel' (see Heiden 2) + ric 'power', 'rule', but probably in fact a variant by folk etymology of Heidrich.
South German: from Middle High German heilant
‘savior’, ‘Christ’, presumably either a name given to someone who had played the part of Christ in a mystery play or an occupational name for a healer, from Middle High German heilen
‘to heal’, ‘save’.
German for "home". Originates in the German village of Heimburg (not to be confused with Hamburg
) and the nearby castle of the same name.
(Hein) is a short form of the name Heinrich
, (the German form of the name Henry) & Bokel is a place name in Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein & North Rhine-Westphalia.
The German word for "hero", ultimately derived from Middle High German helt
Derived from germanic: hildtja = battle, brandt = sword, or prandt = burning wood/torch. Other view: Hilda is the Nordic Queen of the Underworld, Goddes of Death, so Sword/Torch of Hilda.... [more]
HELLWIG German, Dutch
Curiously it started out life in ancient history as the baptismal name, Hell-wig. "luck" & "war;" this name literally translates to, "battle-battle."
HELMEYER German, Dutch, Danish
From Hel in Norse mythology and Meyer meaning "higher, superior". It means ´blessed´ or ´holy´. The name is mostly found in Germany, but also in the Netherlands and some parts of Denmark.
HENCE German, English, Welsh
An American spelling variant of Hentz
derived from a German nickname for Hans
or from an English habitation name found in Staffordshire or Shropshire and meaning "road or path" in Welsh.
Occupational name for an Executioner, from the German word "Henker" meaning Hangman.
HENLEY English, Irish, German (Anglicized)
English: habitational name from any of the various places so called. Most, for example those in Oxfordshire, Suffolk, and Warwickshire, are named with Old English héan
(the weak dative case of heah
‘high’, originally used after a preposition and article) + Old English leah
‘wood’, ‘clearing’... [more]
HERBARTH German, Norman
References Old Norse Deity "Odin" being one of the "Son's of Odin". Remember that the Geats became the Ostrogoths through the Denmark pass--referenced in Beowulf. Or, it means "Warrior of the Bearded One", perhaps a King... [more]
Habitational name for someone from either of two places called Herbolzheim, in Baden and Bavaria.
An occupational surname in reference to herding animals. The anglicized pronounciation is "Her-der", but is Germanically pronounced, "Herr-der".
Habitational name for someone from Hergenroth near Limburg or from Hergenrode near Darmstadt, both in Hessen.
The ancestral home of the Hertzel family is in the German province of Bavaria. Hertzel is a German nickname surname. Such names came from eke-names, or added names, that described their initial bearer through reference to a physical characteristic or other attribute... [more]
HESS German (?)
It is arguably both tribal and residential, originating from the pre 10th century A.D. It is believed to have originally described people who came from the region known as Hesse. The translation of this name is the 'hooded people'
, a pet form of any of the Germanic personal names formed with hild
"strife", "battle" as the first element.
Topographic name for someone living near a hiedl
HILBERT English, French, Dutch, German
English, French, Dutch, and German: from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements hild ‘strife’, ‘battle’ + berht ‘bright’, ‘famous’.
German: Variant of Hillegass from a variant of the Germanic personal name Hildegaud, composed of hild ‘strife’, ‘battle’ + got, of uncertain meaning (perhaps the same word as Goth).
HIMMLER German, History
Derived from German Himmel
"heaven, sky". This was a topographic name for someone living at a high altitude. ... [more]
HINKEBEIN Dutch, German
Nickname for someone with a limp, from Middle Low German hinken meaning "to limp" + bein meaning "leg".
Nickname for a timid, fearful person, from dialect hinkel ‘chicken’
Elaborated variant of Hinkel, with the addition of Middle High German 'man'.
Topographic name for someone living by a hedge, from a dialect variant of Heck
In relation to Hock a wine producing region and probably being adopted into Britain via Anglo Saxon settlers.
HOFERLE German (Austrian)
Means "Yard Clearing" from a Combination of the Austrian word Höfer meaning "yard" or "court" with the ancient suffix "le" meaning woodland or clearing.
Habitational name from any of several places so named in Pomerania and East Prussia, or perhaps from Hohenseeden near Magdeburg.
