LANG Surname Meaning and Family History

The Lang or Lange surname was often bestowed on a man who was especially tall and lanky.
Getty / Henrik Sorensen

The last name Lang originated as a descriptive surname given to an unusually tall individual, from the Old English lang or long, meaning "long or tall." LANGE is a common German variant, while LANG is more prevalent in Scotland and northern England. LONG is another common English variant.

Lang may also have originated as a Hungarian surname, from láng, meaning "flame," perhaps a descriptive name for a passionate individual, or for someone who worked with fire, such as a blacksmith. The Lang surname is also found in China, adopted by descendants of the founder of Lang City in the state of Lu.

Lange is the 26th most common German surname, while Lang is the 46th most common. Long is the 86th most popular surname in the United States.

Surname Origin: German, Scottish, English, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Chinese

Alternate Surname Spellings: LANGE, LONG, LUNG, LAING, DE LANGE

Famous People with the LANG Surname

  • Fritz Lang - Austrian-born film director
  • David Lange - former New Zealand prime minister
  • Jessica Lange - American actress
  • Josephine Lang - German composer
  • Algot Lange - Swedish explorer
  • Joseph Lange - Vienna actor and painter; Mozart's brother-in-law

Where Is the LANG Surname Most Common?

According to surname distribution from Forebears, the Lang surname is most common in Austria, where it ranks 24th in the nation, followed by Germany (35th), Switzerland (61st), Luxembourg (104th), Liechtenstein (132nd), China (193rd) and Vietnam (203rd). The Lange spelling of the surname, on the other hand, is most common in Germany (26th), followed by Greenland (47th) and Denmark (107th). Lang is more common in the United States than Lange.

WorldNames PublicProfiler indicates a similar distribution, with the greatest percentage of individuals named Lang in Austria, followed by Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, and Luxembourg. Lange is most common in Germany, especially northern Germany, followed by Denmark.

Genealogy Resources for the Surname LANG

Meanings of Common German Surnames
Uncover the meaning of your German last name with this free guide to the meanings and origins of common German surnames.

Lang Family Crest - It's Not What You Think
Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as a Lang family crest or coat of arms for the Lang surname. Coats of arms are granted to individuals, not families, and may rightfully be used only by the uninterrupted male-line descendants of the person to whom the coat of arms was originally granted.

LANG Family Genealogy Forum
This free message board is focused on descendants of Lang ancestors around the world. There is also a separate message board for discussion of the Lange surname.

FamilySearch - LANG Genealogy
Explore over 5.8 million results from digitized historical records and lineage-linked family trees related to the Lang surname and variations such as Lange on this free website hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

LANG Surname Mailing List
A free mailing list for researchers of the Lang surname and its variations includes subscription details and searchable archives of past messages. They also host a mailing list for the Lange surname. - LANG Genealogy & Family History
Explore free databases and genealogy links for the last name Lang.

GeneaNet - Lang Records
GeneaNet includes archival records, family trees, and other resources for individuals with the Lang surname, with a concentration on records and families from France and other European countries.

The Lang Genealogy and Family Tree Page
Browse genealogy records and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the Lang surname from the website of Genealogy Today.

References: Surname Meanings & Origins

  • Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.
  • Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Collins Celtic (Pocket edition), 1998.
  • Fucilla, Joseph. Our Italian Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 2003.
  • Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.
  • Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Reaney, P.H. A Dictionary of English Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1997.
  • Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.

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Your Citation
Powell, Kimberly. "LANG Surname Meaning and Family History." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Powell, Kimberly. (2020, August 27). LANG Surname Meaning and Family History. Retrieved from Powell, Kimberly. "LANG Surname Meaning and Family History." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 6, 2023).