Some Early Middle High German Bynames
Articles > Names

Some Early Middle High German Bynames
with Emphasis on Names from the Bavarian Dialect Area

Brian M. Scott
© 2004 by Brian M. Scott; all rights reserved.


The basis for this list is Chapter XIX, Übernamen, of Adolf Socin's Mittelhochdeutsches Namenbuch, which treats bynames of nickname type. From that collection I began by discarding all citations dated after 1240 except those referring to someone also named in a citation dated 1240 or earlier. (Undoubtedly some of the undated citations are actually early enough to have been included, but since I cannot be sure which, I have preferred to exclude all of them.)

I also deleted citations tagged by Socin with a question mark. For some bynames this left only fully Latinized citations; in those cases I have added in parentheses one or two of the earliest German citations, if any. I also added any citations of these names dated 1240 or earlier in Josef Karlmann Brechenmacher's Etymologisches Wörterbuch der Deutschen Familiennamen; each of these is followed in parentheses by the headword under which it is found in Brechenmacher. Finally, I added some early southeastern citations found on page 268 of Socin.

I have tried to be sure that all citations are from the High German dialects. The majority are from the Upper German dialect areas, Alemannic in the southwest and Bavarian in the southeast, though some are Middle German. I have not tried to localize every citation, but those that I know to be from the Bavarian dialect region are marked ‘(*)’.

Headwords entirely in upper-case are normalized Middle High German (MHG) forms. A few of these are preceded by an asterisk; this indicates that I did not find the actual word in any available MHG references but that I am confident that it is properly constructed from attested MHG elements. If I was not certain of the normalized MHG form, I used one of the cited forms as headword, capitalizing only the first letter. Note that normalized MHG includes some editorial diacritical marks: long vowels are indicated by a circumflex, and a variety of <e> with a particular historical origin is indicated with a diaresis.

Abbreviations and Special Notations

adj.: adjective
dim.: diminutive
Lat: Latin
MHG: Middle High German
MLat: Medieval Latin
n.d.: no date
NHG: New High German
OHG: Old High German
[ ]: Square brackets around a symbol indicate that it appears directly above the preceding letter in the original.

The Bynames

Identifiable Bynames

ALT: 'old', usually for the elder of two; Lat senex ‘old, aged’.

  • Henricus senex 11th c. (*)
  • Theodericus Senex 1178 (ALT)
  • Hermann Senex 1222 (ALT)
  • (alt Burgi 1283)
  • (der alte Sphet 1283)

AMOR, AMÛR: ‘god of love; love’.

  • H. Amor 1239
  • Heinr. Amor 1239 = Heinr. dictus Ammur 1259 (AMOR)

ANGEST: ‘affliction, distress, trouble; worry, anxiety, fear’; can also signify the condition in which one sees oneself surrounded by difficulty and danger, even if one calmly accepts it or vigorously combats it. Lat anceps ‘doubtful, extremely hazardous’; NHG Angst.

  • Henricus qui dicitur Angist ca.1200
  • Ruodegerus cognomento Angist ca.1200 (ANGST)
  • Henricus qui dicitur Angist ca.1200 (ANGST)
  • Rudolfus Anceps 1215 (ANGST)

BART: ‘a beard’, Lat barba; all except the last actually represent mit dem Bart ‘with the beard’.

  • Heinricus cum Barba ca.1100
  • Ego comes de Urach dictus mit dem Bart 1236
  • Albero cum barba 1135 (BART)
  • Heriman Barbatus 1135 (BART)
  • Ellinus cum barba 1158 (BART)
  • Albero qui dicitur Bart 1183 (BART)
  • Heinric Part 1180 (*)

BELLÎZ, BELLIZ, BELLEZ: ‘pelt, fur, hide, skin’; NHG Pelz.

  • Cu[o]nradus Bellez [Belliz in another MS.] 1215

BIBER: ‘a beaver’.

