German Submitted Surnames
Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
SAUER German, Jewish
Nickname for an embittered or cantankerous person, from Middle High German sur
, German sauer
Occupational nickname for someone who sold sour wine, or perhaps a nickname for someone with a sour disposition, from Middle High German sur
"sour" + win
"wine", i.e. vinegar.
Metonymic occupational name for a shepherd, from Middle High German schāf ‘sheep’. In some cases it may have been a nickname for someone thought to resemble a sheep, or a habitational name for someone living at a house distinguished by the sign of a sheep... [more]
SCHADE German, Dutch, Scottish, English
German and Dutch: from schade
‘damage’, a derivative of schaden
‘to do damage’, generally a nickname for a thug or clumsy person, or, more particularly, a robber knight, who raided others’ lands.... [more]
Occupational name for a cooper, from an agent derivative of Middle High German scheffel
SCHATTNER German, Jewish
Habitational name for someone from any of several places named Schaten or Schatten, or a topographic name for someone living in a shady location, from Middle High German schate
SCHATZ German, Jewish
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic) metonymic occupational name for a treasurer, from German Schatz
‘treasure’, Middle High German scha(t)z
. It may also have been a nickname for a rich man (or ironically for a miser), or else for a well-liked person or a ladies’ favorite, from the use of the vocabulary word as a term of endearment... [more]
German diminutive of Schatz
, or a nickname for a lover meaning "little sweetheart" (from the same word used as a term of endearment).
SCHAUMBURG German, Dutch, Belgian
Habitational name from any of the places called Schaumburg or Schauenburg in Germany, or Schauwberg in Brabant, Belgium.
SCHAUS German, Luxembourgish
A nickname for a simpleton, from schaus
, a word in Rhenish Franconian and Lower Rhine dialects of German.
habitational name for someone from Schaubeck near Marbach (Württemberg).
Anglicized version of the German surname, Schütz, "archer," "yeoman," "protect."
Means "noisy" or "loud" from the German word "schel"
Nickname for a disabled person, from Middle High German schemel
"stool", which was used as a crutch by invalids.
SCHENK German, Dutch, Jewish
German and Dutch: from Middle High German, Middle Dutch schenke
, ‘cupbearer’, ‘wine server’ (from Old High German scenko
, from scenken
‘to pour out or serve’), hence an occupational name for a cupbearer or server of wine... [more]
SCHENKEL German, Dutch, Jewish
German, Dutch, and Jewish (Ashkenazic): nickname for someone with long or otherwise notable legs, from Middle High German schenkel
, Middle Dutch schenkel
‘thigh’, ‘lower leg’, German Schenkel
It literally means someone who either lives near (or in, if poor &/or homeless) a barn or works within its general vicinity.
SCHILD German, Dutch
Occupational name for a maker or painter of shields, from Middle High German, Middle Dutch schilt
First appeared during the Middle Ages in Central Europe/Germany. The name means "Shield-Maker" and suggests correlation to Blacksmiths or or other forms of metalwork in the time period.
Derived from a Middle High German word meaning "feast" and thus used as a nickname for a "gourmet".
SCHMUCK German, German (Austrian)
From Middle High German smuc meaning "jewel", "finery", hence a metonymic occupational name for a jeweler, or a nickname for someone who wore a prominent jewel or ornament.North German: nickname from Middle Low German smuck meaning "neat", "dainty".
German origin. Means "shock" in German, as in surprise.
SCHOEN German, Jewish, Dutch
German (Schön) nickname for a handsome or pleasant man, from Middle High German schoene
‘fine’, ‘beautiful’; ‘refined’, ‘friendly’, ‘nice’. ... [more]
German (Schönwetter): nickname for someone with a happy disposition, from Middle High German schœn ‘beautiful’, ‘fine’, ‘nice’ + wetter ‘weather’.
Nickname for an offensive person, from Middle High German schemen
Habitational name for someone from any of several places in Germany and Switzerland named Schönenberg.
, an ethnic name for a Scottish person or somebody of such descent.
SCHOTTLANDER German, Jewish, Dutch
From German Schottland
, 'Scotland' and, in some cases, denoted an immigrant from Scotland or Ireland. Numerous Irish fled to continental Europe after the Anglo-Norman invasion in the 13th century.... [more]
Habitational name for someone from Schötmar in the Lippe area.
