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.
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]
From the place name Bellaria, in Milan, Veneto, Piedmont and Sicily, these homonyms widespread throughout Italy.
Name of Italian origin meaning "beautiful world". Famous bearers of the name are the French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo (1933-) and the Italian cross-country skier, twice Olympic champion and four times World champion Stefania Belmondo (1969-).
Occupational name for a furrier, from an agent derivative of Middle High German bel(li)z
From a derivative of Bene, a short form of the various omen names formed with this element (from Latin bene ‘well’), such as Benedetto, Benvenuto, etc.
BENDER German, German (East Prussian)
As a German surname, Bender is a regional occupational surname from the Rhineland area denoting a "barrel-maker" (the Standard German Fassbinder
became "Fassbender" in the local dialects and ultimately was shortened to Bender).... [more]
The distinguished surname Benelli originated in an area of Italy, known as the Papal States. Although people were originally known only by a single name, it became necessary for people to adapt a second name to identify themselves as populations grew and travel became more frequent... [more]
Occupational name for a basket and bassinet maker, from an agent derivative of Middle High German benne 'work basket', 'bassinet', 'cradle'.
From the Germanic name Berno, which was derived from Old German "bero", meaning bear.
South German: (in Alemannic areas) from a short form of the Germanic personal name Berthold, or to a lesser extent of Bernhard
Possibly a habitational name from a place called Berber near Kevelaer.
Traced to 1437, Bergamo. A 'bergamini' was known as a person famrmed and sold milk cows
Origin unidentified. Possibly a German habitational name from places in Hamburg and Lower Saxony called Bergedorf, Bargdorf in Lower Saxony, or Bergsdorf in Brandenburg.
Topographical name for someone who lived by a wilderness area on a mountain, from Berg 'mountain', 'hill' + Horst 'wilderness' (see Horst
From the name of a village located in the Piedmont province in Italy. A notable bearer is Pope Francis (born Jorge Mario Bergoglio), the current Pope of the Catholic Church.
BERLIN German, English
Habitational name from the city in Germany, the name of which is of uncertain meaning. It is possibly derived from an Old Slavic stem berl-
or from a West Slavic word meaning "river lake".
BERN German, Scandinavian, German (Swiss)
German and Scandinavian: from the personal name Berno, a pet form of Bernhard. In South German it comes from the habitational name from Bern, Switzerland, notably in the south; in other parts from the personal name Berno
BERNADOTTE French, Swedish
Possibly from the name of a historical province in Southern France named Béarn
. This was originally a French non-noble surname. French general Jean Baptise Bernadotte (1763-1844) became the king of Sweden as Charles XIV John (Swedish: Karl XIV Johan) in 1818 and founded the current royal house in Sweden, House of Bernadotte.
The surname of BERNASCONI is of Italian origin, a locational name meaning the dweller on or near a small hill. The names of habitation are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages, farmsteads or other named habitations... [more]
BERNER German, Low German
German habitational name, in Silesia denoting someone from a place called Berna (of which there are two examples); in southern Germany and Switzerland denoting someone from the Swiss city of Berne. ... [more]
An Americanized variant of the German surname, "Bergfeld", meaning "mountain field".
Bernini was the surname of famous sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680).
, originally meaning ‘hooded cloak’ (Latin birrus
), later ‘headdress’, ‘bonnet’, hence a metonymic occupational name for a maker of such headgear or a nickname for an habitual wearer.
Habitational name from some minor place named with Old French bel ru
"beautiful stream", with the subsequent pleonastic addition of bé
, variant of bel
Of uncertain origin; possibly from the name of a place or river.
BETHENCOURT French, English, Portuguese (Rare)BETTENCOURT
and Bethencourt are originally place-names in Northern France. The place-name element -court (courtyard, courtyard of a farm, farm) is typical of the French provinces, where the Frankish settlements formed an important part of the local population... [more]
BETTENCOURT French, English, Portuguese (Rare)
Bettencourt and BETHENCOURT
are originally place-names in Northern France. The place-name element -court (courtyard, courtyard of a farm, farm) is typical of the French provinces, where the Frankish settlements formed an important part of the local population... [more]
Nickname from bever ‘beaver’, possibly referring to a hard worker, or from some other fancied resemblance to the animal.
BEVIER French (German)
From Old French bevier
, meaning "a measure of land". This was probably a nickname for someone who owned or worked such a piece of land. This surname was first found in Austria, where the name Bevier came from humble beginnings but gained a significant reputation for its contribution to the emerging medieval society.
