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Type Surname (from occupation)
Usage German

Meaning & History

From Middle High German klingen "to ring or sound" and bīl "axe", literally "sound the axe", an occupational nickname for a journeyman, carpenter, shipwright (or any occupation involving the use of an axe). Journeymen's names often contained a humorous element, as they were bestowed at merry promotion parties or "christenings" held to celebrate the recipients successful completion of their apprenticeship.
Added 12/18/2015 by anonymous
Edited 6/26/2018 by Marusero