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not set
Type Surname (from nickname)
Usage German

Meaning & History

From a nickname for a cheerful person, from Middle High German grille "cricket" (Old High German grillo, from Late Latin grillus, Greek gryllos). The insect is widely supposed to be of a cheerful disposition, no doubt because of its habit of infesting hearths and warm places. The vocabulary word is confined largely to southern Germany and Austria, and it is in this region that the surname is most frequent.
Also: Habitational name from any of eight places in Upper Bavaria and Austria, perhaps so named from Middle High German grille "cricket".

Also, North German nickname for an angry man from Middle Low German grellen "to be furious", "to shriek".
English: nickname for a fierce or cruel man, from Middle English grill(e) "angry", "vicious" (from Old English gryllan "to rage", "to gnash the teeth"
Added 11/21/2016 by anonymous