German Submitted Surnames
Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
Habitational name from places so called near Berlin and on the island of Usedom.
Derived as a diminutive of several Germanic given names whose first element was derived from Germanic *magin-
"strength; force; power".
Habitational name with the agent suffix -er, either from Mainz, earlier Mentz, derived from the medieval Latin name Mogontia (Latin Mogontiacum, probably from the Celtic personal name Mogontios), or from Menz in Brandenburg and Saxony.
The surname of Franz Mesmer, a German physician who discovered animal-magnetism (mesmerism / hypnotism). The English word "mesmerism" is derived from this surname.
Occupational name for an official in charge of measuring the dues paid in kind by tenants, from an agent derivative of Middle High German mezzen
The history of this last name is that it means "Mountain Dweller." Being as part of the Austrian surnames, it's a widely used one in it's home country. A few brothers had gone to various countries, as of now there is Meusburgers in Columbia, as well as the United States and throughout Europe... [more]
MICKGerman, Dutch, Irish
Short form of the given name MIKOLAJ
or an occupational name from Middle Low German and Middle Dutch micke
"(wheat or rye) bread". The name was reportedly taken from Germany to Ireland in the 18th century.
Literally "middle", probably a topographic name from a farm occupying a middle position in a settlement. Compare Mitter
From a byname from Middle High German mittelman
Topographic name for someone who lived on or owned a property that was in the middle between two or more others, especially if the others were both held by men with the same personal name (for example, Mitter Hans
), from the strong form of Middle High German mitte
Literal meaning "middle farmer" its thought to have been given to farmers living between two there farms in the mountains.
Patronymic surname derived from the given name Bartholomäus, the German form of Bartholomew.
The Mohler surname is derived from the Low German word möhl
which means mill. Thus the name originally denoted someone who live or worked near a mill. Variant of Müller
This surname means 'flying insect' from a German word that is mauke. (I think it is mauke, I am SO not sure.)
Topographic name for someone who lived by a bridge over a swamp, from Middle High German mos meaning "bog", "swamp" + brucke meaning "bridge".
MOSELEItalian, German (Austrian)
This surname is to be found in north-eastern Italy, more specifically in the Vicenza and Verona provinces. Families with this name are certain to be originally from the mountain town of Asiago, situated on a plateau north of Vicenza and now a well-known skiing resort... [more]
The surname was first recorded in the 14th century as Mozahrt
, and later as Motzhardt
in Germany. It is a compound word, the first part of which is Middle High German mos
, also spelt mosz
, and meaning “bog, marsh” in southern dialects (compare modern German Moos
Either a habitational name from a place named Müsch in Germany, or a topographic name meaning "bog", perhaps given to someone living near a bog.
(also Mütter): occupational name for an official employed to measure grain, from Middle High German mutte, mütte 'bushel', 'grain measure' (Latin modius) + the agent suffix -er.
Supposedly means "lived near water". Originated from Prussia.
It possibly comes from the German name of a nachtrab
, which is a "night bird like the owl". Another possible meaning is "night tribe".
Metonymic occupational name for a maker of needles, or in some cases for a tailor, from Middle High German nadel(e)
, German Nadel
Nickname for a foolish or silly person, from Middle High German narr ‘fool’, ‘jester’.
Habitational, derived from any of several places called Nesse in Oldenburg and Friesland.
Topographic name for someone who lived in a thickly wooded area, or a metonymic occupational name for a woodcutter, from Middle High German nast meaning "branch", a regional variant of ast, resulting from the misdivision of forms such as ein ast meaning "a branch".
A variant of Neu; meaning "ship" or "boat."
NEESONIrish, Dutch, German
Irish: reduced Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Naois ‘son of Naois’, usually Anglicized as McNeese
. Can also be an altered form of Dutch or German Niesen
. Surname made famous by the actor Liam
An occupational name for a tailor from a deritive of Middle Low German, 'nehen' which means 'to sew' or 'to embroider'
Unexplained. Perhaps from a short form of a Germanic personal name formed with an element cognate with Old High German niuwi meaning "new".
My family name, Nerger, is listed in the "Deutsches Namenlexicon" by Hans Bahlow. The meaning, given in the lexicon, is "ernahrer" or provider.
From the German word Nerz meaning "Mink".
Habitational name for someone from places so named in Brandenburg and Pomerania, or from places in Lower Saxony or Westphalia called Neuenfelde.
NEUGERGerman, French (?)
