are used in the country of Switzerland in central Europe.
Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
From an Italian surname coming from the place name Abruzzi in eastern Italy (the modern name is Abruzzo). This place name may derive from the Praetutii, an ancient tribe inhabiting the region.
ABEGG German, German (Swiss)
Topographic name for someone who lived near the corner of a mountain, from German ab
meaning "off" and Egg
, dialect form of Eck(e)
meaning "promontory", "corner".
It is a french surname that comes from the french word 'about', meaning "an extremity of a metallic or wooden element or piece." This surname is notably born by the French novelist Edmond François Valentin About... [more]
ABPLANALP German, German (Swiss)
Topographic name for someone living high on a mountainside, from German ab
- "below", "off" + Planalp
"high, flat mountain-meadow".
ABREO French, Italian
Abreo or its variant Abreu comes from the French Alfred (alf = Elf; fred = conseil). The meaning is wise counselor
Regional name for someone from the Abruzzi, a mountainous region of Italy east of Rome (cf. ABRUZZO
Regional name for someone from the Abruzzi, a mountainous region of Italy east of Rome (cf. ABRUZZESE
Absher comes from either the German surname Habich
, which comes from the surname hawk
. Literally meaning someone who had hawk-like features.
From Latin accola
‘neighbor’, ‘inhabitant’ (from Latin accolere
'to live near'). Accola
also meant 'tenant' or 'farmer' in Medieval Latin, which is likely the definition of the word that this name comes from.
Topographic name for someone who lived by a spring or stream, from Old High German aha meaning "running water".
Habitational name from places in Hesse and Westphalia named Achenbach, from the obsolete word Ach or Ache (from Middle High German ahe meaning "water", "stream") + Bach meaning "brook".
From an Italian place name meaning "running water, spring", literally "living water".
Habitational name from a place in Cosenza province named Acri.
AGASSI Armenian, Persian, Italian
The surname Agassi most likely evolved from a nickname for someone resembling a mappie, perhaps jokingly referred to as chattering or nagging person. ... [more]
two hypotheses: either from the Greek agyrmos
meaning "symposium, meeting" which was the name of the first day of the Misteri Eleusini
in Athens.... [more]
The earliest known instance of this name AGOSTINELLI was St. Aurelius Augustinus, also known as Augustine of Hippo (354-430) the greatest of the Latin church fathers. He was born in Tagaste in Numidia which is modern Tunisia.... [more]
From the old personal name Albern
, from Germanic adal
meaning "noble" and boran
Southern Italian : ethnic name from albanese ‘(an) Albanian’, applied to someone from Albania or from one of the Albanian settlements in Abruzzo, Apulia, Campania, and Sicily.
From given name Alberto, the Latin translation of Germanic Albert.
Derived from the medieval French masculine given name Albinet
, which was a diminutive (as the -et
suffix indicates) of the given name Albin
Habitational name for someone from Aldingen in Württemberg.
(or Alfano) three possibilities: from the German word halfer
("helper"), from a place called Alfano, which is supposed to be from the Arab al fannan
("wild donkey"), and Alfana is the name of a race (as in type) of Arab horses, so could be someone related to horses.
ALLEMAN French (Cajun), Spanish (Canarian), German
From the French and Spanish word for "German". Believed to have originated in the Alsace-Lorraine region. Some holders of the name migrated to the Canary Islands and are part of the larger Isleños population that settled throughout the Americas... [more]
ALLEMANN German (Swiss)
Allemann (also spelled Alleman
, and Allamán
) is a surname that can be found primarily in Switzerland deriving from the Latin surname, Alemannus, which refers to someone of Germanic descent, specifically from the Alamanni tribe... [more]
Habitational name from any of ten or more places called Allendorf.
The harried officials at Ellis Island began to assign surnames based upon the pronunciation of the name by the immigrant, rather than attempting to ferret out the actual spelling. ... [more]
ALMENDINGER German, German (Swiss)
Habitational name for someone from a place called Allmendingen, of which there are two examples in Switzerland, in Bern canton, and one in Baden-Württemberg in Germany.