Derived from Middle High German hon
"chicken". As a surname, it was given to someone who either bred or traded in chickens.... [more]
HOLBROOK English, German (Anglicized)
English: habitational name from any of various places, for example in Derbyshire, Dorset, and Suffolk, so called from Old English hol
‘hollow’, ‘sunken’ + broc
‘stream’. ... [more]
HOLTER English, German, Norwegian
Derived from English holt
meaning "small wood". A topographic name for someone who lived near a small wooden area, as well as a habitational name from a place named with that element.
Old German name meaning "Wood Island". Holt means wood and ey means island. Family can be traced back to around 650 A.D. and is located in the Ruhr and Essen area of Germany.
North German: topographic name for someone who lived by a copse (a small group of trees), from Middle Low German holt ‘small wood’ + haus ‘house’.
Topographic name from Middle High German holz
"small wood, copse".
HOLTZCLAW German (Anglicized, Modern)
Americanized spelling of German Holzklau
, which translates into modern German as "wood thief", but is probably a nickname for someone who gathered wood, from Middle High German holz "wood" + a derivative of kluben "to pick up", "gather", "steal".
HOLZINGER German, Jewish
Habitational name for someone from any of various places called Holzing or Holzingen.
HONIG German, Jewish
Metonymic name for a gatherer or seller of honey, from Middle High German honec
"honey", German Honig
HOOT Dutch, German
The Dutch form is a habitation name for someone who lived in the hout
or "woods" while the German form hoth
is from an occupational name for a maker of hats.
HORNEY German (Anglicized)
German: Eastphalian or Americanized form of a personal name composed of the Germanic elements hard ‘hardy’, ‘brave’, ‘strong’ + nit ‘battle fury’, ‘eagerness to fight’, or a habitational name from a place so called in Brandenburg or in the Rhineland... [more]
This denotes familial origin in the former village of Hörschel (annexed to Eisenach in 1994).
Nickname from Middle Dutch houck, a marine fish, or from Middle Dutch hoec, houck ‘buck’. variant of Hoek.
HOWDYSHELL American, German
Americanized (i.e., Anglicized) form of the Swiss German Haudenschild
, which originated as a nickname for a ferocious soldier, literally meaning "hack the shield" from Middle High German houwen
"to chop or hack" (imperative houw
) combined with den
(accusative form of the definite article) and schilt
From the Germanic personal name Hufo
, a short form of a compound name formed with hug
"heart, mind, spirit" as the first element.
HUMBERT German, Dutch, French
From a Germanic personal name composed of the elements hun
"Hun, giant" or hun
"bear cub" and berht
"bright, famous". This was particularly popular in the Netherlands and North Germany during the Middle Ages as a result of the fame of a 7th-century St... [more]
German surname, composed of the elements hun
"bear cub, giant, Hun" and bold
"brave, commanding," hence
A nickname for a wealthy man, from Middle High German hundert meaning "hundred" + mark, a denomination of coin.
Habitational name for someone from a place called Hunsberg or Huntsberg.
Habitational name for someone from Hintschingen, earlier Huntzingen.
The name was originally spelled "Hustedt" and means "homestead." The family name originated in northern Germany. One branch of the family migrated to England, and a branch of that family to the United States.
Probably from a topographic name Huck or Hucks, of uncertain origin. It occurs in many place and field names.
Habitational name for someone from a place named Immer near Oldenburg in Lower Saxony.
Name that originated from broad regions around the river Itz in Thuringia, Germany. The word "Stein" (German word for stone) historically was also used to describe castles on a hill or at a river, thus a possible meaning of the name is "castle at the river Itz".
JACOBI Jewish, English, Dutch, German
From the Latin genitive Jacobi ‘(son) of Jacob’, Latinized form of English Jacobs and Jacobson or North German Jakobs(en) and Jacobs(en).
Means son of the "Master-Hunter". Originally given to the son of the master-hunter in hunting camps.
Are you near extinct or possibly extend last name, referring to the opening part of a jar.
JETER French (Huguenot), German
Jeter is a French and German surname. It is the last name of former New York Yankees baseball player, Derek Jeter. It's also the last name of Carmelita Jeter, an American sprinter who specializes in the 100 meter sprint.
JOB English, French, German, Hungarian
English, French, German, and Hungarian from the personal name Iyov
, borne by a Biblical character, the central figure in the Book of Job, who was tormented by God and yet refused to forswear Him... [more]
JOST Dutch, German
Dutch and German: from a personal name, a derivative of the Breton personal name Iodoc
), or from the personal name Just
JÜNGER German, Jewish
) distinguishing name, from Middle High German jünger
‘younger’, for the younger of two bearers of the same personal name, usually a son who bore the same name as his father... [more]
Occupational name for a potter, from Middle High German kachel
"pot", "earthenware vessel".