  • Wernhere Piber 1149
  • Wernherus Biber 1226 (BIBER)

BLÂTERE: ‘pocks, pustules’; NHG Blatter.

  • Johannes qui Blatre est cognominatus 1219

BLIKIZE, BLICZE: ‘lightning’; NHG Blitz.

  • Ulricus Blicchece 1213

BLINT: ‘blind’, Lat cæcus; NHG blind.

  • Erlunc cecus 9th c.
  • Hiltiger cæcus 9th c.
  • Ludolfus Cecus 1135 (BLIND)

BLUOME: ‘a flower’, Lat flos; NHG Blume.

  • Cho[v]nradus Flos 1177
  • W. Flos 1232
  • Ulr. Flos 1218 (BLUM)
  • (Conr. Bluome 1248)

Bluscichof: The second element is MHG kopf, koph ‘a head’; I have not identified the first element, but according to Socin the sense of the byname is ‘obstinacy, stubbornness, mulishness; a mule’.

  • Cunradus Bluscichof 1196

BOESE: ‘bad, evil, wicked’, originally ‘grim, fierce, hostile’; Lat malus ‘bad, evil, wicked’; NHG bös.

  • Richardus malus 1136
  • (Bo[e]se n.d.)
  • (Bo[e]ze n.d.)

Bonezza: From MHG bône ‘a bean’ and ëzzen ‘to eat’, ‘bean-eater’ (literally ‘bean-eat’).

  • Wernherus Bonezza 12th c.
  • Waltherus Bonezzo (also Boneß) 1219 (BOHNEß)<

*BRÔTELÎN: Dim. of brôt ‘bread’; NHG Brötchen, with a different dim. suffix.

  • Hugo Brotelin 1237

Bulstrich: Possibly analogous to MHG bûlslac ‘a blow that causes a swelling’, from slac ‘a blow’ and bûl, related to biule ‘a swelling’; if so, the second element is strîch ‘a stroke, a blow’. The second element could also be strich ‘a line’, in which case the byname might refer to a weal of some sort.

  • Conradus Bulstrich 1226

BUOLE: ‘a close relative; a lover’; buollîn is a diminutive. NHG Buhle ‘paramour, lover’, now obsolete except in literary usage.

  • Bertolfus Buole 1178 (BUHL)
  • Waltherus Bu[o]elin 1214

Chastelose: Perhaps from MHG kaste ‘a chest, a container’ and -lôs ‘-less’; for a poor man (or, ironically, a wealthy man)?

  • O[v]dalric Chastelose 1149

Chegere: Possibly from MHG kegen 'to drag, to haul', 'a hauler'.

  • Hugo Chegere 1223 = Hugo der Chegir 1233

DICKE, DIC: ‘large, thick, fat’, MLat grossus; NHG dick.

  • Henricus Grossus 1188
  • Reginhardus Grossus 1158

*DRÜZZELSTÔZ: From MHG drüzzel ‘throat, gullet; snout (of an animal)’ and stôz ‘a stab, a blow’; NHG Drossel, stoß.

  • Pertholdus nomine Druscilstoze 1095×1143 (*)

ENINKEL: ‘grandchild, grandson’; NHG Enkel.

  • Wernherus Enchili 1203
  • Adelbero Eincelin [also Enkillin, Enkiln] 1135 (ENKEL)

ESEL: ‘a donkey, an ass’, Lat asinus.

  • Albertus Asinus ca.1190
  • Conradus dictus Esel ca.1240
  • Berwich Esel 1135 (ESEL)
  • Waltherus de Dürrheim qui vocatur Esil 1183 (ESEL)
  • Albertus Asinus 1185 (ESEL)

Eselin: MHG eselîn ‘a she-ass’ or esellîn ‘a small ass’; perhaps the latter is more likely here.

  • Heinricus de Rinfelden Eselin dictus 1240

Frazali: From a dim. of MHG vrâz ‘a glutton’.

  • Chu[o]nradus Frazali 1225

GEIZBART: ‘goat-beard’.