SCHRAM German, English, Yiddish
Derived from German Schramme
(Middle High German schram(me)
) and Yiddish shram
, all of which mean "scar".
Some think that the last name Schrock comes from the German word which meant something along the lines of "Jump" or "Leaps" and was probably a nickname to someone who was a great jumper, or someone who was easily startled.
Occupational name for a shoemaker’s assistant, from Middle High German schuoch meaning "shoe" + knecht meaning "journeyman", "assistant".
Possibly a habitational name from Schüller in the Eifel.
Occupational surname for an archer or a watchman (from Middle High German schützen
"to guard or protect"). Also a habitational name from Schutz, a place near Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.
The surname of German VfB Stuttgart footballer Daniel Schwaab, born in Waldkirch, Germany.
SCHWAB German, Jewish
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): regional name for someone from Swabia (German Schwaben), from Middle High German Swap, German Schwabe ‘Swabian’. The region takes its name from a Germanic tribe recorded from the 1st century BC in the Latin form Suebi or Suevi, of uncertain origin; it was an independent duchy from the 10th century until 1313, when the territory was broken up.
Habitational name from any of several places so named, for example near Lübeck and near Anklam.
Topographic name for someone who lived in a forest clearing, from Middle High German swant
"to thin out", "make disappear", causative from swinden
"to disappear" modern German schwinden
Habitational name from any of the various places called Schwand
, all in southern Germany, named with this element, from Middle High German swant
"to thin out", "make disappear", causative from swinden
"to disappear" modern German schwinden
Ethnic name for a Swiss, from German Schweitz meaning "Swiss".
Occupational name for someone whose job was to swingle flax, i.e. to beat the flax with a swingle in order to remove the woody parts of the plant prior to spinning, from Middle German swingen meaning "to swing" or swing meaning "swingle".
SEBERT German, French
From a German personal name composed of the elements sigi meaning "victory" + berht meaning "bright", "famous".
SEE English, German
Topographic name for someone who lived by the sea-shore or beside a lake, from Middle English see meaning "sea", "lake" (Old English sǣ), Middle High German sē. Alternatively, the English name may denote someone who lived by a watercourse, from an Old English sēoh meaning "watercourse", "drain".
Comes from a Germanic personal name, Sigizo, from a compound name formed with sigi ‘victory’ as the first element.
Short form of SEIBOLD
. Ultimately derived from names composed of the Germanic name element sigi
From the Germanic given name Sito
, a short form of a compound name formed with sigi
SEIDE German, Jewish
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): from Middle High German side, German Seide ‘silk’ (from Late Latin seta, originally denoting animal hair), hence a metonymic occupational name for a manufacturer or seller of silk.
Originating in the region of Saxony. Name of a silk merchant, from the German word for silk: seide
German and Jewish occupational surname for a rope maker.
SEIM Upper German
German: metonymic occupational name for a beekeeper, from Middle High German seim ‘honey’.
SEINFELD German, Jewish
From the German word sein
"to be" and the word of German Jewish origin feld
which means "field". It was a name given to areas of land that had been cleared of forest.
The Selz is a river in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, and a left hand tributary of the Rhine. It flows through the largest German wine region, Rheinhessen or Rhenish Hesse. Also, Seltz (German: Selz) is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department of the Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine region in north-eastern France.... [more]
1. Topographic name for someone who lived by land cleared by fire, from Middle High German sengen ‘to singe or burn’. ... [more]
Derived from the Middle High German word senne
meaning "dairy farmer".
A topographic name formed with an unexplained first element + Middle High German bach ‘creek’. Pretty common in Iowa and Pennsylvania.
SEWINA German, Polish
The first available record of the Sewina family name is around 1620 in the province of Silesia, a mixed cultural region between Germany and Poland. Once part of the Prussian Empire and Germany. After World War Two, the area is now part of Poland... [more]
SHADE English, German, Dutch, Scottish
Topographic name for someone who lived near a boundary, from Old English scead
‘boundary’.nickname for a very thin man, from Middle English schade
‘shadow’, ‘wraith’.... [more]
SHATNER German (Anglicized), Jewish (Anglicized)
Anglicized form of Schattner
. A notable bearer was Canadian actor William Shatner (1931-), who is known for his roles as Captain James T. Kirk in 'Star Trek', T.J. Hooker in 'T.J. Hooker', Denny Crane in 'Boston Legal', and the Priceline Negotiator in Priceline.com commercials.
