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.
German: distinguishing nickname for a farmer whose land included heathland, from Middle Low German heide ‘heath’, ‘wasteland’ + Meyer
Occupational name for a thresher, from Middle High German helwe 'chaff' + the agent suffix -er; alternatively, it could be a habitational name from a place called Helba near Meiningen.
Meaning "half penny" or a cheap /stingy man Know surname in Germany andSwitzerland. Helblings were French Huguenot
The German word for "hero", ultimately derived from Middle High German helt
Metonymic occupational name for an assistant of some kind, or nickname for a helpful person, from Middle High German hëlfære, German Helfer 'helper', 'assistant'.
Derived from germanic: hildtja = battle, brandt = sword, or prandt = burning wood/torch. Other view: Hilda is the Nordic Queen of the Underworld, Goddes of Death, so Sword/Torch of Hilda.... [more]
Nickname from the small medieval coin known as the häller or heller because it was first minted (in 1208) at the Swabian town of (Schwäbisch) Hall.
HELLWIG German, Dutch
Curiously it started out life in ancient history as the baptismal name, Hell-wig. "luck" & "war;" this name literally translates to, "battle-battle."
HELMEYER German, Dutch, Danish
From Hel in Norse mythology and Meyer meaning "higher, superior". It means ´blessed´ or ´holy´. The name is mostly found in Germany, but also in the Netherlands and some parts of Denmark.
HENCE German, English, Welsh
An American spelling variant of Hentz
derived from a German nickname for Hans
or from an English habitation name found in Staffordshire or Shropshire and meaning "road or path" in Welsh.
Occupational name for an Executioner, from the German word "Henker" meaning Hangman.
HENLEY English, Irish, German (Anglicized)
English: habitational name from any of the various places so called. Most, for example those in Oxfordshire, Suffolk, and Warwickshire, are named with Old English héan
(the weak dative case of heah
‘high’, originally used after a preposition and article) + Old English leah
‘wood’, ‘clearing’... [more]
HERBARTH German, Norman
References Old Norse Deity "Odin" being one of the "Son's of Odin". Remember that the Geats became the Ostrogoths through the Denmark pass--referenced in Beowulf. Or, it means "Warrior of the Bearded One", perhaps a King... [more]
Habitational name for someone from either of two places called Herbolzheim, in Baden and Bavaria.
An occupational surname in reference to herding animals. The anglicized pronounciation is "Her-der", but is Germanically pronounced, "Herr-der".
Habitational name for someone from Hergenroth near Limburg or from Hergenrode near Darmstadt, both in Hessen.
The ancestral home of the Hertzel family is in the German province of Bavaria. Hertzel is a German nickname surname. Such names came from eke-names, or added names, that described their initial bearer through reference to a physical characteristic or other attribute... [more]
HESS German (?)
It is arguably both tribal and residential, originating from the pre 10th century A.D. It is believed to have originally described people who came from the region known as Hesse. The translation of this name is the 'hooded people'
Deriving from one of several places named Hausen.
, a pet form of any of the Germanic personal names formed with hild
"strife", "battle" as the first element.
Topographic name for someone living near a hiedl
HILBERT English, French, Dutch, German
English, French, Dutch, and German: from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements hild ‘strife’, ‘battle’ + berht ‘bright’, ‘famous’.
German: Variant of Hillegass from a variant of the Germanic personal name Hildegaud, composed of hild ‘strife’, ‘battle’ + got, of uncertain meaning (perhaps the same word as Goth).
HIMMLER German, History
Derived from German Himmel
"heaven, sky". This was a topographic name for someone living at a high altitude. ... [more]
HINKEBEIN Dutch, German
Nickname for someone with a limp, from Middle Low German hinken meaning "to limp" + bein meaning "leg".
Nickname for a timid, fearful person, from dialect hinkel ‘chicken’
Elaborated variant of Hinkel, with the addition of Middle High German 'man'.
HINTZELL German (German, Modern, Rare)
Variant from name Hintz which was popular in Saxony and Hessen. Name later used in German Prussia. The name Hintz originates as a short form of the personal name Heinrich.