ALPERT English, Jewish, German, Dutch
A variant of the Jewish surname Heilprin or Halpern
. In German and Dutch usage, it is derived from the given name Albert
. One famous bearer is Richard Alpert from the ABC TV show LOST.
(or Alpino) possibly denoting a person from the Alpes.
Probably originally a locational surname and a place name for a village which no longer exists. Alscheid (Luxembourgish: Alschent) is a village in the commune of Kiischpelt, in northern Luxembourg. As of 2001, the village had a population of 47.... [more]
ALT German, Jewish
From German alt
‘old’, typically applied as a distinguishing epithet to the older of two bearers of the same personal name.
A surname predominantly found in Westphalia and the Rhineland region of Germany which is derived from German alt
"old" and Hof
in the local dialects) "farmstead; farm; manor".
Status name for an older steward, headman, or tenant farmer, as distinguished from a younger one, from Middle High German alt ‘old’ + meier ‘steward’, ‘headman’, ‘tenant farmer’
Habitational name for someone from a place called Altringen or Aldingen, of which there are two in Württemberg.
From the personal name Adelward
, composed of the Germanic elements adal
‘noble’ + ward
AMBERG German, Jewish
German and possibly Jewish (Ashkenazic) habitational name from any of several settlements called Amberg (literally ‘by the mountain’), including a city in Bavaria. It could also be a topographic name of identical etymology... [more]
There are two hypotheses: the first is it derived from the Latin name Amelius which came from Amius, name of Etruscan origin; the other is it derived from Amali, name of a mighty Ostrogothic family, which means "virgin of the forest".
AMES English, German
English: from the Old French and Middle English personal name Amys
, which is either directly from Latin amicus
‘friend’, used as a personal name, or via a Late Latin derivative of this, Amicius
A contraction of Ambetmann, for a court official. If there is a double "M", the origin might be Swiss.
From the profession of bear hunter, meaning literally "slaughter the bear".
AMMER German, English (Rare)
This surname may be derived from Middle High German amer
which means "bunting (as in the bird)." As such, it is used as a nickname for someone with a fine voice or someone who is a flamboyant dresser.... [more]
Nickname for a day laborer, as opposed to someone who owned fields, from Middle High German āne meaning "without" + acker meaning "field".
From a popular medieval personal name, Angelo
, Latin Angelus
, from Greek angelos
"messenger, angel" (considered as a messenger sent from God).
From Angrisano, a habitational name for someone from Angri in Salerno province.
From Catalan anull
, meaning "slow worm". It is originally a nickname given to a spineless and slow person. The French author Jean Anouilh is a famous bearer of this surname.
Occupational name for someone whose job was to keep a dam or pool filled with water. (Anschützen "to fill up")
ANSELMO Italian, Spanish
Comes from the personal name Anselmo
, which is of Germanic origin (see Anselm). This was a distinctively Langobardic name, and was especially common in Lombardy in the Middle Ages.
Southern Italian: from a diminutive of apa ‘bee’, probably applied as a nickname for an industrious person, or possibly as a metonymic occupational name for a beekeeper.
APOLLO Italian, Spanish
From the Greek personal name Apollo
. There are several saints Apollo in the Christian Church, including an Egyptian hermit and monastic leader who died in 395 ad. The personal name derives from the name in classical mythology of the sun god, Apollo
, an ancient Indo-European name, found for example in Hittite as Apulana
"god of the gate" (from pula
"gate", cognate with Greek pylē
), therefore "protector, patron".
Habitational name from L'Aquila in Abruzzo or from any of various smaller places called Aquila.
ARÀBIA Italian, Spanish
Ethnic name for someone from Arabia or some other Arabic-speaking country or a nickname for someone who had visited or traded with one of these countries.
Ethnic name denoting someone from Arabia or an Arabic-speaking person.
Occupational name from Middle High German arbeiter ‘laborer’.
The name Archambeau is derived from the Latin personal name 'Arcambaldus'. In turn the name 'Arcambaldus', is derived from the Germanic word 'Ercan', which means precious in Germanic, and 'bald', meaning bold and daring.... [more]
ARENALDI Italian (Rare)
Originally found in the Campania, Foggia area. Derived from the medieval name of Germanic origin Arenaldus or Arinaldus
"silver", perhaps sometimes applied as a nickname for someone with silvery gray hair, but more often a metonymic occupational name for a silversmith.
