The list was initially created by searching for the most common last names in German telephone books. Where variations of a spelling of a surname occurred, those monikers are listed as separate names.
For instance, Schmidtwhich is ranked No. The meanings of German last names are those as defined initially when these names became surnames. For example, the surname Meyer means dairy farmer today, whereas, during the Middle Ages, Meyer designated people who were stewards of landholders.
Few of the latter are on the following list, but examples include Brinkmann, Berger, and Frank. In the table, the German name is listed on the left, with its origin and explanation if needed on the right.
The acronyms are noted because you won't find the translations for these names in standard online translators or even most German dictionaries. Share Flipboard Email. Ingrid Bauer.
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Updated December 05, Gardening as a profession can be traced back to medieval times and even earlier. During this period a gardener would have only worked for the most noble and richest families in an area. There are two in Germany - one in Nordrhein-Westfalen and the other in Brandenburg. The name might also be possibly linked to Gahlenz near Chemnitz, Germany.
It is highly likely to have originally referred to someone who was deceitful or a swindler. Nowadays, it is more normally used to describe a certain type of magic in relation to witches. This German surname may have originally referred to somebody who dealt in or worked with yarn. One of the first people known to bear this name was Gebhardt, Bishop of Constance ca. The popularity of the name during the Middle Ages is believed to be attributed to him. There are a few possible origins. Folklore, however, suggests the name emerged after a group of brave peasants climbed up into the nest of a vulture and bludgeoned it to death after having learnt it was responsible for stealing and killing human babies from their town.
Thus, this German surname was originally the occupational name of a musician and, in particular, someone who played the fiddle or violin. Musicians were important during the Middle Ages and would often be summoned to entertain noble families and travel to various towns. Also Saint George — a highly respected Christian saint. He is possibly most famous for having slain a dragon in the legendary tale. As well as being patron saint of a number of countries, St. George is also the patron saint of soldiers, archers and chivalry to name but a few.62 Last Name Meanings - mental_floss List Show (Ep. 231)
The earliest record of the name can be traced back to Hamburg, Germany in and to somebody named Thidemannus Gerbere. The first known recording of the name was made ca. Likely to have originally described somebody who was deemed to be particularly lucky.German names are used in Germany and other German -speaking areas such as Austria and Switzerland.
See also about German names. Modern Rare Archaic. User list. Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed. MITTER German Topographic name for someone who lived on or owned a property that was in the middle between two or more others, especially if the others were both held by men with the same personal name for example, Mitter Hansfrom the strong form of Middle High German mitte "mid, middle".
MOCH German. Thus the name originally denoted someone who live or worked near a mill. I think it is mauke, I am SO not sure. MORR German. Families with this name are certain to be originally from the mountain town of Asiago, situated on a plateau north of Vicenza and now a well-known skiing resort Originated from Prussia. Another possible meaning is "night tribe". NAST German Topographic name for someone who lived in a thickly wooded area, or a metonymic occupational name for a woodcutter, from Middle High German nast meaning "branch", a regional variant of ast, resulting from the misdivision of forms such as ein ast meaning "a branch".
Perhaps from a short form of a Germanic personal name formed with an element cognate with Old High German niuwi meaning "new".
List of German monarchs
The meaning, given in the lexicon, is "ernahrer" or provider. Was popularized by the German community. This surname and its variant spellings are common to Austria and the Free State of Bavaria in Germany.
A famous bearer was Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzschea German philologist and philosopher. NOHR German.Personal names in German-speaking Europe consist of one or several given names Vornameplural Vornamen and a surname Nachname, Familienname.
The Vorname is usually gender-specific. A name is usually cited in the " Western order " of "given name, surname", unless it occurs in an alphabetized list of surnames, e. In this, the German conventions parallel the naming conventions in most of Western and Central Europe, including EnglishDutchItalianand French.
There are some vestiges of a patronymic system as they survive in parts of Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, but these do not form part of the official name.
200 Most Common Surnames Or Last Names In Germany
Women traditionally adopted their husband's name upon marriage and would occasionally retain their maiden name by hyphenationin a so-called Doppelnamee.
Recent legislation motivated by gender equality now allows a married couple to choose the surname they want to use, including an option for men to keep their birthname hyphenated to the common family name in the same way.
It is also possible for the spouses to do without a common surname altogether and to keep their birthnames. Since the s, there has however been a trend of parents picking non-German forms of names, either for originality, or influenced by international celebrities, e. Liam Gaelic form of William rather than the German equivalent Wilhelm. Most surnames are derived either from occupations, or from geographical origin, less often from bodily attributes.
They became heritable with the beginning of central demographic records in the early modern period. The Vorname in English forename is usually given to a child by the parents shortly after birth. It is common to give a child several Vornamen forenamesone of them intended for everyday use and known as the Rufname "appellation name" or "call name".
This Rufname is often underlined on official documents, as it is sometimes the second or third name in the sequence of given names on official record, even though it is the given name in daily use from childhood.
In Germany, the chosen name must be approved by the local Standesamt civil registry office. The name must indicate the gender of the child and not negatively affect the well being of the child. Last names or the names of objects and products are not acceptable. For example, "Matti" was rejected for a boy's name because it did not indicate gender however, these types of names are permissible if combined with a second name which clarifies the gender, for example: "Matti Oliver" or "Matti Julia".
