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.
"parsley", a southern dialect variant of prezzemolo.
German. Derives from a pet form of a Slavic version of the given name Peter
In the war there was a French resistance fighter named Maurice Peureux.
Unknown meaning. French surname. Famous bearer of this name is Bruno Peyron and the German princess Louise Peyron (1918-1989).... [more]
From Middle High German pfarr 'district' 'parish' or pfarre(r) 'parish priest', hence an occupational name for a parson.
PFEFFER German, Jewish
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).
Topographic name from piana ‘plain’, ‘level ground’, from Latin planus, or a habitational name from any of the places named with this word.
Topographic name for someone who lived on a plain or plateau, Italian piano (Latin planum, from the adjective planus ‘flat’, ‘level’).
PICA Italian, Catalan
Nickname for a gossipy or garrulous person, from the central-southern Italian word pica ‘magpie’. Compare Picazo.Catalan: habitational name from any of the numerous places called Pica.Catalan: from either pica ‘pointed object’ (weapon, etc.) or a derivative of picar ‘to prick’.
Picard is the name given to a person from Picardy, a historical region and cultural area of France. The Star Trek: Next Generation Jean-Luc Picard has this name.
PIÉNOEL French (Rare)
French surname that possibly refers to the buckled shoes that the original bearer was wearing, in which case it is derived from Old French pié
meaning "foot" combined with Old French noiel
meaning "buckle"... [more]
The derivation of the name Pietrafesa comes from the cracked aspect of the mountain on which it rose. In Italian "Pietra" mean Rock and "-fesa" comes from the Italian word fessura meaning cracked.... [more]
Perhaps related to the English surname Pickett
. A notable bearer is French economist Thomas Piketty (1971-).
Meaning unknown, possibly derived from Middle French pilot
both meaning "stake, pole". This is the name of a wealthy merchant family from Besançon, France.
PIN French, Dutch
A topographic name for someone living by a pine tree or in a pine forest, or a habitational name from a place named with the Old French word pin
, meaning ‘pine’.
A combination of "pinin", Piedmontese for youngest/smallest brother, and FARINA
, the Italian variant of MILLER
. This is the name of the Italian coachbuilder, founded by Battista "Pinin" Farina, later Battista Pininfarina.
PINK English, German
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]
PINN English, German
A metonymic occupational name for a maker of pins or pegs, which is from Middle English pin
and Middle Low German pinne
meaning ‘pin’ or ‘peg’. In some cases, the German name was an metonymic occupational name for a shoemaker.
PIONKE German, Polish
Germanized form of Slavic Pinoek, which is a nickname from pionek ‘puppet’.
Habitational name from the city of Pisa in Tuscany. The city was probably founded by Greek colonists, but before coming under Roman control it was in the hands of the Etruscans, who probably gave it its name... [more]
From a reduced form of episcopo
"bishop" (Greek episkopos
"bishop", literally "overseer"), hence a metonymic occupational name for someone in the service of a bishop, or perhaps a nickname for a pompous person.
PITCHER English, German
From an agent derivative of Middle English pich
‘pitch’, hence an occupational name for a caulker, one who sealed the seams of ships or barrels with pitch. English variant of Pickard
. Possibly from German Pitscher
, from the short form of a personal name formed with Old High German bitan
‘to endure’, or bittan
‘to wish or ask for’.
A surname which originally belonged to a person who lived by a pit or hollow. Meaning "King of the Pit" or "King of the Hollow".
Italian surname derived from a nickname meaning ‘malicious’.
PLUM English, 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]
PLUMER German, 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]
PLUMIER French, Belgian
Possibly an occupational name for a dealer in feathers and quills, from an agent derivative of Old French plume
"feather, plume" (compare English and Dutch Plumer
). This was borne by French botanist and monk Charles Plumier (1646-1704), after whom the genus Plumeria is named.
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]
POIROT French, Literature
A French occupational name referring to a merchant who sells pears (poire
). Used by Agatha Christie for her Belgian private detective Hercule Poirot, but she came up with the name by combining the surnames Poiret
, the names of two contemporary fictional detectives.
Poisson is the French word for fish, and was given to one who was a fishmonger, fisherman, or could be a nickname for one who had the appearance similar to a fish.