  • magister J. dictus Geizebart ca.1240

*GEIZRIBE: From MHG geiz ‘a goat’ and ribe, ribbe, rippe ‘a rib’; however, the compound is apparently another name for the yarrow or millefolium, like NHG Schafrippe ‘sheep-rib’.

  • Cu[o]nradus ... dictus Geizriebe 1239

GELÜCKE: ‘fortune, fate; chance; favorable outcome’, Lat felicitas ‘luck, piece of luck; felicity, happiness’. However, gelücke is attested only from the 12th century, and it is possible that Felicitas represents some other word. NHG Glück.

  • Johannes Felicitas 1210

GENUFTING: ‘(male) relative, cousin, nephew’.

  • Genufting (de Raderai) 1190 = Gnifting 1216
  • Herm. Genuftinc 1204 (GNIFTING)

GËRSTBRÎ: ‘barley porridge’; NHG Gerstenbrei.

  • Heinricus de Westerburch cognomento Gerestebri 1190 (*)

GÎR: ‘a vulture’, popularly used of any large bird of prey; NHG Geier.

  • Bernhardus Gir 1190 (*)

GLOCKELÎN, GLÖCKELÎN: ‘a small bell’, dim. of glocke, glogge ‘a bell’; NHG Glöckchen, with a different dim. suffix.

  • H. Glogili 1229 = Heinricus dictus Gloggili 1243 = H. Glogli

GRÔZ: ‘big, large’, Lat magnus, but the primary connotation of the byname is ‘tall’; NHG groß.

  • Co[v]nradus qui dicebatur Groze 1220
  • Ruodegerus cognomine Magnus 1234 (GROß)

GUOT: ‘good’, as a byname in the sense ‘friendly, pleasant, mild-mannered’; NHG gut.

  • Lantfridus cognominatus bonus Lanzo 1070 (*) [‘called good Lanzo’, Lanzo being a pet form of Lantfrid]
  • Herimannus Bonus 1170 (GUT)
  • Herimannus filius Herimanni Boni 1197 (GUT)
  • Hermannus dictus der Guot 1236 (GUT)

GUOTMAN: ‘a good man, an honest man’, Lat bonus homo ‘good person’; also used of the class of free men serving under arms from whom the knightly class recruited.

  • Borcardus Bonushomo 1226
  • Burchardus Guotman 1200 (GUTMANN)

Hadrarius: Apparently a Latinization of MHG *haderære, a nomina agentis from the verb hadern ‘to argue, to quarrel, to squabble; to tease (between lovers)’. NHG Haderer ‘grumbler’.

  • Enze Hadrarius 1095×1147 (*)

HAN, HANE: ‘a rooster’, Lat gallus; NHG Hahn.

  • Wernherus Galli 1202
  • (Johannes Hano 1276)

Havenblast: The first element appears to be MHG haven ‘earthenware container, pot’; the second could be blâst ‘a snort, a blowing; flatulence’.

  • Rodolfus Havenblast 1214

HELBELINC: ‘1/2 Pfennig’, MLat obolus ‘halfpenny’; perhaps also for one who is not taken seriously.

  • Bertoldus Obolus 1212/13
  • (Chono Helbelinch 1267 = Cu[o]no dictus Obulus)

HÊRRE, HËRRE: ‘master, lord’; sometimes ironic, and sometimes for a member of the local authority. NHG Herr.

  • C. plebanus in Haltingin nomine Herre 1235

HERZOGE: ‘leader of the army; a duke’, Lat dux, usually for one who was in charge of some community function (e.g., the dux annonä was responsible for receipt of the grain gathered as tax); occasionally for a role in a play. NHG Herzog.

  • Hainricus Dux 1176 = Heinr. dux annonä 1273 (HERZOG)
  • Heinrich Dux 1173 (HERZOG)
  • Rapoto Dux 1200 (HERZOG) [son of the previous]
  • (Bertoldus Dux 1278 = Berchtoldus dictus Herzoge)

HOLZAPFEL: ‘a crabapple’.