Topographic name for someone living by a hedge, from a dialect variant of Heck
In relation to Hock a wine producing region and probably being adopted into Britain via Anglo Saxon settlers.
Habitational name from any of several places so named in Pomerania and East Prussia, or perhaps from Hohenseeden near Magdeburg.
Derived from Middle High German hon
"chicken". As a surname, it was given to someone who either bred or traded in chickens.... [more]
HOLBROOK English, German (Anglicized)
English: habitational name from any of various places, for example in Derbyshire, Dorset, and Suffolk, so called from Old English hol
‘hollow’, ‘sunken’ + broc
‘stream’. ... [more]
HOLLIER English, French
Occupational name for a male brothel keeper, from a dissimilated variant of Old French horier
"pimp", which was the agent noun of hore
"whore, prostitute". Hollier
was probably also used as an abusive nickname in Middle English and Old French.... [more]
HOLTER English, German, Norwegian
Derived from English holt
meaning "small wood". A topographic name for someone who lived near a small wooden area, as well as a habitational name from a place named with that element.
Old German name meaning "Wood Island". Holt means wood and ey means island. Family can be traced back to around 650 A.D. and is located in the Ruhr and Essen area of Germany.
North German: topographic name for someone who lived by a copse (a small group of trees), from Middle Low German holt ‘small wood’ + haus ‘house’.
HOLTZCLAW German (Anglicized, Modern)
Americanized spelling of German Holzklau
, which translates into modern German as "wood thief", but is probably a nickname for someone who gathered wood, from Middle High German holz "wood" + a derivative of kluben "to pick up", "gather", "steal".
HOLZINGER German, Jewish
Habitational name for someone from any of various places called Holzing or Holzingen.
HONIG German, Jewish
Metonymic name for a gatherer or seller of honey, from Middle High German honec
"honey", German Honig
HOOT Dutch, German
The Dutch form is a habitation name for someone who lived in the hout
or "woods" while the German form hoth
is from an occupational name for a maker of hats.
The distinguished surname Hormann is of very ancient German origin. It is derived from a Germanic personal name made up of the elements "heri," meaning "army," and "man," meaning "man."
HORNEY German (Anglicized)
German: Eastphalian or Americanized form of a personal name composed of the Germanic elements hard ‘hardy’, ‘brave’, ‘strong’ + nit ‘battle fury’, ‘eagerness to fight’, or a habitational name from a place so called in Brandenburg or in the Rhineland... [more]
This denotes familial origin in the former village of Hörschel (annexed to Eisenach in 1994).
Surname probably of German origin. Most people with this surname live in Poland today.
The name itself comes from the word Hostet or Hochstatt meaning "high place". Thus Hostetler is someone living in a high place or on high ground.
Nickname from Middle Dutch houck, a marine fish, or from Middle Dutch hoec, houck ‘buck’. variant of Hoek.
HOWDYSHELL American, German
Americanized (i.e., Anglicized) form of the Swiss German Haudenschild
, which originated as a nickname for a ferocious soldier, literally meaning "hack the shield" from Middle High German houwen
"to chop or hack" (imperative houw
) combined with den
(accusative form of the definite article) and schilt
Nickname from Middle High German hübesch 'courtly', 'polite', 'refined', 'agreeable', German hübsch.
From the Germanic personal name Hufo
, a short form of a compound name formed with hug
"heart, mind, spirit" as the first element.
Victor Hugo was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. He was also the writer of 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' and 'Les Misérables'.
HUMBERT German, Dutch, French
From a Germanic personal name composed of the elements hun
"Hun, giant" or hun
"bear cub" and berht
"bright, famous". This was particularly popular in the Netherlands and North Germany during the Middle Ages as a result of the fame of a 7th-century St... [more]
HUMBOLDT German (?)
Derived from the Germanic given name Hunibald
. Notable bearers of this surname were Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), a Prussian naturalist, geographer, explorer and polymath, and his brother Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767-1835), a linguist, philosopher and diplomat.
A nickname for a wealthy man, from Middle High German hundert meaning "hundred" + mark, a denomination of coin.
Habitational name for someone from a place called Hunsberg or Huntsberg.
Habitational name for someone from Hintschingen, earlier Huntzingen.