POLAND English, 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]
Means "son of Polidoro
". Famous bearers include John William Polidori (1795-1821), a physician to Lord Byron and author of 'The Vampyre' (1819), and his sister Frances Polidori (1800-1886), the mother of painter and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti, poet Christina Rossetti, critic William Michael Rossetti, and author Maria Francesca Rossetti.
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.
Habitational name from a place called Pompei in Naples province. Or a patronymic or plural form of POMPEO
Means "bridge builder". Comes from the French word pont
, which means bridge. ... [more]
POPP German, English
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]
Occupational name for a female servant, from Spanish portera.
PORTUGAL Spanish, Portuguese, English, Catalan, French, Jewish
Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, English, French, and Jewish surname meaning ethnic name or regional name for someone from Portugal or who had connections with Portugal. The name of the country derives from Late Latin Portucale, originally denoting the district around Oporto (Portus Cales, named with Latin portus ‘port’, ‘harbor’ + Cales, the ancient name of the city)... [more]
Spanish: habitational name from any of the numerous places named Posada, from posada ‘halt’, ‘resting place’. ... [more]
POSEY English, French
Derived from the Greek word "desposyni." The Desposyni is a term referring to a group of people that are allegedly direct blood relatives to Jesus. They are mentioned in Mark 3:21 and Mark 3:31. American actress Parker Posey is a famous bearer.
POTEET English, French
From the French name Pottet
, which is derived from pot
meaning "pot", originally a name for a potter.
Nickname for a chatterer or grumbler, from an agent derivative of Middle High German breglen ‘to chatter’, ‘complain’, ‘yell’, ‘roar’.
PREVOST French, English
Derived from Old French prevost
meaning "provost" (ultimately from Latin praepositus
, the past participle of praeponere
meaning "to place in charge") which is a status name for any of the various officials in a position of responsibility.
A prevot was a govenment position during the Ancient Régime
PRINCE English, French
Nickname from Middle English, Old French prince
), presumably denoting someone who behaved in a regal manner or who had won the title in some contest of skill.
PRÍNCIPE Italian, Spanish
"prince, heir" (Latin princeps
, genitive principis
, from primus
"first" and capere
"to take"), applied probably as a nickname for someone who gave himself airs and graces or for someone in the service of a prince.
PRIOR English, 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.
PRIVETT French, English, Welsh (?)
French, from the given name Privat (see PRIVATUS
). Also an English habitational name from a place so named in Hampshire, derived from Old English pryfet
Habitational name from Procida, one of the Flegrean Islands off the coast of Naples in southern Italy.
From the name of a place in Italy. The meaning is uncertain, but it might be derived from Greek πρωία
PROPHET English, 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.
Variant of the French nickname Preaux
meaning "wise, worthy, valiant". A famous bearer is Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust--simply known as Marcel Proust--(1871-1922), a French author.
From the French word for the flower periwinkle. (pervenche) Brought to Canada from France in 1660 by Sebastien Provencher.
PROVOST English, French
Derived from the Middle English provost
; referring to the person who heads a religious chapter in a cathedral or educational establishment. It was also used as a nickname for a self-important person and is a French variant of Prevost
PRUDHOMME French, English, Norman, Medieval French
French (Prud’homme) and English (of Norman origin): nickname from Old French prud’homme ‘wise’, ‘sensible man’, a cliché term of approbation from the chivalric romances. It is a compound of Old French proz, prod ‘good’, with the vowel influenced by crossing with prudent ‘wise’ + homme ‘man’... [more]
PRUE English, French
English: nickname for a redoubtable warrior, from Middle English prou(s)
‘brave’, ‘valiant’ (Old French proux
Of Slavic origin, habitational name from Podewils in Pomerania.
Most likely derived from the feminine form of the Italian word pugno
which means "fist".
The Italian family name Pugno is considered by scholars to be of nickname origin. While the majority of surnames that are derived from a sobriquet or nickname reveal to us some aspect of the physical appearance of the initial bearer of the name or may allude to a characteristic of this person, other nickname family names make reference to a particular piece of clothing or favorite article or indeed a favorite color of the bearer of the name... [more]
PULSIPHER Italian (Anglicized)
from the nickname meaning "handsome man" of a member of the Italian Pulci family who settled in England around the time of the Norman conquest
PULVER Low 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.