Habitational name for someone from Kaaden in North Bohemia, or any of several other places called Kaden.
Kahn is the German word that means, in informal contexts, "small boat." It is also a Germanized form of the Jewish surname Cohen
Status name for the chairman or a member fraternity that held meetings on the first of each month, from Latin ad calendas
KALLWEIT German (East Prussian)
East Prussian German (and thus heavily Lithuanian influenced) name meaning "smith; blacksmith; farrier", derived from Old Prussian kalt
"to forge; to hammer" and Old Prussian kalweitis
"the village smith".
KALP German, Jewish
From Middle High German kalp ‘calf’, German Kalb, probably applied as a metonymic occupational name for someone who reared calves.
German (Westphalian): habitational name from a place named as 'the cold farm', from Middle High German kalt
"cold" + hof
"farmstead", "manor farm’, "court".
It's origins are of German descent, meaning "comb"
Probably from Middle High German kant meaning "jug" (from Latin olla cannata meaning "pot with one spout") and hence an occupational name for a maker or seller of jugs.
Means "Carl's Mountain" in German language, it is also used in other Germanic languages
From Middle High German gehau
"(mountain) clearing" hence a topographic name for a mountain dweller or possibly an occupational name for a logger.
Topographic name for someone who lived by a mineshaft, from Middle High German kouw(e)
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): occupational name for a merchant or wholesaler (see Kaufer
). Jewish (Ashkenazic): variant spelling of Kaufman
KAULITZ German (East Prussian)
Famous bearers of this surname are Bill Kaulitz (German singer, songwriter, voice actor, designer, and model) and his twin brother Tom Kaulitz (German singer, songwriter, voice actor, designer, and model) are both in the German pop-rock / alternative rock band, Tokio Hotel.
From a regional (Hessian) variant of the habitational name Kues, from a place on the Mosel river, probably so named from Late Latin covis
"field barn", "rack" and earlier recorded as Couese, Cobesa.
Pet name derived from the Old High German personal name Gozwin, of uncertain origin.
Netonymic occupational name for a flax grower or dealer, from Middle High German kute
, from Kaut(e)
"male dove", hence a metonymic occupational name for the owner or keeper of a dovecote.
Topographic name from the Franconian dialect word Kaut(e)
"hollow", "pit", "den".
Nickname for a shy or strange person, from Middle High German kuz
Nickname for a skilled or enthusiastic skittles player, from an agent derivative of Middle High German kegel meaning "skittle", "pin".
Habitational name from various places called Kehl
, notably the town across the Rhine from Strasbourg. In some cases it may be a variant of Köhler
Similar to the origins of Kuiper (Dutch) and Cooper (English), Keiper was an occupation which means "cooper" or "barrelmaker".
nickname from Middle High German kelch "double chin", "goiter". from another meaning of Middle High German kelch "glass", "chalice", hence a metonymic occupational name for a chalice maker or a habitational name for someone living at a house distinguished by the sign of a chalice.
From the name of a place in Rhineland, which is derived from Middle Low German kel
(a field name denoting swampy land) or from the dialect word kelle
meaning "steep path, ravine".
KEMPER German, Dutch
German: status name denoting a peasant farmer or serf, an agent noun derivative of Kamp
From the Middle High German kezzel
meaning "kettle, cauldron"; either an occupational surname for a maker of copper cooking vessels or a habitational/topographic name derived from the same word.
KESSLER German, Dutch, Jewish
Occupational surname denoting a coppersmith or maker of copper cooking vessels; derived from Middle High German kezzel
"kettle, cauldron" and/or Middle Dutch ketel
Topographic name from a Westphalian dialect Kiff
"outhouse, tied cottage, shack".
KILBURG German, Luxembourgish
"Kyll castle," from German burg
(castle) near the Kyll river in Germany. Also "wedge mountain" in Swedish: kil
(wedge) and berg
Kilmester is attested as a surname near Rostock in the 13th century.
KIND English, German, Jewish, Dutch
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic) from Middle High German kint
, German Kind
‘child’, hence a nickname for someone with a childish or naive disposition, or an epithet used to distinguish between a father and his son... [more]