Was popularized by the German community. Famous bearers include investors Win Neuger and Dan Neuger, author Christie Cozad Neuger.
nickname for someone who owed feudal dues at the New Year, or sometimes a name given to someone born on that day
Person who had ancestors that lived in Germany near Dusseldorf in the town called Neuss.
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): nickname for a new innkeeper, from Middle High German niuwe ‘new’ + wirt and German neu + Wirt ‘master of a house’, ‘innkeeper’.
Nickname meaning ‘beak’, or from a short form of a Germanic personal name Nippo
, composed of Old High German nit
‘hostility’, ‘eagerness’ + boto
Habitational name from any of numerous places named Niederhaus or Niederhausen, denoting the lower of two dwellings or settlements or one in a low-lying position.
North German: topographic name from Middle Low German nie ‘new’ + hus ‘house’; or a habitational name from a common North German and Westphalian farm name with the same meaning.
North German nickname for a newly arrived steward or tenant farmer, from Middle Low German nie
‘new’ + Meyer
German: from a reduced form of the personal name Dionys
), which was stressed on the last syllable; this was a popular personal name as a result of the influence of the French Saint Denis
Occupational name for a gelder of hogs, from Middle High German nunne, nonne meaning "nun", and by transfer "castrated hog" + an agent derivative of machen meaning "to make".
NORRELLEnglish, German (?)
A locational surname from the Germanic (Old English/Old Norse) term for the north. It either refers to someone who lived in a location called Northwell, lived north of a well, spring or stream (Old English weall
from Middle High German nuz ‘nut’, hence a metonymic occupational name for a gatherer and seller of nuts, or a nickname for a man thought to resemble a nut in some way
Surname used to refer to someone who lived 'up there' (on a mountain, hill, etc.).
Means "Oxen Herder" in Swiss. It is pronounced as OCKSNER, and it is just as popular in Switzerland as Smith is in the US.
Possibly a respelling of German Auffahrt
Means "powerlessness; helplessness; without power" in German. This was often used to describe someone very weak.
Generally considered a (very) contracted form of given names that contained the Old High German element od
"fortune; wealth" (or a variant thereof) and a second element that began with or contained the letter B, for example Audobald.
The Oberholtzer family originated in the Swiss village of Oberholtz, south of Zurich, before the 15th century. However, in 1661, one family left Switzerland for the Palatinate in Germany.
Metonymic occupational name for a horse dealer, from Middle Low German page
PAINTEREnglish, Medieval French, German
English: from Middle English, Old French peinto(u)r
, oblique case of peintre
‘painter’, hence an occupational name for a painter (normally of colored glass). In the Middle Ages the walls of both great and minor churches were covered with painted decorations, and Reaney and Wilson note that in 1308 Hugh le Peyntour
and Peter the Pavier were employed ‘making and painting the pavement’ at St... [more]
The name Pallmann originates from the Landsuhl area of Bavaria, Germany (nor in Rhineland-Palatinate). The meaning of the name is unknown. Some Pallmanns came to America and Americanized the spelling, by dropping the second "n", while others retained the "n".
Variant Of Pardon From Middle English Pardun, Pardon "Pardon" A Metonymic occupational name for a pardoner, a person licensed to sell papal pardons or indulgences. German: either a cognate of 1 (also for a sexton), from Old French pardon ‘pardon’, or perhaps a nickname from Middle Low German bardun, Middle High German purdune ‘pipe’ (instrument), ‘tenor’ (voice).
Topographic name for a field or meadow which was used at Easter as a playground; etymologically two sources seem to be combined: Latin pascuum ‘pasture’ and Middle Low German pāsche(n) ‘Easter’.
"Pechman" means "man with bad luck" in many European languages (Polish, German, and Dutch predominantly), though in German, it originally referred to one who prepared, sold, or used pitch.
From Middle Low German pek
‘sharp, pointed tool or weapon’.
Occupational name for a piper, from Middle High German piper
. In some cases it may be derived from Sorbian pipar
"pepper", thus being an occupational name for a spicer or a nickname for one with a fiery temper.
From Middle Low German pelle
"precious purple silk cloth", presumably an occupational name for a maker or seller of such cloth or for a maker of official and church vestments.
Occupational name for a furrier, from Middle High German bellez
, (modern German pelz
) "fur", "animal skin".
Occupational name for a furrier, from an agent derivative Middle High German bellez
PENNINGEnglish, Dutch, Low German
From early Middle English penning
, Low German penning
, and Middle Dutch penninc
, all meaning "penny". It was used as a topographic surname or a nickname referring to tax dues of a penny.