Habitational name form Pusey in Haute-Saône, so named from a Gallo-Roman personal name, Pusius, + the locative suffix -acum.
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]
QUINTO Aragonese, Spanish, Catalan, Italian
Habitational surname for a person from a place called Quinto, for example in Zaragoza province. However, the high concentration of the surname in Alacant province suggests that, in some cases at least, it may derive from the personal name Quinto
(from Latin Quintus
denoting the fifth-born child or Catalan quinto
"young soldier").... [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.
Occupational name, which was derived from the kind of work done by the original bearer. It is a name for a wheelmaker or wheelwright. The name stems from the German noun rat, meaning wheel. The origin is more clear in the variant "Rademacher."
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.
Habitational name from Ragusa in Sicily, or from the ancient city of Dubrovnik on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia (Italian name Ragusa).
Nickname for a rough individual, from a North German variant of Rauh
RAISCH German, 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’.
RAMAGE French, Scottish
From a medieval Scottish nickname for a hot-tempered or unpredictable person (from Old French ramage
"wild, uncontrollable" (applied to birds of prey)).
RAMP German (Swiss)
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.
Habitational name from a place in Catania called Randazzo. Possibly from a derivative of the personal name Rando.
RANDEL French, German
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
RANDOLPH English, German
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
RANGE German, French
German: nickname for a ragamuffin, from Middle High German range
‘naughty boy’, ‘urchin’.... [more]
RANGER English, 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]
RAPPA Italian, Sicilian
from Sicilian rappa
meaning ‘bunch, cluster’ or Italian rappa
meaning ‘lock, quiff’, which was presumably applied as a nickname with reference to someone’s hair.
From a personal name composed of the Germanic elements rad
"counsel", "advice" + bald
RATHER German, Jewish
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".
From a local variant of the personal name Rao, an old form of RALPH
RÄUBER German, 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).
RAVENEL English, French
Habitational name from Ravenel in Oise or a metonymic occupational name for a grower or seller of horseradish, from a diminutive of Old French ravene
‘horseradish’ (Latin raphanus
RAYMOND English, French
From the Norman personal name Raimund
, composed of the Germanic elements ragin
"advice, counsel" and mund
This can derive from several different sources: southern French réal
"royal", a word which was applied to someone either as a nickname (presumably given to people perceived as being regal) or as an occupational name (given to a person in the service of the king); or the French place name Réal
, in which case this is a habitational name taken from any of various places which were named for having been part of a royal domain (also compare Reau
From reale "royal", either an occupational name for someone in the service of a king or a nickname for someone who behaved in a regal manner.
Probably a habitational name from a place so named in the Rhineland.
RECHT German, Jewish
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.
REICH German, Jewish
Nickname for a wealthy or powerful man, from Middle High German rīch
"of noble descent, powerful, rich", German reich
From a short form of a personal name containing the Old High German element rīhhi
Habitational name from places named Reichstein (in Saxony) or Reichenstein (in Rhineland, Schleswig-Holstein, and Württemberg).
From a pet form of a Germanic personal name formed with a first element from ragin 'advice', 'counsel' or ric 'power(ful)', 'rich'.
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
Comes from a personal name Raginhard, composed of the elements ragin, meaning counsel, with hard, hardy, brave, strong.
Reinking is a German-derived surname meaning "one who is neat and tidy"
REISER German, 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.
Famous bearer: Actress and Scientology critic Leah Remini.
RENGEL German (Swiss)
From a pet form of a Germanic personal name formed with rang
"curved", "bending"; "slender".
REPASS German (Swiss)
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
From an Italian nickname derived from the dialectal word restivu meaning "uncommunicative, reserved".
REUSSER Swiss, 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').
RHINE German, 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]
RICHERS English, German
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
RICHIE English (Rare), Italian
Diminutive form of Richard
. It could also have been a nickname for one who was rich or wealthy, or, in Italy, a variant of Ricci
. Famous bearers include American musician Lionel Richie (1949-).
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
A habitational name for someone from a place named Riding or Rieding. It is also possibly an altered spelling of Reitinger
, a topographic name from Reit(e)
, which means ‘clearing’ (Old High German riuti
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.
RIESER Swiss, German
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".