Perhaps a habitational name from Oerlinghausen in North Rhine-Westphalia.
A famous bearer was French philosopher Voltaire (1694-1778), whose birth name was François-Marie Arouet.
From arquet meaning "little bow" or "little arch" (diminutive of arche, from Latin arcus). It was originally an occupational name for an archer, but the French word arquet(te) is also found in the sense 'market trader' (originally, perhaps, one with a stall underneath an arch)... [more]
Italian: from the medieval personal name Arrigo, a variant of Enrico.
ASCENCIO Spanish, Italian
From the personal name (Latin Ascensius), favored by the early Christians, by whom it was bestowed with reference to the ascension of Christ (Late Latin ascensio).
Derived from German asche
meaning "ash" (tanners worked with ash)
It means "you bless", and it is also the device used by priests to spread holy water over people or places
It is the surname of the Home and Away family, The Astoni family, consisting of 4 members, Ben, Maggie, Coco and Ziggy.
Derived from Italian astore
meaning "goshawk", which is a bird of prey that was used for hunting in the Middle Ages. The surname had first started out as a nickname: either for a falconer, or for a person who had aquiline features or who was cunning by nature.
AUBINE French (Rare)
Derived from the medieval French feminine given name Aubine
, which was the French form of Albina
. But in other words, you could also say that Aubine was the feminine form of Aubin
AUBINET French (Rare)
Derived from the medieval French masculine given name Aubinet
, which was a diminutive (as the -et
suffix indicates) of the given name Aubin
AUBUCHON French (Modern, ?)
The Aubuchon name is French, but of uncertain origin. It is probably from the patronymic prefix au + buchon, a dialect term for a woodcutter (Standard French bûcheron).
Patronymic from the personal name Clair
or the nickname Leclair (‘the cheerful one’): (fils) à Leclair ‘(son) of Leclair’. It has also absorbed cases of Auclerc (from LeClerc).
Variant of ODELIN
, which is not to be confused with ODELÍN
as it is Spanish while the other one is French, though they could have similar origins in name.
Southern French nickname from Gascon dialect audet "bird", variant of standard Occitan ausèl (modern French oiseau).
Derived from first name 'Alda' which means 'wise and experienced.'
AUERBACH German, Jewish
Topographical name for someone who lived by a stream (Middle High German bach
) that was near a swamp or marsh (auer
Italian (Campania) dialect variant of Uccello
‘bird’, hence either a nickname for a diminutive, birdlike person or an occupational name for a fowler. Compare Auciello
Originated in Germany. Means "Out of the Village". First used in the year 1135.
AUTRY English, French
A habitational name from any of the places in France named Autrey or Autry. French: from the Old French personal name Audry, from Germanic Aldric ‘ancient power’.
AVAMILANO Spanish, Italian
Of Spanish origin, but probably has its roots in Italy due to the word "milano" which means Milan in Italian.
AVENA Spanish, Italian
A traditionally Spanish and Italian occupational surname for a "grain grower or merchant", or the Italian habitation surname for Avena, Calabria. Means "oats". From the Latin avēna
meaning 'oats, wild oats, straw'.
Either (i) from the medieval French personal name Babel
, apparently adopted from that of St Babylas
, a 3rd-century Christian patriarch of Antioch, the origins of which are uncertain; or (ii) an invented Jewish name based on German or Polish Babel
BACKMAN English, Swedish, German
Combination of Old English bakke
"spine, back" and man
"man". In Swedish, the first element is more likely to be derived from Swedish backe
"hill", and in German the first element can be derived from German backen
"to bake"... [more]
BACON English, French, Norman
An occupational surname for someone who sold pork, from Middle English and Old French bacun
, meaning 'bacon', which is ultimately of Germanic origin. Can also be derived from the Germanic given names Baco
, or Bahho
, from the root bag-
, meaning 'to fight'... [more]
Derived from Old High German bero
The origins of this surname are uncertain, but it may be from Italian baffo
"mustache", with the Latinate feminine suffix probably due to the influence of the word famiglia
"family". Alternatively it may be Albanian in origin, of unexplained meaning.