From Italian bevi l'acqua
"drinks water", a nickname likely applied ironically to an alcoholic.
Likely a variant of German BAER
, meaning "bear". A notable bearer is character Friedrich Bhaer, Jo's husband in Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
BICKEL German, German (Swiss), Jewish
German: from bickel ‘pickaxe’ or ‘chisel’, hence a metonymic occupational name for someone who made pickaxes or worked with a pickaxe or for a stonemason. South German: from a pet form of Burkhart... [more]
BIELER German, Jewish
Jewish (Ashkenazic): habitational name from any of the many places in eastern Europe whose name incorporates the Slavic element byel-
German: topographic name for someone who lived by a pear tree, Middle Low German berbom. Compare BIRNBAUM
From a personal name composed of the Germanic elements bil
"sword" (or possibly bili
"gentle") + wald
Comes from a diminutive of Bino. Italianized form of French 'Binet'
. Habitational name from a place called Binetto (named with Latin vinetum ‘vineyard’) in Bari province.
Comes from the given name ALBINO
and other names ending with -bino
Possibly a variant of BINETTI
, or a diminutive of Bino
. Popular in the Marche
region in Italy.
BIRCH English, German, Danish, Swedish (Rare)
From Middle High German birche
, Old English birce
, Old Danish birk
, all meaning "birch". This was likely a topographic name for someone living by a birch tree or a birch forest... [more]
Either a variant of BUERK
or a habitational name derived from places named Birk, Birke, or Birken.
Topographic name for someone who lived by a pear tree, from Middle High German bir
"pear" and boum
Occupational name for a cooper, from Middle High German büte(n)
"cask", "(wine) barrel" + binder
"binder" (agent derivative of binden
Mainly used in Southern France. Topographic name for someone who lived by an oak grove, originating in the southeastern French dialect word blache ‘oak plantation’ (said to be of Gaulish origin), originally a plantation of young trees of any kind.
BLASIUS German, Dutch, Scandinavian
From the Latin personal name Blasius
. This was a Roman family name, originating as a byname for someone with some defect, either of speech or gait, from Latin blaesus
"stammering" (compare Greek blaisos
German last name, likely a variant of the last name Blom or Blum, referring to the word flower/blooming.
This surname is presumed to be coming from a nickname for a fast runner or a quick tempered person, from German blitz(er)
meaning "lightning" (ultimately from Middle High German blicze
German alternate spelling of the Italian surname, BLUM
BLUTH German, Jewish
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): ornamental name from Middle High German bluot, German Blüte ‘bloom’, ‘flower head’. ... [more]
The Italian family name is classified as being of nickname origin. The most obvious are those names which are based on a physical characteristic or personal attribute of the initial bearer. In this particular instance, according to the author Emedio De Felice, the family name Bocchino derives from "bocca", meaning "mouth", in turn derived from the Latin word "bucca".De Felice states that this family name may not only have arisen from a nickname which described the mouth in a literal sense, since "bocca" in a figurative sense designated such things such things as intelligence and veracity.... [more]
A famous bearer is Ben Bocquelet (1983-), the creator of the British-American animated television series, The Amazing World Of Gumball.
Bodeman is an occupational name meaning "adherent of the royal messenger".
BODEN German, Low German
Patronymic from the personal name BODE
or a topographic name for someone living in a valley bottom or the low-lying area of a field. From Middle High German boden
The United State Version of Bodi is an alteration of the French name Baudin. The name also has roots from Hungary.
Probably derived from various Germanic personal names beginning with Bod-
"messenger", or from the habitational name Boddin, name of several places in Mecklenburg and Brandenburg.
Occupational name for a cooper, from Middle High German botecher
, an agent derivative of botech(e)
BOLD German, English
English: nickname from Middle English bold ‘courageous’, ‘daring’ (Old English b(e)ald, cognate with Old High German bald). In some cases it may derive from an Old English personal name (see Bald)... [more]
From the Germanic personal name BALDO
, a short form of the various compound names with the first element bald
From a personal name composed of the Germanic elements boll "friend", "brother" + hard
BOLLING English, German
nickname for someone with close-cropped hair or a large head, Middle English bolling 'pollard', or for a heavy drinker, from Middle English bolling 'excessive drinking'. German (Bölling): from a personal name BALDWIN
May designate a creator of bolts for crossbows or bowmen. May also be a short form of BALDWIN
"Bona" comes from the Italian for good, "Buona" and "cci" is ancient Latin form for "man." Thus, "the good man." A derivation of FiBonacci, or "son of Bonacci." Was the name of the famous mathematician, Leondardo de Pisa: Leonardo of Pisa is now known as Fibonacci pronounced fib-on-arch-ee
short for filius Bonacci... [more]
This is a surname formed from the Latin root "bonus" (= good) and the Germanic "wald" (waldan = govern). Bonwald meaning good governor.