Occupational name for a spicer, or a nickname for a person with a fiery temper, for a small man, or for a dark-haired person. Derived from German Pfeffer
Occupational name for a pipe player. From German Pfeife
From Middle High German pfil ‘arrow’ (from Latin pilum ‘spike’, ‘javelin’), either a metonymic occupational name for an arrowsmith or possibly a nickname for a tall thin man.
a topographic name for someone who lived by a swamp or pond, Middle High German phuol.... [more]
metonymic occupational name for a sealer of weights, or for a wholesale merchant, from Middle High German pfunt ‘pound’ (as a measure of weight and a unit of currency).
From Middle English pilegrim
or Middle High German bilgerin
(from Latin pelegrinus
"traveler"; see Pellegrino
). This originated as a nickname for a person who had been on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land or to some seat of devotion nearer home, such as Santiago de Compostella, Rome, or Canterbury... [more]
Nickname, possibly for a small person, from Middle English pink penk
g ‘minnow’ (Old English pinc).English (southeastern): variant of Pinch
.Variant spelling of German Pinck
, an indirect occupational name for a blacksmith, an onomatopoeic word imitating the sound of hammering which was perceived as pink(e)pank... [more]
Germanized form of Slavic Pinoek, which is a nickname from pionek ‘puppet’.
PLUMEnglish, German, Jewish
English and North German: from Middle English plum(b)e, Middle Low German plum(e) ‘plum’, hence a topographic name for someone who lived by a plum tree, or a metonymic occupational name for a fruit grower... [more]
PLUMERGerman, English, Dutch
North German (Plümer) and English: variant of Plum
, the suffix -er denoting habitation or occupation. Altered form of South German Pflümer
, an occupational name for a grower or seller of plums, from an agent derivative of Middle High German pflume ‘plum’... [more]
Nickname for a braggart or bogeyman, of uncertain Slavic origin.
German (Westphalian): topographic name for someone who lived by a muddy pool, from an agent noun derived from Middle Low pol
pronounced,Pfowelser,it means person skilled with bird's,as in Hawk's or Eagle's(bird's of prey).From Palatine,or Austria(a Royal house).
From a dialect word for standard German Pfau ‘peacok’, a nickname for a vain person or for someone with a strutting gait.
1 topographic name from Middle Low German pol "(muddy) pool" (Low German Pohl).... [more]
POLANDEnglish, German, French (Anglicized), Irish (Anglicized)
English and German name is derived from the Middle High German Polan
, which means "Poland". The surname originally signified a person with Polish connections.This French surname originated from an occupational name of a poultry breeder, or from a fearful person; it is derived from the Old French poule
, which means "chicken".In other cases, particularly in Ireland, the English Poland is a variant of Polin,which is in turn an Anglicised form of the original Gaelic spelling of Mac Póilín
, which translated from Irish means "son of little Paul"... [more]
Occupational name for an importer or seller of bitter (Seville) oranges, Middle High German pomeranz
(medieval Latin pomarancia
, composed of the elements arancia
, the name imported with the fruit.
From a Germanic personal name Poppo
, of uncertain origin and meaning, perhaps originally a nursery word or a short form of for example Bodobert
, a Germanic personal name meaning ‘famous leader’... [more]
POSTLow German, Danish, Dutch
Topographic name for someone who lived near a post or pole (Middle Low German, Middle Dutch post
, from Latin postis
), presumably one of some significance, e.g. serving as a landmark or boundary, or a habitational name from any of several places in northern Germany called Post, probably from this word.
POSTHUMUSDutch, Low German
From a personal name which was given to a posthumous child, i.e., one born after the death of his father, derived from Latin postumus
"last, last-born" (superlative of posterus
"coming after, subsequent") via Late Latin posthumus
, which was altered by association with Latin humare
"to bury", suggesting death (i.e., thought to consist of post
"after" and humus
"grave", hence "after death"); the one born after the father's death obviously being the last.
Nickname for a chatterer or grumbler, from an agent derivative of Middle High German breglen ‘to chatter’, ‘complain’, ‘yell’, ‘roar’.
PREÜSSGerman (East Prussian)
Origin: From the New Latin 'Prussia', the Latin form used by Peter of Dusburg for the name of the region in the now-extinct language of its Baltic inhabitants, 'Prūsa'. Prussia (German: About this sound Preußen; Latin: Borussia, Prutenia; Latvian: Prūsija; Lithuanian: Prūsija; Polish: Prusy; Old Prussian: Prūsa; Danish: Prøjsen; Russian: Пру́ссия) was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg... [more]
PRIOREnglish, Scottish, Dutch, German
Derived from Latin prior
meaning "superior". It was used as an occupational surname for a prior, which is a head of a religious house, below an abbot.
