Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
ABEGG German, German (Swiss)
Topographic name for someone who lived near the corner of a mountain, from German ab
meaning "off" and Egg
, dialect form of Eck(e)
meaning "promontory", "corner".
ABPLANALP German, German (Swiss)
Topographic name for someone living high on a mountainside, from German ab
- "below", "off" + Planalp
"high, flat mountain-meadow".
Topographic name for someone who lived by a spring or stream, from Old High German aha meaning "running water".
Habitational name from places in Hesse and Westphalia named Achenbach, from the obsolete word Ach or Ache (from Middle High German ahe meaning "water", "stream") + Bach meaning "brook".
ADERS German (Silesian)
Variation of Eders, a topographic name for someone who lived on a patch of bare, uncultivated land, from Middle High German (o)ed(e) 'wasteland'. It may also be a habitational name from any of the numerous places named with this element.
From the old personal name Albern
, from Germanic adal
meaning "noble" and boran
ALBAUGH German (Austrian)
Albaugh is a surname of Austrian origin. It is an anglicized variation of the German language surname Albach.
Alber family name was first found in Alsace. The nickname given to someone fair in complexion or blond haired is derived from Latin word Albanus, which means white.
Habitational name for someone from Aldingen in Württemberg.
ALLEMAN French (Cajun), Spanish (Canarian), German
From the French and Spanish word for "German". Believed to have originated in the Alsace-Lorraine region. Some holders of the name migrated to the Canary Islands and are part of the larger Isleños population that settled throughout the Americas... [more]
ALLEMANN German (Swiss)
Allemann (also spelled ALLEMAN
, and Allamán
) is a surname that can be found primarily in Switzerland deriving from the Latin surname, Alemannus, which refers to someone of Germanic descent, specifically from the Alamanni tribe... [more]
Habitational name from any of ten or more places called Allendorf.
The harried officials at Ellis Island began to assign surnames based upon the pronunciation of the name by the immigrant, rather than attempting to ferret out the actual spelling. ... [more]
ALMENDINGER German, German (Swiss)
Habitational name for someone from a place called Allmendingen, of which there are two examples in Switzerland, in Bern canton, and one in Baden-Württemberg in Germany.
Probably originally a locational surname and a place name for a village which no longer exists. Alscheid (Luxembourgish: Alschent) is a village in the commune of Kiischpelt, in northern Luxembourg. As of 2001, the village had a population of 47.... [more]
ALT German, Jewish
From German alt
‘old’, typically applied as a distinguishing epithet to the older of two bearers of the same personal name.
A surname predominantly found in Westphalia and the Rhineland region of Germany which is derived from German alt
"old" and Hof
in the local dialects) "farmstead; farm; manor".
Status name for an older steward, headman, or tenant farmer, as distinguished from a younger one, from Middle High German alt ‘old’ + meier ‘steward’, ‘headman’, ‘tenant farmer’
Habitational name for someone from a place called Altringen or Aldingen, of which there are two in Württemberg.
From the personal name ADELWARD
, composed of the Germanic elements adal
‘noble’ + ward
AMBERG German, Jewish
German and possibly Jewish (Ashkenazic) habitational name from any of several settlements called Amberg (literally ‘by the mountain’), including a city in Bavaria. It could also be a topographic name of identical etymology... [more]
AMES English, German
English: from the Old French and Middle English personal name AMYS
, which is either directly from Latin amicus
‘friend’, used as a personal name, or via a Late Latin derivative of this, Amicius
A contraction of Ambetmann, for a court official. If there is a double "M", the origin might be Swiss.
AMMER German, English (Rare)
This surname may be derived from Middle High German amer
which means "bunting (as in the bird)." As such, it is used as a nickname for someone with a fine voice or someone who is a flamboyant dresser.... [more]
Nickname for a day laborer, as opposed to someone who owned fields, from Middle High German āne meaning "without" + acker meaning "field".
Occupational name for someone whose job was to keep a dam or pool filled with water. (Anschützen "to fill up")
Occupational name from Middle High German arbeiter ‘laborer’.
Perhaps a habitational name from Oerlinghausen in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Derived from German asche
meaning "ash" (tanners worked with ash)
The medieval name originated from the German dukedom of Swabia. It denoted that the original bearer of the name probably held land in Swabia. Otherwise it could have been a name given to somebody who was from or born in Swabia.
ATZERODT English, German
This was the surname of George Atzerodt, a conspirator in a plot to kidnap Abraham Lincoln.
AUERBACH German, Jewish
Topographical name for someone who lived by a stream (Middle High German bach
) that was near a swamp or marsh (auer
Originated in Germany. Means "Out of the Village". First used in the year 1135.