From the medieval personal name BONANNO
, an omen name meaning "good year". Mainly found throughout southern Italy.
Comes from the pesonal name 'Bona
' which is derived from Latin 'bonus
', which means 'great'
Italian from the medieval personal name Bongiorno
(composed of bono
‘good’ + giorno
‘day’), bestowed on a child as an expression of the parents’ satisfaction at the birth (‘it was a good day when you were born’).
Comes from the personal name GIOVANNI
composed of the elements bon
‘good’ + Giovanni
, Italian equivalent of John
Literally means "good house", derived from French bonne
"good" and French maison
"house". As such, this surname is most likely a locational surname, in that it originally either referred to someone who lived in a good house (probably more like a mansion) or to someone who was born in (or lived in) the place Bonnemaison, which is nowadays located in the Calvados department of France... [more]
Bonsor is from French origin mean good day Bon soir
BONUS French, German, Dutch
Humanistic Latinization of vernacular names meaning ‘good’, for example French Lebon or Dutch de Goede
BOOMHOUWER German, Dutch
Boomhouwer, means "Cutter of Trees", or "The one who hews trees", having Boom translating into "tree", houw meaning to "hew" or to "cut", and er meaning "the one who".... [more]
BOOT English, Dutch, German
English: metonymic occupational name for a maker or seller of boots, from Middle English, Old French bote (of unknown origin).... [more]
A variant spelling of Bartner, a job name for a battle axe maker.
Of unclear origin, most likely a variant of the German surname BORN
Borgo is an Italian surname, which means 'village' or 'borough'.
This surname is presumed to be a variant of Bornemann
, which is made up of Middle Low German born
meaning "spring" and man
meaning "man," denoting someone who lived by a spring or a well.
BORN German, English
A topographical name indicating someone who lived near a stream, from the Old English "burna, burne". Alternatively, it could be contemporarily derived from the modern English word "born". Possible variants include BOURNE
From the medieval personal name Boso, from a Germanic personal name derived from a pejorative nickname meaning ‘leader’, ‘nobleman’, or ‘arrogant person’. Compare Dutch Boos.
Occupational name for a cooper, from an agent derivative of Old French bosse
BOSWELL French (Anglicized)
"The name Boswell is an Anglicization of the name of a French village: Boseville (Beuzeville)". This was a village of 1400 inhabitants near Yvetot, in Normandy. (from “A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames”, by Charles W. Bardsley, New York, 1901)... [more]
Variant of BEAUDREAU
. Originated in ancient area known as Languedoc, where the family was established. Comes from having lived in Languedoc, where the name was found since the early Middle Ages.
The Bourbons were one of the most important ruling houses of Europe . Its members were descended from Louis I, duc de Bourbon from 1327 to 1342, the grandson of the French king Louis IX (ruled 1226-70)... [more]
Occupational name for a herdsman, from Old French bouvier
, Late Latin boviarus
, a derivative of bos
, genetive bovis
It is the surname of the famous fictional character Emma Bovary protagonist of Gustave Flaubert's novel.
Means "Ox Gaurd," "Ox Leader", and/or "Boy". Origin is French.
Habitational name for someone from Bräg in Bavaria.
