German Submitted Surnames
Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
From the Germanic personal name Ruom
(Old High German hruom
‘fame’), a short form of Ruombald
and similar personal names containing this element.
Topographic name for someone who lived in an area thickly grown with reeds, from Middle High German ror
. Also a habitational name from one of the several places named with this word.
ROHRBACHGerman, German (Swiss)
German and Swiss German: habitational name from any of numerous places called Rohrbach (‘reed brook’ or ‘channel brook’) in many parts of Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. It is a common surname in Pennsylvania.
ROLANDFrench, German, Scottish
French, German, English, and Scottish: from a Germanic personal name composed hrod
‘renown’ + -nand
‘bold’, assimilated to -lant
‘land’. (Compare Rowland
English: Composed of the Germanic elements hrod
‘renown’ + wulf
‘wolf’. This name was especially popular among Nordic peoples in the contracted form Hrólfr
and seems to have reached England by two separate channels; partly through its use among pre-Conquest Scandinavian settlers, partly through its popularity among the Normans, who, however, generally used the form Rou
This surname means "son of Rolf
," a patronymic surname from northern Germany.
ROMANCatalan, French, Polish, English, German, Hungarian, Romanian, Ukrainian, Belorussian
From the Latin personal name Romanus
, which originally meant "Roman". This name was borne by several saints, including a 7th-century bishop of Rouen.
ROMMELUpper German, Dutch
Nickname for an obstreperous person, from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch rummeln
to make a noise, create a disturbance (of imitative origin). Variant of Rummel
Meaning uncertain. This was the name of German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (1845-1923) who discovered and studied x-rays. Röntgen called the radiation "X" because it was an unknown type of radiation... [more]
Habitational name for someone who lived at a house distinguished by the sign of a rosebush, Middle High German rōsenboum
name for any of numerous places named rosenthal or rosendahl. means " rose valley"
German: topographic name for "someone who lived at a place where wild roses grew" (see Rose 1), with the suffix -er denoting an inhabitant.German (Röser): habitational name from places called Rös, Roes, or Rösa in Bavaria, Rhineland, and Saxony, or a variant of Rosser.Swiss German (Röser): from a short form of a Germanic personal name based on hrod "renown".English: "unexplained".
The original spelling of the name is Roßhart. Roß means "horse" and hart means "hard" in German. The name was changed when the family immigrated to the United States in the 1850's. Some took on the name "Rosshart", and some "Roszhart" as the ß has the "sss" sound.
Middle High German rot "red" + vuoz "foot", a nickname for someone who followed the fashion for shoes made from a type of fine reddish leather. Or a variant of Rotfuchs
, from the Middle Low German form fos "fox", a nickname for a clever person.
As far as I've researched the name dates back to a man by the name of Count Palatine Kuno von Rott (~1083). After he got land from the Pfalzfrafs which seem to be a nobile family line.... [more]
Modernization of Rotscheidt, also a city in Germany (Rottscheidt) bearing another modern alternate spelling. When broken down it ultimately means "red" and "piece of wood", implying that the families of today descends from woodwrokers.
This surname was originally used as a derogative nickname for an unscrupulous individual, from Middle Low German rover
meaning "pirate, robber."
ROVEREnglish, German (Anglicized)
This surname is derived from Middle English roof
(from Old English hrof
) combined with the agent suffix (i)er
, which denotes someone who does/works with something. Thus, the surname was originally used for a constructor or repairer of roofs.... [more]
It was originally a nickname for a greedy person, from Middle High German ruoch ‘eager,’ ‘intent.’... [more]
Middle High German: nickname rucken
"to move or draw". North German: nickname from Middle Low German rucker "thief", "greedy or acquisitive person". German: from a reduced form of the Germanic personal name Rudiger
From a Germanic personal name based on hrok
"intent", "eager" (Old High German ruoh
RUDATGerman (East Prussian)
East Prussian German (and thus heavily Lithuanian influenced) name meaning "russet; auburn; reddish brown", derived from Old Prussian ruds
and Lithuanian rudas
From a personal name composed of Old High German hrōd
"renown" and wolf
"wolf", equivalent to English Ralph
. This name is also found in Slovenia.