From a nickname for someone with light brown or reddish-brown hair or beard, from baio
meaning "bay horse", ultimately derived from Late Latin badius
BALDACCHINO Maltese, Italian, Sicilian
Occupational name for an artisan who made the baldachin, also spelled baldaquin, a type of canopy used in cathedrals, from Italian baldacchino
"baldachin". This word is derived from Italian Baldacca
, a doublet of Bagdad
", the city where the material originally came from.
Occupational name or nickname for a dancer, Italian ballerino
, an agent derivative of ballare
Perhaps a topographic name from the dialect word balma
meaning ‘grotto’, ‘cave’, ‘jutting rock’.
Occupational name for a seller of spices and perfumes.
BALSANO German (Austrian), Italian
The roots of the distinguished surname Balzano lie in Austria. The name derives itself from "Balthasar," the name of one of the three Magi who followed the star to Bethlehem, and was popular as both a first name and a family name during the 18th century.... [more]
This interesting surname of German and Ashkenazic origin is a diminutive of the metonymic occupational name Band
, originally given to someone who made the wooden hoops with which wooden barrels were fastened together, deriving from the Germanic band
meaning "hoop", "band"... [more]
Nickname for someone with a beard, Old French barbe
From Middle High German barbe
, the name of a species of fish resembling the carp; hence by metonymy an occupational name for a fisherman or fish dealer, or possibly a nickname for someone thought to resemble the fish in some way.
Derogatory nickname from barbera ‘barber’s wife’, a term also used to denote a prostitute or dishonest woman. Catalan (Barberà): habitational name from a place in Tarragona province, named with Late Latin Barbarianum ‘place of Barbarius’, a derivative of Barbarus (see Barbaro)... [more]
During the middle ages, when people were named after their given job, Baril was what winemakers and brewers were named. Baril simply means "Barrel" or "Keg"
BARNO Italian, Ukrainian, French, Ancient Aramaic, Russian
The surname Barno was first found in the north of Italy, especially in Tuscany. The name occasionally appears in the south, usually in forms which end in "o," but the northern forms ending in "i" are much more common... [more]
BARON English, French
From the title of nobility, derived from Middle English & Old French baron
(ultimately of Germanic origin). Instead of referring to someone of rank, this surname referred to a service in a baronial household or a peasant with ideas above their station... [more]
Possibly a variant of Barreur
, an agent derivative of barrer ‘to bar’, ‘to close or block off’, hence possibly an occupational name for a jailer or doorkeeper.
Occupational name for a gatekeeper, from Old French barier
The history of the Barrineau family goes back to the Medieval landscape of northern France, to that coastal region known as Normandy. Barrineau is a habitation name, derived from the place name Barrault, in Normandy.... [more]
BARTEK Polish, Czech, Slovak, German
Polish, Czech, Slovak, and eastern German: from a pet form of a vernacular form of the personal name Bartolomaeus (Czech Bartoloměj, Polish Bartłomiej, German Bartolomäus)
BARWICK English, German
English: habitational name from any of various places called Barwick, for example in Norfolk, Somerset, and West Yorkshire, from Old English bere
‘barley’ + wic
‘outlying farm’, i.e. a granary lying some distance away from the main village.... [more]
Meaning of this name is unknown. Possibly derived from Sebastian
The surname Bastiat was first found in Poitou, where this family held a family seat since ancient times.
From St. John the Baptist, the first bearers of this name were devoted to this saint. Another etymology would be a patronymic from the given name Battista
, anyway linked to the aforementioned saint.
A French surname, coming from the word "baudelaire", which is a short, broad, and curved sword used in heraldry.
BAUDRIC French (Rare)
Derived from the medieval French given name Baudric
, which was a variant form of Baldéric
, the French form of Baldric
Derived from the medieval French given name Baudry
, which was a variant form of Baudric
, a given name that itself was a variant form of Baldéric
). A known bearer of this surname was the French painter Paul-Jacques-Aimé Baudry (1828-1886).
