What do common family names, such as Meier and Schulze, actually mean? The pet form of the German names Ortolf or Ortwin. Yiddish for ‘a plate’. Some of the most common last names that are unforgettable are Graf, Einstein, Becker, Kahn, Klose, Ballack, Bach, and so on. Named after “the one who procures fruit”, this name has a dialectic ring to it. Take your pick: Abel is a patronymic name which means ‘noble one’. Stahr makes for an upper class, complex, name that your child will surely be proud of. Others, such as Kramer (or Krämer), were medieval names for traders. German variation of the English “Michael”. Bach is a topographic German name – representing somebody who lives by the cool creek. She has a teaching degree and an M.A. ‘Sandel’ is a popular German-American surname, meaning “the guardian of sand”. It is highly likely that the ancestors of Germany’s first chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, came from the small town of Adenau in the Eifel region. Dunst symbolizes “haze” in the High German sense. Derived from the word giga meaning fiddle, it is also a famous scientist’s name. ‘Vil’ means quagmire in High German. Geiz means goat in German, somebody who is into farming. Let your child stand for the benevolence only human beings can be proud of! The habitational name for people from Oldenburg. We are using cookies on this website to give you the best, most relevant experience. A name implying “secret” (from Hele, meaning concealed or remote). Signifies an individual of calmness and composure. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. In Germany, at least, it is possible for a bridal couple each to keep their own family names or to adopt either of the partners’ names. Means “free” in German- an outlier that is unlike anybody. Germanic languages have had a huge influence in the development of certain English words, and surnames with German origins are therefore common in English-speaking countries. And do you know what your own family name means? Voigt or Voight is a German surname that means ‘steward’ or ‘manager or overseer of a household’ or ‘bailiff’. 140 German Surnames or Family Names With Meanings, Circumoral Cyanosis in Babies- Causes, Symptoms and Treatment, Importance of Sensory Bins for Infants and Toddlers, 80 Surnames or Last Names That Start With ‘A’, Tips to Choose a Safe Bug Spray for Babies and Kids. Other people were given the name of the region they came from. With names like these, we can immerse ourselves in the exciting history of the Middle Ages. Did you know that a famous American game researcher Clark C. Abt introduced storyline gaming to the world? Increased mobility thanks to trade resulted in individual settlements growing together to form villages and then towns. About German Names. Archaic German for ‘cooking soup or broth’. in German studies. And if you find that you still can’t grasp the perfect Old German name, the rest of the Internet’s got you covered. Here are some of our other favorite Old German name generators on the web: Behind the Name’s Ancient German name generator. As sweet as an apple, as pleasant as a brook. Few of the latter are on the following list, but examples include Brinkmann, Berger, and Frank. Dessauer is an ‘industrious’, elite name, dating back to the Saxony-Asphalt regime in Germany. Zero in on the best German-surname for your child. A variant of ‘Walhberg’. They include Schneider (tailor), Fischer (fisherman), Weber (weaver) and Meier (also Mayer and Meyer). Bauer leads in eastern Upper German-speaking Bavaria. It signifies earthiness. This refers to the Hebrew name Gabriel which evokes God’s strength. ‘As fragrant as a Balsam’- this ornamental name is derived from the Yiddish word balsam (balm). Crecelius alludes to the Greek wrestler Pankratios. The German epithet for a settler that is new- Niu(we) ‘new’ (ge)būre ‘resident’. Are there any special German surnames that have stuck in your memory? About 13% of the German population today has names of Slavic origin. The following 200 pages are in this category, out of approximately 3,351 total. 24), and Schmid (No. Let your child saunter amongst the kindred spirits with this name. Barfuss means ‘the one who goes barefoot’. “The bear’s stone” or “the burst stone”- this name alludes to amber, known for its longevity. Privacy Policy. The name you bestow upon your little one shall shape his/her identity for life, dictate their environment- starting from the way they’re treated at pre-school to the power they command at work. The name Banning traces its origins back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The word itself is hardly used any more in anybody's active vocabulary, but it survives as a surname. Derived from the Archaic German name Oldaric, it symbolizes power and prosperity. On the Internet, for example using the website Geogen, you can generate maps for familiar surnames to see where, and how often, certain family names occur in Germany. It … The court jester or the knave was called ‘Schalk’ in Old Germany. Although Müller is the most common name in German-speaking countries, in some areas other surnames are more frequent than Müller. Are some of the names in your own country also derived from occupations? The reduced German form of the English name Christopher. Behle, a variant of the name ‘Behlen’ is a metronymic name that traces its roots to the Biblical character Elisabeth. This list is different than one showing popular German surnames with their English translations. ‘Banning’ signifies a courageous warrior, the slayer of men in battle. Most German surnames derive either from archaic professions (such as Schmidt, Müller, Weber, or Schäfer) or places. The oldest church in the city – ‘Basilika St. Kastor’ - was consecrated to Saint Castor of Karden (in German: Kastor von Karden) who worked as a missionary in Germany … ‘Pont’, ‘tip’, or ‘corner’- on point for your child to be the go-getter! Patronymic surnames such as Jansen/Janssen, Hansen, and Petersen are the most common names in the far north (Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein). Germany has for long been called Das Land der Dichter und Denker, i.e, the land of poets and thinkers. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more). Derived from the High German word that literally means “keen eyesight and hearing”. Your child can be the grass-angel! An occupational surname for a “shrill town crier”. It is the Latinized humanistic form of Schafer, meaning ‘shepherd’. It’s the toponymic name for someone upper-class: ober means ‘upper’ and mann is ‘man’. The name ‘Bahre’ represents something as fractious and robust as a bear- it is a symbol of wisdom. From the Celtic word glocka, a topographic name for somebody who lives by the Church. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, German Last Names and Their English Meanings, The Meaning and Origin of Famous German Names, The History of Popular German Last Names (Nachnamen), A List of Common German Names for Boys and Girls, Everything you need to Know About German Names, German for Travelers: The Basic Travel Phrasebook, A German-English Glossary of Popular German Abbreviations, "Young Frankenstein" and Those Whinnying Horses, German First Names and Their English Equivalents, Learn How to Say the Days of the Week in German, Roy Black's Version of "Jingle Bells" in German, Difference Between Samstag, Sonnabend, and Sonntag, A List of English to German Translations of the Countries of the World. Where variations of a spelling of a surname occurred, those monikers are listed as separate names. In other countries with larger numbers of Vietnamese immigrants, Nguyen is even more frequent, as in France (835th) or the United States (229th).