BACKMAN English, Swedish, German
Combination of Old English bakke
"spine, back" and man
"man". In Swedish, the first element is more likely to be derived from Swedish backe
"hill", and in German the first element can be derived from German backen
"to bake"... [more]
BAEDER German (Austrian)
Means something like "bath house" which historically was associated with health or medicine.
Derived from Old High German bero
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): habitational name for someone from a place called Baldingen, either in Württemberg, Germany, or Aargau, Switzerland.
Occupational name for a seller of spices and perfumes.
BALSANO German (Austrian), Italian
The roots of the distinguished surname Balzano lie in Austria. The name derives itself from "Balthasar," the name of one of the three Magi who followed the star to Bethlehem, and was popular as both a first name and a family name during the 18th century.... [more]
This interesting surname of German and Ashkenazic origin is a diminutive of the metonymic occupational name Band
, originally given to someone who made the wooden hoops with which wooden barrels were fastened together, deriving from the Germanic band
meaning "hoop", "band"... [more]
From Middle High German barbe
, the name of a species of fish resembling the carp; hence by metonymy an occupational name for a fisherman or fish dealer, or possibly a nickname for someone thought to resemble the fish in some way.
BARTEK Polish, Czech, Slovak, German
Polish, Czech, Slovak, and eastern German: from a pet form of a vernacular form of the personal name Bartolomaeus (Czech Bartoloměj, Polish Bartłomiej, German Bartolomäus)
BARWICK English, German
English: habitational name from any of various places called Barwick, for example in Norfolk, Somerset, and West Yorkshire, from Old English bere
‘barley’ + wic
‘outlying farm’, i.e. a granary lying some distance away from the main village.... [more]
A surname originating from the Rhineland region of Germany. It is derived from German Bauer
in the locals dialects) "farmer" and Deich
in the local dialects) "levee" or Teich
Occupational name for a "builder" in German; from Middle High German 'buwen' 'to build' + meister 'master'. The surname has been used in the strategy series 'Chocolatier' by PlayFirst, one bearer of this is the grandmother of Alex Fletcher in the game, Evangeline Baumeister.
BAUMKÖTTER German (Modern)From the German words 'Baum' meaning 'tree' and 'Kötter' a type of villager who dwelt in a cottage, similar to the Scottish COTTER.
"Presumably a 'Baumkötter' earned money from a small orchard on their property."
Shortened form of Becherer
as well as a surname given to for someone who distilled or worked with pitch, in which case it is derived from Middle High German bech / pech
BECHMANN German (Rare)
Surname denoting someone who worked with pitch, from Middle High German bech / pech
"pitch" and man
, a suffix which can mean "man" or simply be used as a name suffix.
BEEKMAN German, Anglo-Saxon
This name derives from the pre 5th century Olde German and later Anglo-Saxon word "bah" or "baecc". This word describes a stream, or as a name specifically someone who lived or worked by a stream.
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]
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.
Habitational name derived from places in Germany named either Bell, Belle, or Bellen.
Occupational name for a furrier, from an agent derivative of Middle High German bel(li)z
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]
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.
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
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
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".
Of uncertain origin; possibly from the name of a place or river.
Nickname from bever ‘beaver’, possibly referring to a hard worker, or from some other fancied resemblance to the animal.
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
Habitational name from a place named Billig, near Cologne. Nickname from Middle High German billich ‘proper’, ‘appropriate’.
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
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.
"Lead tree" possibly changed at Ellis Island from Blumenbaum meaning "flowering tree"
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]
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
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
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
BOLLINGER German (Swiss)
Habitational name for someone from any of three places called Bollingen, in Schwyz, Württemberg, and Oldenburg, or from Bohlingen near Lake Constance (which is pronounced and was formerly written as Bollingen).
May designate a creator of bolts for crossbows or bowmen. May also be a short form of BALDWIN
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
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
BORNEMANN Low German
North German: topographic name denoting someone who lived by a well or spring, from Middle Low German born ‘spring’, ‘well’ + man ‘man’.
Habitational name for someone from Bräg in Bavaria.
BRANDENBURG German (East Prussian, Rare)
From a state in eastern Germany, formerly known as Prussia, containing the capital city of Berlin. Ancient. Associated with the Margravate (Dukedom) of Brandenburg, the seat of power in the Holy Roman Empire... [more]
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
BRAS Dutch, Low German
Dutch and North German: from Old French and Middle Dutch bras ‘arm’. This was probably a descriptive nickname for someone with some peculiarity of the arm, but the word was also used as a measure of length, and may also have denoted a surveyor.
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
Originally a nickname for a person who had brown hair or skin, meaning "brownish" in German.
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.
Indicated a person from Bremen
in the State of Bremen, Germany.
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.
Occupational hereditary surname for a person who was physically powerful, derived from Old German brock which may refer to persons with a stocky or strong build. Or derived from Old German "Brook" or "Brauk," for people near a marshy landscape, common in northern regions.
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.