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Germanic Surname Lexikon

German Last Names with English Meanings

For each Germanic surname in this glossary we have provided the English meaning, which may or may not be a surname in English. This is not a list of equivalent names, but rather a sampling of English translations or meanings of German names. In many cases, there may be several possible origins or translations for a surname. The translation shown for a surname may not be the only possibility. Some names are derived from Old German and may have a different meaning from that in modern German. Name research is not always an exact science. - Also see: Top 50 German Surnames and What's in a (German) Name?.

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Abbreviations: OHG (Old High German, Althochdeutsch)

Germanic Last Names (A-K)
With English Meanings
Nachname Last Name English Meaning
Aachen / Achen Aachen/Aix-la-Chapelle (German city)
Abend / Abendroth evening/dusk
Abt abbott
Ackerman(n) farmer
Adler eagle
Amsel blackbird
Austerlitz from the town & battle (1805)
Famous Name: Dancer and actor Fred Astaire was born Frederick Austerlitz in Omaha, Nebraska. His father was Austrian-born Fritz Austerlitz.
Bach brook
Bachmeier farmer by the brook
Bader / Baader bath, spa keeper
Baecker / Becker baker
Baer / Bar bear
Barth beard
Bauer farmer, peasant
Baum tree
Baumgaertner / Baumgartner
tree nursery man
Famous Name: The real name of actor James Garner is James Scott Bumgarner.
Bayer / Baier / Beyer Bavarian
Beckenbauer basin/bowl maker
Famous Name: Bavarian soccer (Fußball) champ Franz Beckenbauer (1945- ) was known as "Kaiser Franz"!
Web > Franz Beckenbauer - Hall of Fame
Beich / Beike slope (OHG)
Berg mountain
Bergmann miner
Bieber beaver (industrious)
Biermann beer man (brewer)
Blau blue
Boehm / Bohm of Bohemia
Brandt fire, land cleared by fire
Brauer brewer
Braun brown
Bürger / Burger townsman, citizen
Busch / Bosch bush
Daecher / Decker roofer, tyler
Diederich / Dietrich skeleton key; ruler (OHG)
Famous Name: Actress and singer Marlene Dietrich was a legend in her time.<
Drechsler/Dreher turner
Dresdner / Dresner of Dresden
Drescher thresher
Duerr / Durr dry, thin, drought
ALSO SEE: German Last Names and What's in a (German) Name? for more about German family names. For the new Duden FAMILIENNAMEN book with the origin and meaning of 20,000 German names see our Books: German Names.
Ebersbach / Ebersbacher boar brook
Eberhardt / Eberhart strong as a boar
Eichel acorn, oak
Eichelberger of the oak hill
Eichmann oak man
Ehrlichmann honest man
Eiffel German mountain range
Eisenberg iron mountain
Eisenhauer (Eisenhower) iron hewer, miner
Egger / Eggers harrow, plow man
Engel angel
Faber smith (Latin)
Faerber / Farber dyer
Fassbinder cooper
Faust fist
Feierabend time off, non-work hours
Fenstermacher window maker
Fiedler fiddler
Fink / Finkel finch
Fischer / Fisher fisher, fisherman
Fleischer butcher
Foerster forester
Frankfurter of Frankfurt
Frei / Frey free (man)
Freitag / Freytag Friday
Freud joy
Fried peace
Friedmann / Friedman peace man, peacemaker
Frueh / Freeh early (riser)
Fruehauf up early
Fuchs fox
Fuerst / Furst prince
Fuhrmann carter, driver
Gaertner / Gärtner gardener
Gerber tanner
Famous Name: Actress and singer Mitzi Gaynor ("South Pacific") was born Francesca Marlene von Gerber in Chicago in 1931.
Gerste / Gersten barley
Gloeckner / Glockner bell man
Goldschmidt gold smith
Gottlieb God's love
Gottschalk God's servant
Gruenewald / Grunewald / Grunwald green forest
Hahn rooster
Herrmann / Herman warrior, soldier
Hertz / Herz heart
Hertzog / Herzog duke
Himmel (-reich) heaven
Hirsch buck, deer
Hoch high, tall
Hoffmann / Hofmann landed farmer
Holtzmann / Holzman woodsman
Hueber / Huber / Hoover land owner
Jaeger / Jager hunter, huntsman
Jung young
Junker nobleman, squire
Kaiser emperor
Kalb calf
Kaestner / Kastner cabinet maker
Kappel chapel
Kaufmann merchant
Keller cellar
Famous Name: Deafblind Helen Keller (1880-1968), who became a role model for millions of people.
Web > Helen Keller - TIME 100
Kirsch cherry
Klein short, small
Klug / Kluge smart, clever
Koch cook
Kohl / Cole cabbage (seller, grower of cabbage)
Famous Name: Former German chancellor Helmut Kohl (1930- ) held that office for a record length of time (1982-1998).
Web > Helmut Kohl - Wikipedia
Kohler / Koehler charcoal-maker
Koenig / Konig king
Krause curly haired
Krueger / Kruger potter, maker of jugs
Kuefer cooper
Kuester / Kuster sexton
Kuhn / Kunze councilman; brave, smart
Koertig / Kortig from Konrad (brave advisor)
NEXT > Surname Lexikon L-Z - ALSO SEE: German Last Names and What's in a (German) Name? for more about German family names. For the Duden FAMILIENNAMEN book with the origin and meaning of 20,000 German names see our Books: German Names.

NEXT > Surname Lexikon L-Z

MORE > Top 50 German Surnames
MORE > Famous Germans, Austrians, Swiss

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Genealogy Contents > Surnames Article > Lexikon 1 > Lexikon 2

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