Braille is a writing system used by people with vision impairment. It was named after its inventor LOUIS
BRANCACCIA Italian (Rare)
Derived from the medieval Italian given name Brancazia
, which is the feminine form of the masculine given name Brancazio
. For more information, please see the entry for the patronymic surname BRANCAZIO
Variant form of BRANCAZIO
. There are a few sources that claim that the surname is derived from a place name (which would make it a locational surname), but that claim is incorrect, as all Italian geographical places carrying the name Brancaccio
were either established long after the Middle Ages (by which time virtually all Italians already had a hereditary surname) or were named after a person who had Brancaccio for a surname... [more]
Derived from the medieval Italian masculine given name Brancaleone
, which means either "a lion's paw" or "he who captures the lion". In the case of the former meaning, the name is derived from Italian branca
meaning "paw, claw" combined with Italian leone
meaning "lion"... [more]
BRANCATELLA Italian (Rare)
Derived from the feminine given name Brancatella
, which is a diminutive of the medieval Italian given name Brancazia
, the feminine form of the masculine given name Brancazio
. For more information about this, please see the entry for the patronymic surname of BRANCAZIO
BRANCATELLO Italian (Rare)
Derived from the masculine given name Brancatello
, which is a diminutive of the medieval Italian given name Brancazio
, itself ultimately derived from the late Latin given name Brancatius
This surname can be derived from a given name (thus making it a patronymic surname) as well as from a place name (thus making it a locational surname). In the case of a patronymic surname, the surname is derived from the medieval Italian given name Brancato
, which is a variant form of the given name Brancazio
, itself ultimately derived from the late Latin given name Brancatius
BRANCAZIO Italian (Rare)
Derived from the medieval Italian masculine given name Brancazio
, which itself is derived from Brancatius
(also found spelled as Brancaccius
), a late Latin corruption of the given name PANCRATIUS
From Old French branche
meaning ‘branch’ (which is from Late Latin branca
meaning ‘foot’, ‘paw’), the application of which as a surname is not clear. Compare BRANCH
BRANDIS German, Jewish, Swiss
German & Swiss: Habitational name from a former Brandis castle in Emmental near Bern, Switzerland, or from any of the places so named in Saxony, Germany. A famous bearer of the name is Jonathan Brandis
French and English (of both Norman and Huguenot origin): occupational name for a brewer, from Old French brasser
‘to brew’. See also BRASHER
BRAUNERSHRITHER German, Dutch, English
This name mean Leather (Tanned) Knight, or a fighter of leather armor, or in Dutch, Leather writer, one who branded print on leather
From a short form of any of various personal names formed with Germanic element berth
" bright" "famous".
From Middle High German breit
meaning "broad". a nickname for a stout or fat person.
Derived from the name of a town called "Britz" in Germany + the suffix "mann" for man.
BRETON French, English
French and English: ethnic name for a Breton, from Old French bret
(oblique case breton
) (see BRETT
French: nickname from Old French bref ‘small’ + the derogatory suffix -ard.... [more]
This surname originates from the province of Cuneo in the Piedmont region of Italy. It is probably derived from Piedmontese brijador
meaning "postilion, coachman", which itself is ultimately derived from Piedmontese bria
meaning "bridles, reins".... [more]
BRINER German (Swiss)
Habitational name for someone from Brin in Grison canton (Graubünden) or from the Brin valley.
North German topographic name for someone who lived by a swamp, from Middle Low German brook bog
+ the suffix -er denoting an inhabitant.
German in origin, in heraldry a "brock" is represented by a badger. It could mean wet/water and man. It also has been said to mean broker.
BROOK German, Dutch
Topographic name for someone who lived by a water meadow or marsh, from Low German brook
, Dutch broek
Topographic name for someone who lived by a marsh or a stream that frequently flooded, from Middle High German bruoch
"water meadow" or "marsh" (cognate to old English broc
"brook", "stream" cf... [more]
Topographic name for someone who lived near a bridge, or an occupational name for a bridge keeper or toll collector on a bridge, from Middle High German bruck(e)
Topographic name for someone living by a bridge or an occupational name for a bridge toll collector; a variant of BRUCK
with the addition of the suffix -ner.
From a byname meaning "brother", occasionally used for a younger son, i.e. the brother of someone important, or for a guild member.
BRUECKNER German, German (Silesian)
German (Brückner): from Middle Low German brugge, Middle High German brugge, brücke, brügge ‘bridge’ + the agent suffix -ner, hence a topographic name for someone living by a bridge, an occupational name for a bridge toll collector, or in the southeast (Silesia for example) a bridge keeper or repairer... [more]
BRUEGGEMANN Low German, German
North German (Brüggemann): topographic name for someone who lived near a bridge or a metonymic occupational name for a bridge keeper or street paver, Middle Low German brüggeman (see BRUCKMAN
This is my 2nd great uncle's wife's Surname of German ancestry.
BRUGGER German, American
South German variant or Americanized spelling of North German Brügger (see BRUEGGER
). habitational name for someone from any of various (southern) places called Bruck or Brugg in Bavaria and Austria.
BRUGMAN Dutch, Swiss
Dutch: topographic name for someone who lived near a bridge or a metonymic occupational name for a bridge keeper, from Dutch brugge ‘bridge’ (see BRIDGE
); in some cases, it is a habitational name for someone from the Flemish city of Bruges
), meaning ‘bridges’... [more]