  • Henricus cognominato Holzapphel 1210

HUNT: ‘a dog, a hunting dog’, Lat canis ‘a dog’; NHG Hund.

  • Wernherus Canis 1236
  • (Jo. dictus Hunt 1293)

HUON: a hen’, dim. huonlîn; Lat pullus ‘a chicken’. NHG Huhn.

  • Siffridus Pullus 1207
  • Sifridus Pullus 1212 (HUHN)
  • Eggehardus Pullus 1217 = Eggeh. Hunekelin 1223 (HÜHNCHEN)
  • (Johannes dictus Hu[e]nlin n.d.)
  • (Wernherus dictus Hu[e]nli n.d.)

JUNC: ‘young’, originally for the junior of two, or MHG junge ‘a youth, a young man’; Lat juvenis ‘young; a young man’. NHG jung, Junge.

  • Cu[o]no miles dictus Juvenis 1239
  • Ricolfus Juvenis 1172 (JUNG)
  • Gerh. Juvenis 1238 (JUNG)
  • (dominus Wernherus dictus Juvenis de Hadesta 1260 = Wernherus de Hadestat dictus Junge 1269)

KABÜTZE: ‘a hood, a cowl’; NHG Kapuze.

  • Cho[v]nradus Capuz 1095×1143 (*)

*KÆSEBIZZE: From MHG kæse ‘cheese’ and bizze ‘closing of the mouth to bite; the piece bitten off’ or possibly bîz ‘act of biting’.

  • Adalbret Chasibizze 1095×1143 (*)
  • Ortlip cognomento Chæsbize 12th c. (*)

KALP: ‘a calf’; NHG Kalb.

  • Wernherus Vitulus 1199
  • Cunr. Vitulus 1216 (KALB)
  • Cuonr. Calf 1219 (KALB)
  • Heinr. Calp 1222 (KALB)
  • Werinheri Vitulus 1095×1143 (*)

KIENAST: ‘a pine-branch’.

  • Berchtoldus Chienast 12th c.

KINT: ‘a child’, Lat puer ‘a boy, a lad’; NHG Kind.

  • Burchardus Puer 1129 = Burchardus qui cognominatur Puer 1146
  • Burkardus Puer 1199
  • Cu[o]nradus qui cognomine Chint dicitur 1202
  • Heidenricus cognomento Puer 1206 (KIND)

*KLINGELVUOZ: ‘clink-foot’, from the practice of wearing small bells on the turned-up toes of one's shoes; the Latinization sonipes is from sonare ‘to sound, to ring’, sonus ‘a sound, a noise’, or the like, and pes ‘a foot’. Modern surnames based on this idea include Klinke(r)fuß and Klingelfuß. This suggests that there were two slightly different underlying MHG forms, and Sonipes may represent the other one.

  • Henricus Sonipes 1190×1202

KLOBELOUCH, KNOBELOUCH: ‘garlic’; NHG Knoblauch.

  • Burhardus Clobelouch 1197
  • Gotfrid Chnobolohe 1165 = Kloweloch (KNOBLAUCH)
  • Cunr. Clobeloch 1223 (KNOBLAUCH)

KÔLHUPFER: ‘a grasshopper’, OHG côlhopfo, literally ‘cabbage-hopper’.

  • Bertholdus qui dicebatur Colhoppho 1189
  • Heinricus Colophus 1192

KRAPFE: ‘a hook, a clamp’, OHG chrapho, or an identical word meaning ‘a kind of deep-fried cake, a doughnut’.

  • Algotus Crapho 1220

KREMPEL: ‘a claw, a curved prong’.

  • Adelbreht Chrempel 1095×1143 (*)

KRÖUWEL: ‘a fork with hook-shaped tines; a hook for grabbing or dragging’.