PROPHETEnglish, Scottish, French, German
Scottish, English, French, and German: nickname from Middle English and Old French prophete
, Middle High German prophet
‘prophet’, ‘seer’, ultimately from Greek prophetes
‘predictor’, from pro
‘before’ + a
derivative of phemi
‘to speak’... [more]
A habitational name for someone from any of various places in Lower Saxony, Brandenburg, and Luxembourg called Protz.
Of Slavic origin, habitational name from Podewils in Pomerania.
PULVERLow German, French, English
I comes from the Latin verb meaning "to make powder." This name was given to either an alchemist or one who made gunpowder.
PUSCHATGerman (East Prussian)
East Prussian German (and thus heavily Lithuanian influenced) surname derived from Lithuanian pušaite
"(young) pine tree", which - allegedly - used to be a term of endearment for a young girl.
Habitational name from any of several places so named in Rhineland, Westphalia, and Pomerania, but in most cases a topographic name from Middle Low German putte ‘pit’, ‘well’, ‘puddle’, ‘pond’.
German for "plaster". Likely used to denote someone who manufactured plaster
Nickname for a big eater, from Middle Low German quās meaning "guzzling", "feasting".
Nickname for someone stocky, from Middle High German quader meaning "building stone".
habitational name from any of several places so named in northern Germany. metonymic occupational name for a barber or nickname for someone who wore a conspicuous tassel or feather, from Middle Low German, Middle High German quast(e) "tuft", "tassel", "brush", also "fool".
German family name originating from the town of Quetz (today Quetzdölsdorf).... [more]
Derived from German rabe
"raven". As a surname, it was given to a person with black hair.
Habitational name from any of numerous places called Rabenstein.
Variation of Rademacher, meaning "maker of wheels" in German ("rat" meaning wheel), later shortened to Rader and other variations such as Redder, Raeder, Redler, etc.
Altered spelling of Ravensburger
, a habitational name for someone from Ravensburg in Württemberg, but there are a number of similar surnames, for example Raffenberg, a farm name near Hamm, and Raffsberger.
Nickname for a rough individual, from a North German variant of Rauh
RAISCHGerman, German (Swiss)
From Middle High German rīsch, rūsch ‘reed’, ‘rush’, hence a topographic name for someone who lived near a reed bed, or perhaps a metonymic occupational name for someone who used or harvested reeds... [more]
Occupational name for a taxman or accountant, from an agent derivative of Middle High German reiten ‘to reckon’, ‘to calculate’.
German and Swiss German: variant of Rampf, from Middle High German ramft, ranft ‘edge’, ‘wall’, ‘crust (of bread)’; applied as a topographic name for someone who lived at the limit or outer edge of some feature, for example a field, or possibly, in the sense ‘crust’, a nickname for a poor person.
French: from a pet form of the Germanic personal name Rando
, a short form of various compound names formed with rand
‘(shield) rim’ as the first element. Compare Randall
Classicized spelling of Randolf
, a Germanic personal name composed of the elements rand
"rim (of a shield), shield" and wolf
"wolf". This was introduced into England by Scandinavian settlers in the Old Norse form Rannúlfr
, and was reinforced after the Norman Conquest by the Norman form Randolf
German: nickname for a ragamuffin, from Middle High German range
‘naughty boy’, ‘urchin’.... [more]
RANGEREnglish, German, French
English: occupational name for a gamekeeper or warden, from Middle English ranger
, an agent derivative of range
(n) ‘to arrange or dispose’.... [more]
From a personal name composed of the Germanic elements rad
"counsel", "advice" + bald
Nickname for a quick or rash person from Middle High German, German rasch ‘quick’, ‘hot-headed’, ‘hasty’.
1. Occupational name for a counsellor or nickname for a wise person, from Middle High German rater ‘adviser’. ... [more]
From Middle High German ratgebe
or Middle Low German ratgever
"giver of advice, counselor", an occupational name for an adviser or wise man.
Nickname for a ruffian, earlier for a hairy person, from Middle High German ruch
"hairy", "shaggy", "rough".
RÄUBERGerman, German (Swiss)
German, Swiss German: derogatory nickname, from Middle High German roubære
‘robber’, ‘bandit’, ‘highwayman’ (from roub
Perhaps an occupational nickname for a blacksmith or charcoal burner, from Middle High German rouch
, German Rauch
‘smoke’, or, in the case of the German name, a status name or nickname relating to a hearth tax (i.e. a tax that was calculated according to the number of fireplaces in each individual home).