Nickname from Middle High German ruowe
‘quiet’, ‘calm’ or Low German rug
‘rough’, ‘crude’.... [more]
Variant of Ruge
) is also a nickname from Rüde
‘hound.’ Habitational name from places named Rühen, Rüden, Rhüden in northern Germany.
This name is possibly a derivative of the German
word for "envelope" which is spelled 'Umschlag'.
From the old word "runga", meaning stick or whip
RUTHEnglish, German (Swiss)
English: from Middle English reuthe ‘pity’ (a derivative of rewen to pity, Old English hreowan) nickname for a charitable person or for a pitiable one. Not related to the given name in this case.... [more]
Can come from the island Rügen in Germany. Bengt Rydén was the cheif editor at a Swedish magazine called Veckans Affärer.
Respelling of Swiss German Rhyn
, a topographic name for someone living on the Rhine river, Middle High German Rin
Nickname for someone perceived to lead a carefree, easy life, from Middle Low German sacht(e) meaning "soft" + leben meaning "life".
Occupational name from Middle High German sacman meaning "baggage servant", one who was in charge of transporting and looking after a knight’s baggage and supplies on campaign.
The last name Sadat means "master" and "gentleman," and is originally a religious last name which was popular in the west, more precisely in Germany.
Occupational name for a chorister or a nickname for someone who liked singing, from Middle High German senger, German Sänger meaning "singer".
It is derived from the German words (Salz) meaning "salt", & (Salweide) meaning "water".
Occupational name for a producer or seller of salt, from German salz
"salt" + mann
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]
SCHADEGerman, 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
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
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).
SCHAUMBURGGerman, Dutch, Belgian
Habitational name from any of the places called Schaumburg or Schauenburg in Germany, or Schauwberg in Brabant, Belgium.
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.
SCHENKELGerman, 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.
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".
SCHMUCKGerman, 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.
SCHOENGerman, 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.
SCHOTTLANDERGerman, 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]
SCHRAMGerman, 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.
The surname Schueler was first found in southern Germany, where the name was closely identified in early mediaeval times with the feudal society which would become prominent throughout European history.
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.
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".
From a German personal name composed of the elements sigi meaning "victory" + berht meaning "bright", "famous".
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
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.
German: metonymic occupational name for a beekeeper, from Middle High German seim ‘honey’.
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.
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]
SHADEEnglish, 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]
SHATNERGerman (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 roots of the German surname Sieber can be traced to the Old Germanic word "Siebmacher," meaning "sieve maker." The surname is occupational in origin, and was most likely originally borne by someone who held this position
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.
SIEVERTLow 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).
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.
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.
SKELTONEnglish, 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.
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
Occupational name for a maker or seller of mirrors, from Middle High German spiegel
, German Spiegel
"mirror" and the agent suffix -er
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.
SPINDLEREnglish, German, Jewish
Occupational name for a spindle maker, from an agent derivative of Middle English spindle
, Middle High German spindel
, German Spindel
, Yiddish shpindl
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]
From Middle High German sprinc
, Middle Low German sprink
"spring, well", hence a topographic name for someone who lived by a spring or well, or habitational name from Springe near Hannover.
SPRINGERGerman, 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'.
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.
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
STARGerman, 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".
STAUBGerman (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.
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.
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.
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"
STERNKELow 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]
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.
Stoltzfus is a surname of German origin. It is common among Mennonites and Amish. All American Stoltzfuses are descended from Nicholas Stoltzfus (1719–1774), an Amish man who migrated from Germany to America in 1766.
From Middle High German storch
"stork", hence a nickname for someone thought to resemble the bird.
Topographic name for someone living on a main street, from Middle High German strasse
, German Strasse
"street, road" and man