  • Conradus Crowel 1240 = Cunradus Crewil ca.1240
  • Hermannus Crouwil = Crowil = Crowel = Croel 1150×60 (KREU(E)L)

KUPFERHELBELINC: From MHG kupfer ‘copper’ and helbelinc ‘1/2 Pfennig’.

  • Godefridus cognominatus Cupferhelbeling 1201

KURZ: ‘short’.

  • Hesso Kurze 1240 = Hesso Curzo ca.1240 = dominus Hesso dictus Kurze 1262
  • Waltherus Kurzo miles 1214

Landœse: From MHG lant ‘land, earth, region’ and oesen, ôsen ‘to make empty, to exhaust’; literally something like ‘land-waste’, and the sense is ‘one who

ravages or lays waste the land’.

  • Walterus Landœse 1226

LANC: ‘long’, Lat longus ‘long’, i.e., ‘tall’; NHG lang.

  • O[v]dalricus longus 1143
  • O[v]dalricus Longus 1145
  • Cuono Longus 1108 (LANG)
  • Herm. Lange 1135 (LANG)
  • Wernherus Longus 1197 (LANG)
  • (dominus Reinboldus dictus der Lange 1261)

Leckelere: Apparently related to MHG lëcker ‘a sponger, a freeloader; a glutton; a clown, a buffoon’.

  • Dietricus miles dictus der Leckelere 1240

LILJE: ‘a lily’; NHG Lilie.

  • Bertoldus Lilje 1215

MARSCHALC: ‘a farrier, a groom’, later a high official; NHG Marschall.

  • Wernherus probus Marschalcus 1233
  • Heythenricus qui dicitur Marescalcus 1172 (MARSCHALL)

MÂZE: ‘measure, moderation, appropriateness, adequacy’, for a person who behaves in a measured, moderate fashion.

  • Rudolfus Maze 1200 (*)

MËLDE: ‘betrayal; slander, calumny; boasting; rumor, general gossip, both good and bad’.

  • Richper Melde = Richpert Melda 1095×1147 (*)

MERZE, MERZ: ‘(the month of) March’, Lat Martius, MLat also Marcius; NHG März.

  • Ro[v]dolfus Marcius 1177
  • Theodoricus Merzo 1234 (MÄRZ)

MORSAERE, MORSER: ‘a mortar’; NHG Mörser.

  • Morsere 1215
  • (her Johannes der Morser 1267)

MÛL, MÛLE: ‘a mouth’; NHG Maul.

  • Ru[o]tbreht Mul 1095×1143 (*)

MÜNECH, MÜNICH, MÜNCH, MUNCH: ‘a monk’, MLat monachus; often a nickname rather than a literal description. NHG Mönch.

  • C. Monachus de Basilea 1191
  • Hugo Monachus 1185×90 = Hugo advocatus cognomine Monachus 1203
  • Herm. Monachus 1135 (MÖNCH)
  • Albertus qui dicitur Monachus 1204 (MÖNCH) [a farmer]
  • Gottfridus Monachus 1218 (MÜNCH)
  • Conr. Munachus 1226 (MÜNCH) [a layman]
  • (her Gunter der Munech von Basele 1262)
  • (der Mu[']nich von Berstette 1263)
  • (Heinricus dictus Mu[']nch 1275)
  • (der Münich von Bischofesheim 1263)

NÂDEL, NÂDELE: ‘a needle’; Nadilinc may be an error for Nadelin, representing MHG nâdelîn, a dim. of nâdel. NHG Nadel.

  • Richerus Nadel 12th c. = Richerus Nadilinc

NÔTHAFT: ‘needy, living in poverty; oppressed’.

  • Albertus Nothaft 1182 (*)
  • Grimoldus dictus Nothaft 1182 (NOTHAFT)

*NÔTÎSEN: From MHG nôt ‘hardship, trouble; need; pressing reason’ and îsen ‘iron’; a byname for a smith, but the sense is not clear to me.