Topographic name from Middle High German hurst
The name was originally spelled "Hustedt" and means "homestead." The family name originated in northern Germany. One branch of the family migrated to England, and a branch of that family to the United States.
Probably from a topographic name Huck or Hucks, of uncertain origin. It occurs in many place and field names.
Possibly from a shortened form of the personal name Ianni + varone, a variant of barone ‘baron’; literally ‘baron John’.
IENCA Italian (Rare)
Allegedly derived from Italian giovenca
"heifer". A heifer is a young cow that has not yet had a calf. Mount Jenca and Jenca Valley are located near Gran Sasso d'Italia in the Abruzzo region in Italy.
Possibly from the given name Ilardo
, which was possibly a derivative of the Germanic name Adalhard
. Alternatively, perhaps this is a southern variant of Gilardi
ILES English (British), French
English (mainly Somerset and Gloucestershire): topographic name from Anglo-Norman French isle ‘island’ (Latin insula) or a habitational name from a place in England or northern France named with this element.
From the medieval French personal name Imbert
, of Germanic origin and meaning literally "vast-bright".
Habitational name for someone from a place named Immer near Oldenburg in Lower Saxony.
Nickname for someone with a childlike disposition, from infante
"child" (Latin infans
, literally "one who cannot speak").
Italian name, however probably Germanic origins
INQUIETI Italian (Rare)
would like to know if any one out there has heard of this name and what part of italy it comes from gt grand father corneluse inquiete/i came to england from parma italy in 1872/4 age 37/8 married in 1875... [more]
A surname in Sicily. Believed to come from the word Salaco an occupational name for a tanner in Arabic.
Topographic surname that originated from broad regions around the river Itz in Thuringia, Germany. The word "Stein" (German word for stone) historically was also used to describe castles on a hill or at a river, thus a possible meaning of the name is "castle at the river Itz".
An Italian surname from a compound of Ia- (from the personal name Ianni
) and the southern Italian word caruso
, which means ‘lad’ or ‘boy’.
JACOBI Jewish, English, Dutch, German
From the Latin genitive Jacobi ‘(son) of Jacob’, Latinized form of English Jacobs and Jacobson or North German Jakobs(en) and Jacobs(en).
Means son of the "Master-Hunter". Originally given to the son of the master-hunter in hunting camps.
Possibly a respelling of French Janisset, from a pet form of Jan, a variant spelling of Jean, French equivalent of John.
Are you near extinct or possibly extend last name, referring to the opening part of a jar.
JAY English, French
Nickname from Middle English, Old French jay(e)
"jay (the bird)", probably referring to an idle chatterer or a showy person, although the jay was also noted for its thieving habits.
Means "little Jean" from Old French petit
"small" and the given name Jean
, originally a nickname for a small man called Jean (or applied ironically to a large man), or a distinguishing epithet for the younger of two men named Jean.... [more]
JETER French (Huguenot), German
Jeter is a French and German surname. It is the last name of former New York Yankees baseball player, Derek Jeter. It's also the last name of Carmelita Jeter, an American sprinter who specializes in the 100 meter sprint.
JOB English, French, German, Hungarian
English, French, German, and Hungarian from the personal name Iyov
, borne by a Biblical character, the central figure in the Book of Job, who was tormented by God and yet refused to forswear Him... [more]
From French Jolie
"pretty one" and the popular suffix -et
"little" meaning "pretty little one."
JOST Dutch, German
Dutch and German: from a personal name, a derivative of the Breton personal name Iodoc
), or from the personal name Just
JOY French (Latinized)
Joy \joy\ as a girl's name is pronounced joy. It is of Old French and Latin origin, and the meaning of Joy is "joy". Used in the Middle Ages, and made popular in the 17th century under the influence of the Puritans, to whom being "joyful in the Lord" was an important duty... [more]
From a personal name (Latin Julius
). The name was borne in the Middle Ages in honor of various minor Christian saints.
JÜNGER German, Jewish
) distinguishing name, from Middle High German jünger
‘younger’, for the younger of two bearers of the same personal name, usually a son who bore the same name as his father... [more]
Occupational name for a potter, from Middle High German kachel
"pot", "earthenware vessel".
Habitational name for someone from Kaaden in North Bohemia, or any of several other places called Kaden.