The name is originally spelled "Siecke". Eric Siecke came from Norway and settled in Holstein, Germany in the year 1307. The final "e" was dropped by most of the family, though one branch still retains it... [more]
From a Germanic personal name composed of the elements sigi
"victory" and fridu
"peace". The German surname has also occasionally been adopted by Ashkenazic Jews.
SIEVERT Low German, Dutch, Swedish
Derived from the given name SIVERT
. A Sievert (Sv) is a unit measuring the effect of ionizing radiation on the human body (called equivalent absorbed radiation dose). It was named after Swedish medical physicist Rolf Sievert (1896 – 1966).
SILBER German, Jewish
From Middle High German "silber," meaning "silver." Metonymic occupational name for a silversmith, or often, in the case of the Jewish surname, an ornamental name.
SILBERSTEIN German, Jewish
From Middle High German silber
"silver" and stein
"stone"; a habitational name from a place so named in Bavaria, or a topographic name.... [more]
Originates from the German prefix sim
meaning "of the head" and the German word becka
meaning "bull". When combined in this order, the meaning was "bull-headed", meaning stubborn and obstinant.
SKELTON English, German, Norwegian (Rare)
Habitational name from places in Cumbria and Yorkshire, England, originally named with the same elements as Shelton
, but with a later change of ‘s’ to ‘sk’ under Scandinavian influence.
German surname meaning mercenary. German spelling has umlaut over the O, but American spelling is Soldner or Soeldner.
Variant of Specker
as well as a locational surname from one of various places called Speck, Specke and Specken in northern Germany and Spöck in southern Germany, as well as an occupational surname derived from German Speck
"bacon" denoting a butcher who sepcialized in the production of bacon, as well as a derisive nickname for a corpulent person.
SPIEGEL German, Jewish
Metonymic occupational name for a maker or seller of mirrors, from Middle High German spiegel
, German Spiegel
"mirror" (via Old High German from Latin speculum
, a derivative of specere
SPIEGLER German, Jewish
Occupational name for a maker or seller of mirrors, from Middle High German spiegel
, German Spiegel
"mirror" and the agent suffix -er
SPIELBERG Jewish, German
From Old High German spiegel
"lookout point" or German Spiel
"game, play" and berg
"mountain". Locational surname after a town in Austria. A famous bearer is American director Steven Spielberg (1946-present).
While it translates to the plural of "spy" in English, Spies is a semi-common name found throughout Germany and the surrounding nations. This surname is also popular throughout states with a high German population.
SPINDLER English, German, Jewish
Occupational name for a spindle maker, from an agent derivative of Middle English spindle
, Middle High German spindel
, German Spindel
, Yiddish shpindl
SPITZ German, Yiddish
From the German spitz
"point", referring to a person who lives near a pointy hill or a field that is pointed at one end.
Occupational name for a maker of spurs, from Middle High German spor ‘spur’, or a topographic name, from Middle High German spor ‘spoor’, ‘animal tracks’.... [more]
SPRINGER German, English, Dutch, Jewish
Nickname for a lively person or for a traveling entertainer. It can also refer to a descendant of Ludwig
der Springer (AKA Louis
the Springer), a medieval Franconian count who, according to legend, escaped from a second or third-story prison cell by jumping into a river after being arrested for trying to seize County Saxony in Germany.
From Middle High German stet meaning "place", "town" + müller meaning "miller", hence an occupational name for a miller who ground the grain for a town.
Metonymic occupational name for a smith or armorer, from Middle High German stal
Variant of Staller. German: topographic name for someone who lived in a muddy place, from the dialect word stal. English: habitational name from Stalmine in Lancashire, named probably with Old English stæll 'creek', 'pool' + Old Norse mynni 'mouth'.
STANG German, Jewish
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic) from Middle High German stang
, German Stange
‘pole’, ‘shaft’, hence a nickname for a tall, thin person, a metonymic occupational name for a maker of wooden shafts for spears and the like, or a metonymic occupational name for a soldier.