Probably a habitational name from a place so named in the Rhineland.
Nickname for an upright person, from Middle High German reht
, German recht
"straight". As a Jewish name it is mainly of ornamental origin.
Nickname from Middle High German recke ‘outlaw’ or ‘fighter’. North German and Westphalian: from Middle Low German recke ‘marsh’, ‘waterlogged ground’, hence a topographic name, or a habitational name from a place named with this term.
German: possibly a variant of Redmer
, or an occupational name for a spokesman, Middle High German rednære.
Habitational name from places named Reichstein (in Saxony) or Reichenstein (in Rhineland, Schleswig-Holstein, and Württemberg).
From a Germanic personal name, a reduced form of Reinmar, composed of the elements ragin
"counsel" + mari
From a Germanic personal name composed of the elements ragin
"counsel" + bald
Reinking is a German-derived surname meaning "one who is neat and tidy"
REISERGerman, Upper German
Habitational name for someone from Reis or Reissen in Bavaria (see Reis
). An occupational name from Middle High German reisære
‘warrior’, ‘traveler’. ... [more]
A habitational name for someone from a place called Reisen (for example in Bavaria), Reissen in Thuringia, or Reussen on the Saale river. A variant of Reiser
Also from an agent derivative of Middle High German, Middle Low German rise
‘veil’; perhaps an occupational name for someone who made veils.
From a pet form of a Germanic personal name formed with rang
"curved", "bending"; "slender".
An Americanization of the Swiss Rippas
. The first recorded person with this surname was from Ziefen, Switzerland.
Variant of Ricward
, from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements ric
‘power(ful)’ + ward
REUSSERSwiss, German, Upper German
In Switzerland, an occupational name for a fisherman or maker of fish traps, from an agent derivative of Middle High German riuse
‘fish trap’, ‘weir basket’. A nickname from an agent noun based on Middle High German riusen
‘to moan or complain’... [more]
May be a variant of the German surname Reisner
, a habitational name for someone from a place called Reisen (for example in Bavaria), Reissen in Thuringia, or Reussen on the Saale river.
From the German name for the River Rhine, denoting somebody whom lived within close proximity to the river. The river name itself comes from a Celtic word meaning 'to flow' (Welsh redan
, 'run, flow').
RHINEGerman, French, English, Irish
A habitational name for an individual whom lived within close proximity of the River Rhine (see Rhein
). The river name is derived from a Celtic word meaning 'to flow' (Welsh redan
, 'flow').... [more]
From a Germanic personal name composed of the elements ric
‘power(ful)’ + hari
‘army’. The name was introduced into England by the Normans in the form Richier
, but was largely absorbed by the much more common Richard
Patronymic form of Rickel or possibly Richel. May have been derived from any of a number of Old German personal names including Richild (or the feminine form Richeldis) or Richold.
From a short form of any of the Germanic personal names composed with rīc
South German: from a pet form of the personal name Ru(o)diger, a compound of Old High German hrod ‘renown’ + ger ‘spear’, ‘lance’ (see Roger). ... [more]
From Middle High German rigel
"bar, crossbeam, mountain incline", hence a topographic name or a habitational name from any of numerous places named with this word in Baden, Brandenburg, and Silesia; in some instances it may have been a metonymic occupational name for a maker of crossbars, locks, etc.
Alemannic form of Reiser
. A habitational name for someone from Ries near Passau. Alemannic variant of Rüsser
, a variant of Reusser
. Altered spelling of Riesser
, a habitational name for someone from Ries(s), a region of Bavaria.
"reed" -- a tall, slender-leaved plant of the grass family that grows in water or on marshy ground.
Probably a metonymic occupational name for a cattle dealer or butcher, from Middle High German rint meaning "cow".
Comes from Germanic
ring "ring" or "assembly" and wald "rule"
Derived from Old High German hruod
"fame". This was the maiden name of Magda Goebbels who was the wife of Paul Joseph Goebbels. Her husband was Nazi Germany's propaganda minister between the years 1933 and 1945... [more]
From a short form of the personal name Rizo
, itself derived in part from Richard
and in part from Heinrich
given to a person who resided near a hill, stream, church, or tree
Means "from Rockenfeld." Some famous bearers include founder of the Standard Oil Company and philanthropist John Davison Rockefeller (1839-1937), and 41st Vice President of the U.S.A. Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller (1908-1979).
Possibly a habitational name for someone from Rockau in Thuringia.
Habitational name from a place named Roben, for example in Thuringia or Schleswig. From a Germanic personal name based on hrod
‘renown’, ‘victory’. Low German variant of Räuber