Kahn is the German word that means, in informal contexts, "small boat." It is also a Germanized form of the Jewish surname Cohen
Status name for the chairman or a member fraternity that held meetings on the first of each month, from Latin ad calendas
KALP German, Jewish
From Middle High German kalp ‘calf’, German Kalb, probably applied as a metonymic occupational name for someone who reared calves.
German (Westphalian): habitational name from a place named as 'the cold farm', from Middle High German kalt
"cold" + hof
"farmstead", "manor farm’, "court".
Probably from Middle High German kant meaning "jug" (from Latin olla cannata meaning "pot with one spout") and hence an occupational name for a maker or seller of jugs.
Means "Carl's Mountain" in German language, it is also used in other Germanic languages
From a pet form of the saint's name Castulus, itself a diminutive of the Latin adjective castus 'chaste'.
From Middle High German gehau
"(mountain) clearing" hence a topographic name for a mountain dweller or possibly an occupational name for a logger.
Topographic name for someone who lived by a mineshaft, from Middle High German kouw(e)
From a regional (Hessian) variant of the habitational name Kues, from a place on the Mosel river, probably so named from Late Latin covis
"field barn", "rack" and earlier recorded as Couese, Cobesa.
Pet name derived from the Old High German personal name Gozwin, of uncertain origin.
Netonymic occupational name for a flax grower or dealer, from Middle High German kute
, from Kaut(e)
"male dove", hence a metonymic occupational name for the owner or keeper of a dovecote.
Topographic name from the Franconian dialect word Kaut(e)
"hollow", "pit", "den".
Nickname for a shy or strange person, from Middle High German kuz
Nickname for a skilled or enthusiastic skittles player, from an agent derivative of Middle High German kegel meaning "skittle", "pin".
Habitational name from various places called Kehl
, notably the town across the Rhine from Strasbourg. In some cases it may be a variant of Köhler
Reduced form of the personal name Kagenher, from Old High German gagan 'against' + heri 'army'.
Similar to the origins of Kuiper (Dutch) and Cooper (English), Keiper was an occupation which means "cooper" or "barrelmaker".
nickname from Middle High German kelch "double chin", "goiter". from another meaning of Middle High German kelch "glass", "chalice", hence a metonymic occupational name for a chalice maker or a habitational name for someone living at a house distinguished by the sign of a chalice.
From the name of a place in Rhineland, which is derived from Middle Low German kel
(a field name denoting swampy land) or from the dialect word kelle
meaning "steep path, ravine".
Germanized form of Polish Chelm
‘peak’, ‘hill’, a topographic name for someone who lived by a hill with a pointed summit, or habitational name from a city in eastern Poland or any of various other places named with this word.
KEMPER German, Dutch
German: status name denoting a peasant farmer or serf, an agent noun derivative of Kamp
From Middle High German kappe
meaning "hooded cloak". This was an occupational name for someone who made these kind of garments. A notable bearer was German astronomer and mathematician Johannes
KESLER German, Dutch, Jewish
It is an occupational name that means coppersmith. In alpine countries the name derived from the definition: the one living in the basin of a valley.
From the Middle High German kezzel
meaning "kettle, cauldron"; either an occupational surname for a maker of copper cooking vessels or a habitational/topographic name derived from the same word.
KESSLER German, Jewish
Denotes a coppersmith or maker of copper cooking vessels, derived from Middle High German kezzel
meaning “kettle, cauldron”.
Comes from the Middle High German word "kübel" meaning a "vat," or "barrel." As such it was an occupational name for a cooper, or barrel maker.
Topographic name from a Westphalian dialect Kiff
"outhouse, tied cottage, shack".
KILBURG German, Luxembourgish
"Kyll castle," from German burg
(castle) near the Kyll river in Germany. Also "wedge mountain" in Swedish: kil
(wedge) and berg
A habitational name for someone from a place named Kill
Kilmester is attested as a surname near Rostock in the 13th century.
KIND English, German, Jewish, Dutch
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic) from Middle High German kint
, German Kind
‘child’, hence a nickname for someone with a childish or naive disposition, or an epithet used to distinguish between a father and his son... [more]