  • Eberhardus cognomento Nothisen 1200
  • Eberh. Nothisen 1197 (NOTHEISEN)
  • Albero Nothisin 1209 (NOTHEISEN)

*OVENLÎN: Dim. of MHG oven ‘an oven, a kiln, a furnace’, NHG Ofen.

  • Friderich Ovenlin 1236

PHAFFE: From OHG phaffo ‘a cleric, a priest’; NHG Pfaffe (now pejorative).

  • Heinricus Phapho 1226 = Heinricus Clericus miles 1233 = Henricus dir Phaffo miles 1241 [‘the priest’]

PRINZE: ‘prince’; NHG Prinz.

  • Heinricus cognomine Prince 1178 (*)

Rebil: Perhaps MHG rebell ‘rebellious’, but perhaps a dim. of the forename Raban, Rab or of MHG rabe ‘a raven’.

  • Manegoldus Rebil 1200

RÊCHBOC: ‘a roebuck’; NHG Rehbock.

  • Heinrich Rehpoch 1095×1143 (*)
  • Heinr. Rehboc 1224 (REHBOCK)

RÎCHE, RÎCH, RICH: ‘rich, wealthy’, originally ‘powerful, mighty, noble’; Lat dives ‘rich’. NHG reich.

  • Chu[o]nradus Dives 1193
  • dives Petrus ca.1181
  • R. Dives 1166×79
  • Rodolfus Dives 1207
  • Rodolfus Dives miles 1214
  • Ru[o]dolfus Divitis 1226
  • Ulricus Dives 1174
  • Gerlacus Dives 1170 (REICH)
  • Chuono Dives 1180 (REICH)
  • (Henricus dictus Dives 1262 = dominus H. dictus Riche miles 1271)
  • (Henricus dictus der Riche 1275

RISE: ‘a giant’; NHG Riese.

  • Heinricus cognomento Rise 1215
  • Heinricus Rise 1239
  • der Rise 1231

RÔT: ‘red’, Lat rufus ‘red; red-haired’; NHG rot.

  • Cunradus Rufus scriptor episcopi 1200
  • Drutwinus Rufus 1161
  • Wernerus et Burchardus qui dicuntur Roten 1237 [plural here]
  • Wernherus Rufus 1237
  • Richardus Rufus 1113 (ROTH)
  • Albero Rufus 1142 (ROTH)
  • Arnoldus Rufus 1175 (ROTH)
  • Herolt der Rote 1188 (ROTH)
  • Henricus rufus 11th c. (*)

ROUBÆRE, RÖUBÆRE, RÖUBER: ‘a robber’; NHG Räuber.

  • Cu[o]nradus Robere 1223

Ruber: Perhaps Lat ruber ‘red’, representing MHG rôt, but perhaps a bad spelling of MHG roubære ‘a robber’ (see above for both).

  • A. Ruber 1239

RÛCH, RÛHE: ‘hairy, shaggy’, Lat hirsutus; NHG rauh ‘rough’.

  • Emicho irsutus comes 1198

SATEL: ‘a saddle’, MLat sella; NHG Sattel.

  • Wernerus Satel ministeriales 1228
  • miles cognomine Sella 1227 (SATTEL)

Scaphili: Probably MHG schæfelîn, a dim. of schâf ‘a sheep’, but perhaps a dim. of scha(p)f ‘container for fluids, a barrel, a tub’.

  • Burchardus Scaflinus 12th c.
  • Ulrich Scaphili 1155
  • Ulr. Schafli [also Schafelinus] 1226 (SCHÄFLE(IN))

SCHADE: ‘one who harms, an opponent, an adversay’.

  • Cho[v]nrat Scade 1180
  • Heinric Scado 1188
  • dominus Ru[o]dolfus nobilis dictus Schade de Randegge 1225
  • Frid. Schado 1213 (SCHAD)
  • Ditericus Schado 1230 (SCHAD)

SCHËCKE: ‘a striped or quilted coat’; also an adj., ‘striped, spotted’.