STANISLAW Polish, German
Polish from the personal name Stanislaw
, composed of the Slavic elements stani
‘become’ + slav
‘glory’, ‘fame’, ‘praise’. This surname is well established in German-speaking lands.
Possibly an altered spelling of German Stanz
, a habitation name from places called Stans or Stanz in Austria and Switzerland (see also Stentz
STAR German, Dutch, Jewish, English
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): nickname from German Star, Middle High German star
, ‘starling’, probably denoting a talkative or perhaps a voracious person.... [more]
Nickname from Middle High German stæt(e) meaning "firm", "steadfast", "constant".
STAUB German (Swiss), German, Jewish
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic) occupational nickname for a miller, from Middle High German stoup
, German Staub
‘dust’. The Jewish surname may also be ornamental.
From Middle High German stuche
, a term used to denote both a type of wide sleeve and a headcovering. Also a habitational name from a place called Staucha, near Dresden.
This surname refers either to various towns named Stauffen or else it might be derived from Middle High German stouf
Means "head miner" or "overman" from the German verb "steigen" meaning "to climb" or in this case "to lead a climb".
From a derivative of Middle High German stec
"steep path or track, narrow bridge". The name was likely given to someone living close to a path or small bridge.
From Middle High German ster
‘ram’, hence probably a nickname for a lusty person, or possibly a metonymic occupational name for a shepherd.
STEINBACH German, Jewish
German habitational name from any of the many places named Steinbach, named with Middle High German stein
‘stone’ + bach
‘stream’, ‘creek’. ... [more]
Denotes a person hailing from one of the many places in Germany called Steinbeck or Steinbach, from Middle High German stein
"stone" and bach
"stream, creek". In some cases it is a South German occupational name for a mason... [more]
From stony mountain. From "stein" meaning stone, and "berg" meaning mountain.
STEINER German, Jewish
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): occupational name for someone who worked with stone: a quarry-man, stone-cutter, or stonemason; an agent derivative of Stein
. Also can be a topographic name for someone who lived on stony ground or near a prominent outcrop of rock.
STEINMETZ German, Jewish
Occupational name from Middle High German steinmetze
, German steinmetz
"stonemason", "worker in stone".
nickname for a disabled person; from Middle Low German stelte, stilt "wooden leg"
STERNKE Low German (Rare, ?)
From the German word or surname Stern meaning "star" and the Low German diminutive "-ke". The exact origins of this surname are unknown.
From Middle Low German store
‘sturgeon’, hence a metonymic occupational name for someone who caught or sold sturgeon, or a nickname for someone with some supposed resemblance to the fish... [more]
STOLTENBERG German, Norwegian
Habitational name from places so called in Pomerania and Rhineland. A famous bearer is Jens Stoltenberg (b. 1959), Prime Minister of Norway 2000-2001 and 2005-2013.
STORCH German, Jewish
From Middle High German storch
"stork", hence a nickname for someone thought to resemble the bird.
STRASSMANN German, Jewish
Topographic name for someone living on a main street, from Middle High German strasse
, German Strasse
"street, road" and man
STRAUSS German, Jewish
From the German word strauß
, meaning "ostrich." In its use as a Jewish surname, it comes from the symbol of the building or family that the bearer occupied or worked for in the Frankfurter Judengasse... [more]
Name given in 1056 a.d. Meaning- Keeper of the Royal Horses.
German (also Strübel): from a diminutive of Middle High German strūp (see Strub).... [more]
Sturtz comes from an alpine village in Germany. It literately means "to stumble".
SUH Low German
North German from Middle Low German su
‘sow’, either a metonymic occupational name for a swineherd or an offensive nickname.
Nickname for a bitter or cantankerous person, from Middle Low German sūr meaning "sour".
SUMMER English, German
From Middle English sum(m)er
, Middle High German sumer
"summer", hence a nickname for someone of a warm or sunny disposition, or for someone associated with the season of summer in some other way.
SUTTER German, English
English and South German occupational name for a shoemaker or cobbler (rarely a tailor), from Middle English suter
, Middle High German suter
(from Latin sutor
, an agent derivative of suere
Americanized form of German Schweitzer meaning Swiss.
SYDOW Low German
Habitational name from any of several places so named in Germany.