A surname originating from the Rhineland region of Germany. It is derived from German Bauer
in the locals dialects) "farmer" and Deich
in the local dialects) "levee" or Teich
Occupational name for a "builder" in German; from Middle High German 'buwen' 'to build' + meister 'master'. The surname has been used in the strategy series 'Chocolatier' by PlayFirst, one bearer of this is the grandmother of Alex Fletcher in the game, Evangeline Baumeister.
BAUMKÖTTER German (Modern)From the German words 'Baum' meaning 'tree' and 'Kötter' a type of villager who dwelt in a cottage, similar to the Scottish Cotter.
"Presumably a 'Baumkötter' earned money from a small orchard on their property."
Ethnic name from bavaro
"Bavarian" someone from Bavaria, now part of Germany, but formerly an independent kingdom.
BAY English, French, Dutch
Derived from Middle English and Old French bay
and Middle Dutch bay
, all meaning "reddish brown". It was originally a nickname for someone with a hair color similar to that.
BEAUCHAMP English, French
From the name of various places in France, for example in Manche and Somme, which was derived from Old French beu
meaning "fair, lovely" and champ
BEAUFAY French (Rare)
In most cases, this surname is a locational surname that most likely took its name from the village of Beaufay
, which is nowadays located in the Sarthe department of France. The village was called Bello Faeto
during the Early Middle Ages, ultimately deriving its name from Latin bellus fagus
(or bellum fagetum
) meaning "beautiful beech tree(s)" or "beautiful beech woodland"... [more]
Habitational name from any of various places in France named Beauregard for their fine view or fine aspect, for example in Ain, Dordogne, Drôme, Lot, and Puy-de-Dôme, from beau
"fair, lovely" and regard
Variant of Beauregard
used by one of the main characters in Roald Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" as well as its film and broadway adaptations.
BEAUSÉJOUR French (Rare)
Literally means "beautiful sojourn", derived from French beau
"beautiful, nice, fine" and French séjour
"sojourn, short stay". As such, this surname is most likely a locational surname, in that it originally referred to a scenic place to sojourn in... [more]
From French place names derived from "beautiful sight".
Shortened form of Becherer
as well as a surname given to for someone who distilled or worked with pitch, in which case it is derived from Middle High German bech / pech
BECHMANN German (Rare)
Surname denoting someone who worked with pitch, from Middle High German bech / pech
"pitch" and man
, a suffix which can mean "man" or simply be used as a name suffix.
A notable bearer was French scientist Henri Becquerel (1852-1908) who discovered radioactivity. A becquerel (Bq), the SI unit for radioactivity, is named after him.
BEEKMAN German, Anglo-Saxon
This name derives from the pre 5th century Olde German and later Anglo-Saxon word "bah" or "baecc". This word describes a stream, or as a name specifically someone who lived or worked by a stream.
BEER English, German, Dutch, German (Swiss)
Habitational name from any of the forty or so places in southwestern England called Beer(e) or Bear(e). Most of these derive their names from the West Saxon dative case, beara, of Old English bearu ‘grove’, ‘wood’ (the standard Old English dative bearwe being preserved in Barrow)... [more]
Nickname for a practical joker, from Italian beffa
Probably from French béguin
"(male) Beguin", referring to a member of a particular religious order active in the 13th century, and derived from the surname of Lambert le Bègue, the mid-12th-century priest responsible for starting it... [more]
From the German male personal name Behn
, a shortened form of Bernhard
. A famous bearer was the English novelist and dramatist Aphra Behn (1640-1689).
Habitational name for someone from either of two places called Behringen, near Soltau and in Thuringia, or from Böhringen in Württemberg.
This famous surname, one of the earliest recorded in history, and recorded in over two hundred spellings from Benedicte, Benech and Bennet, to Banish, Beinosovitch and Vedyasov, derives from the Roman personal name "Benedictus", meaning blessed.
Means "beautiful (as a) flower", derived from Italian bel
"beautiful" combined with Italian fiore
"flower". Two Italian sources claim that this surname was derived from the medieval masculine given name Belfiore
(which has of course the same meaning), but I can find no evidence that this was an actual given name in medieval Italy... [more]