Among German nobilitya fashion arose in the early modern period [ citation needed ] to give a large number of forenames, often six or more. This fashion was to some extent copied by the bourgeois classbut subsided again after the end of the 19th century, so that while two or three forenames remain common, a larger number is now rare. The practice persists among German nobility, e.
Traditionally, there are dialectal differences between the regions of German-speaking Europe, especially visible in the forms of hypocorisms. The following table gives the most popular given names in Germany per decade since[ clarification needed ] and the most recent ranking, as of Many of such surnames are derived from nicknames. They are generally classified into four groups by derivation : given names, occupational designations, bodily attributes, and toponyms including references to named buildings.German names are used in Germany and other German -speaking areas such as Austria and Switzerland.
See also about German names. Modern Rare Archaic. Related name is is not. User list. The place names are derived from Low German achter "behind" and berg "mountain, hill". The name of the town is of uncertain etymology. The word armbrust was originally from Latin arcuballista meaning "bow ballista", but was modified under the influence of German arm "arm" and brust "breast". There are many places with this name in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
This name was borne by members of the Bach musical family, notably the composer Johann Sebastian Bach This was originally a nickname for a strong or brave person. The name may have referred to a brewer or a tavern owner. It possibly means "ploughed region" or "marshy region" in Old High German. A famous bearer of this surname was the German composer Johannes Brahms The town's name is possibly from a Celtic word meaning "breakwater".
The meaning of the town's name is unknown. It was originally a nickname for a person who had brown hair or skin. This was a name given to a person dwelling at or near such a site. A turner was a person who used a lathe to create small objects from wood or bone.
A thresher was a person who separated the grains from a cereal plant by beating it. The name was originally given to someone who lived on land cleared of forest. Probably unrelated to the Old French word forestwhich was derived from Latin, Old High German forst was derived from foraha meaning "fir tree".
A famous bearer was the psychologist Sigmund Freud It was originally a nickname for a person with red hair. This was an occupational name for a glass blower or glazier.
It may have referred to a person who worked at or lived close to a bell tower. This name indicated a person who lived on or near a forest-covered mountain. It was a nickname for an optimistic person. As a Jewish surname it is ornamental. This was a nickname for a person who was quick or timid. A famous bearer was the British-German astronomer William Herschelas well as his sister Caroline Herschel and son John Herschelalso noted scientists.Germany is a land that has undergone various political and geographical changes.
These changes had their influence on German surnames that were often based on the places and the profession of the people. In this MomJunction post, we put across German last names along with their interesting meanings and origins. It is a toponymic name referring to people who originally came from the city of Aachen in western Germany.
It is a toponymic name for the people who came from the town of Adelberg in Germany. It is probably a toponymic name referring to someone who lived by a stream or a water body. This is a toponymic name for people who hail from a place called Palzing in the Bavarian region of Germany. It is a German toponymic surname referring to people who originally came from the place called Eben in Bavaria, Germany.
It is a toponymic surname for someone who is from any of the several places called Edingen in Germany. It is a nickname for a blacksmith or a person who is of short stature and lively or irritable. A toponymic name for someone hailing from any of the several places called Gern in Bavaria, Germany.
It is a toponymic name referring to someone who lived in the woods. The bearer of this name could be someone born or baptized in this month. The surname likely denotes people who have the attributes of a cat-like light-footedness or independence. IThe occupational name refers to a producer or supplier of caraway seeds.
It is a toponymic name for someone from any of the several places called Lichtenberg in Germany. It is the German word for lime or a lime tree. It is a toponymic German surname for someone who lives by a lime tree. It is derived from the name of the Linden tree. It is a variant of Macher, which is a toponymic name for someone from the place called Machern in Germany. It is a toponymic name for someone from the place called Norden in Germany.
It may refer to someone who lived in the northern part of a region. This German surname is also a status name for an arbitrator.
Common German Last Names & Their Meanings
It is a toponymic name for someone who hailed from any of the places along the Odenwald mountain range.
The surname could also be toponymic referring to someone from any of the several places called Rath in Germany. It is a toponymic name for someone who lived by a water channel. It is an occupational name for a steward.German names are used in Germany and other German -speaking areas such as Austria and Switzerland. See also about German names.
Modern Rare Archaic. Related name is is not. User list. This was an occupational name for one who carved objects out of horn or who played a horn, or a person who lived near a horn-shaped geographical feature, such as a mountain or a bend in a river.
KAPPEL GermanDutch Name for a person who lived near or worked at a chapel, ultimately from Late Latin cappellaa diminutive of cappa "cape", arising from the holy relic of the torn cape of Saint Martinwhich was kept in small churches. It was used to denote a person who owned a wedge-shaped piece of land.
A famous bearer of this name is clothes designer Calvin Klein It probably referred to someone who worked in the butcher trade. As a Jewish name it is ornamental. This may have originally been given in order to distinguish the bearer from a younger person with the same name.
This was an occupational name for a border guard. A famous bearer was Gregor Mendela Czech monk and scientist who did experiments in genetics. A notable bearer is the German chancellor Angela Merkel Later it also denoted a tenant farmer. The spellings Meier and Meyer are more common in northern Germany while Maier and Mayer are more common in southern Germany.
It was used in reference to feudal tax obligations. This could have referred to a person who lived by a plank bridge over a stream, someone who was thin, or a carpenter. All denote a person of a rosy complexion or a person who lived in an area abundant with roses.
As a Swedish and Jewish name it is ornamental. As a Jewish surname it is ornamental.