Ethnic or regional name for a German speaker from Transylvania or Szepes, etymologically a derivative of German SACHS
TABBERT German, Frisian
From Middle Low German tabbert
, Middle Dutch tabbaert
‘tabard’, a sleeveless overgarment worn by men in the Middle Ages, (ultimately from French tabard
, from Late Latin tabardum
TANNEN German, Jewish
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic) habitational name from any of several places in Lower Saxony or Baden named with German Tannen
‘pine’, or from a short form of any of the many compound names formed with this element... [more]
TANNENBAUM Jewish, German
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic) topographic name or Jewish ornamental name from German Tannenbaum
‘fir tree’, ‘pine tree’.
German habitational name from a place so named in Brandenburg, of Slavic origin.
THAL Jewish, German
Ornamental and topographic name derived from German Tal
Derived from Old High German thiot
THOMA German, German (Swiss)
German and Swiss German: variant of Thomas. Greek: genitive patronymic from Thomas. Genitive patronymics are particularly associated with Cyprus.
TIMM German, Dutch, English
English: probably from an otherwise unrecorded Old English personal name, cognate with the attested Continental Germanic form Timmo
. This is of uncertain origin, perhaps a short form of Dietmar
TISCH Jewish, German
Metonymic occupational name for a joiner, from German "Tisch", Yiddish "tish" meaning table
Derived from Old High German dorn / torn
"thorn". As a surname, it was usually given to someone who lived near a thorn hedge.
TRAUTWIG German (Modern)
From an Ancient German given name made of the name elements TRUD
"strength" and WIG
TREICHEL German (Swiss)
Swiss German: from a word meaning ‘cow bell’, presumably a nickname for a cowherd or farmer, or a metonymic occupational name for someone who made cow bells.
TREU German, Jewish
From a nickname for a trustworthy person, from late Middle High German triuwe
‘loyal’. As a Jewish surname it is mainly ornamental.
It is derived from the Middle High German "Drehseler," meaning "turner," and was most likely initially borne by a turner or lathe worker.
TROTTER English, Scottish, German
Northern English and Scottish: occupational name for a messenger, from an agent derivative of Middle English trot(en)
'to walk fast' (Old French troter
, of Germanic origin). ... [more]
TRUMP English, German
English (Devon): metonymic occupational name for a trumpeter, from Middle English trumpe
‘trumpet’.German (Bavaria): metonymic occupational name for a drummer, from Middle High German trumpe
Derived from the Czech word "třída," which means class, kind, category, grade, or avenue and place.
The Germanic spelling of the Hungarian name Çsida
. Derived from the Turkish word for rider, or man on horseback.
nickname from Slavic (Old Slavic toliti ""to soothe or calm"")
Uhler is an Ortsgemeinde – a municipality belonging to a Verbandsgemeinde, a kind of collective municipality – in the Rhein-Hunsrück-Kreis in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It belongs to the Verbandsgemeinde of Kastellaun, whose seat is in the like-named town.
From a pet form of a Germanic compound personal name beginning with odal
German surname meaning "from the city of Ulm".
Habitational name for someone from a place called Ilshofen (old form Ulleshoven), near Schwäbisch Hall.
German, Jewish (Ashkenazic), and Slovenian: ethnic name for a Hungarian or a nickname for someone who had trade relations with Hungary, from the ethnic term Unger ‘Hungarian’ ... [more]
Topographic name for someone who lived below a mountain ridge, from Middle High German under
meaning ‘under’ + rein
URBAN English, French, German, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Hungarian, Jewish
From a medieval personal name (Latin Urbanus meaning "city dweller", a derivative of urbs meaning "town", "city").
From Middle Low German ūt-echtisch ‘outsider’, a term denoting someone who was not a member of a particular guild.
VADER German (Rare)
From Middle Low German vader meaning ‘father’, ‘senior’; in the Middle Ages this was used a term of address for someone who was senior in rank or age.
From French origin, denoting someone who lives or comes from a valley.
Probably an altered spelling of German Valee
, a fairly common surname of French origin denoting someone who lived in a valley. The name in Germany is also spelled Wallee
VANDERBILT Dutch, German
Topographic name for someone living by a low hill, from Middle Low German bulte
"mound", "low hill".