Languages › German German Last Names and Their English Meanings For example, Marlene Dietrich translates to "Marlene skeleton key" Share Flipboard Email Print -nelis- / Getty Images German History & Culture Pronunciation & Conversation Vocabulary Grammar By Hyde Flippo German Expert Hyde Flippo taught the German language for 28 years at high school and college levels and published several books on the German language and culture. our editorial process Hyde Flippo Updated February 24, 2020 If you wonder what your German last name means in English, here's a comprehensive guide. 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. Abbreviations: OHG (Old High German, Althochdeutsch) Germanic Last Names (A-K) 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 and battle (1805) 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/BaumgartnerBumgarner tree nursery man Bayer/Baier/Beyer Bavarian Beckenbauer basin/bowl maker 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) Drechsler/Dreher turner Dresdner/Dresner of Dresden Drescher thresher Duerr/Durr dry, thin, drought 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 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 Kirsch cherry Klein short, small Klug/Kluge smart, clever Koch cook Kohl/Cole cabbage (seller, grower of cabbage) 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 adviser) Germanic Last Names (L-Z) Lang long Lehmann/Lemann serf, fief man Lehrer teacher Loewe/Lowe lion Luft air Mahler/Mehler grinder, miller Maier/Meier/Meyer dairy farmer; landowner Mauer/Maur wall Maurer mason Meister master Metzger butcher Meier/Meyer/Maier dairy farmer; landowner Mueller/Muller miller Moench/Muench monk Nacht night Nadel needle Nagel nail Naumann/Neumann new man Neudorf/Neustadt new town (Newton) Nussbaum nut tree Oster east, Easter Osterhagen east grove, hedge Ostermann eastern man Pabst/Papst pope Pfaff cleric, parson Pfeffer pepper Pfeifer/Pfeiffer piper Probst/Propst provost Reinhard(t) determined Reiniger cleaner, cleanser, purifier Richter judge Ritter knight Roth red Rothschild red shield Rothstein red stone Saenger/Sanger singer Sankt saint Schäfer/Schaefer shepherd Scherer shearer, barber Schiffer boatman Schmidt/Schmitt smith Schneider tailor Scholz/Schulze mayor Schreiber scribe, scribner, writer Schreiner joiner, cabinet maker Schroeder/Schroder drayman, cart pusher (Carter) Schuhmacher shoemaker Schultheiss/Schultz debt broker; mayor Schulz/Schulze/Scholz mayor Schuster/Shuster cobbler, shoemaker Schwab Swabian, from Swabia Schwartz/Schwarz black Schweitzer/Schweizer Swiss; dairy man Seiler roper Sommer summer Strauss bouquet Thalberg valley (and) mountain Theiss/Theissen form of Matthias Traugott trust in God Trommler drummer Unger Hungarian Urner of Uri (Swiss canton) Vogel bird Vogler fowler, bird man Vogt steward von of (indicates nobility) Waechter warden, watchman Wagner wagoner, wainwright Wannemaker basket maker Weber weaver Wechsler/Wexler money changer Weiss/Weisz white/wheat Weissmuller wheat miller Werfel/Wurfel die (dice), cube Winkel corner, angle Wirth/Wirtz innkeeper, landlord Wolf/Wulf wolf Wurfel/Werfel die (dice), cube Ziegler brick or tilemaker Zimmer room; short for "carpenter" (below) Zimmermann/Zimmerman carpenter Zweig twig, branch The Top 100 German Surnames The History of Popular German Last Names (Nachnamen) The Meaning and Origin of Famous German Names A List of Common German Names for Boys and Girls "Mack the Knife" Lyrics in German Learn How to Say the Days of the Week in German How to Pronounce German Words in English Translating the Terms for "People" in German How to Conjugate the German Verb 'Sein' A German-English Glossary of Popular German Abbreviations Reading Shakespeare in German German Names for Pets Haustiernamen "O Tannenbaum" ("Oh Christmas Tree") Christmas Carol Lyrics Best German Films for German-Learners German First Names and Their English Equivalents The German Lyrics for 'Edelweiss'