  • Fridericus Schecho 1177
  • Gotfridus Scheccho 1233 = Gotefridus dictus Shecho 1262
  • miles Cuonr. cognomine Schecco 1209 (SCHECK)
  • Gerungus Scheko 1223 (SCHECK)

SCHIFFELÎN, SCHËFFELÎN: Dim. of schif, schëf ‘a ship’; NHG Schiffchen, with a different dim. suffix.

  • O[v]dalric Schiphili 1149
  • Otto Siphpheli 1168 = Otto Sipheli 1169 = Sciphili 1172

SCHIRBEN: ‘a fragment of broken crockery’.

  • Adilbertus cognomento Scirbin ca.1200

*SCREIVOGEL: From MHG schrei ‘a cry, a shriek’ and vogel ‘a bird’.

  • Werinheri Screivogel 1095×1143 (*)

*SCHÜZZELWANST: ‘bowl-belly’, from MHG schüzzel ‘a bowl’ and wanst ‘belly, paunch’.

  • O[v]dalricus Schuzzilwenst 1190 (*)

Seligkint: From MHG sælec ‘fortunate, good-natured’ and kint ‘a child’; NHG selig, Kind.

  • Heinricus Seligkint 1189 (*)

    Sellose: Probably MHG sêlelôs ‘without a soul, lifeless’, attested as sellos, but possibly ‘deserted, abandoned’, from selle ‘a companion, a comrade’ and -lôs ‘-less’.

    • Sellose 1240
    • (Ru[e]dinus dictus Sellos n.d.)

    SPANSEIL: ‘a tether, a hobble for horses’; NHG Spannseil.

    • Burchardus cognomento Spanseil 12th c.
    • Cunr. Spannseil 1206 (SPAN(N)SEIL(ER))

    SPORLÎN: ‘larkspur’, but also simply a dim. of MHG spor ‘a spur’, used for the son of a man with the byname spor.

    • Oddo Sporelin, for example, is the son of Conr. Sporo 1150.
    • Heinricus de Krozcingen dictus Sporlinus 1238
    • Oddo Sporelin 1157 = Otto Sporo (SPÖRLE(IN))
    • Heinr. dictus Sporlinus 1234 (SPÖRLE(IN))

    Steinmutte: The first element is MHG stein ‘a stone’; the second seems to be mütte, mutte, müt, mut ‘a measure of capacity roughly analogous to a bushel’. The sense as a nickname is not clear.

    • Pernoldus Steinmutte 1095×1143 (*)

    STÖR, STÖRE, STÜR, STÜRE: ‘a sturgeon’; NHG Stör.

    • Berthold Störe 1235

    STROBEL: ‘full of underbrush; unkempt, shaggy’, referring to hair.

    • C. Strubel 1240
    • Gerungus miles dictus cognomine Strubel 1240

    STRÛCHÆRE: ‘one who stumbles or trips’.

    • Co[v]mpoldus Struchere 1095×1147 (*)

    Stullin: Perhaps a dim. of MHG stolle ‘a support, a stand, a post, a foot’ or of stuole ‘a stool, a bench’.

    • Anselmus qui cognominabatur Stullin 1122

    STURMÆRE, STÜRMÆRE: ‘a fighter’.

    • Wernherus Sturmere 1161
    • Wernh. Sturmere 1197 (STÜRMER)
    • Herbord Sturmere 1227 (STÜRMER)

    *SUNNENKALP: literally ‘sun-calf’, this is a name for the ladybird, which was supposed to bring good luck; from MHG sunne ‘sun’ and kalp ‘a calf’. NHG Sonnenkalb.

    • nobilis vir Algotus Sunnunchalbus 1228
    • Conrad Sunnenchalb 1218 (SONNE(N)KALB)
    • Adelgoß cognomento Sunnunchalp 1220 (SONNE(N)KALB)

    *SÛRMAN: ‘a sour man, a bitter man’, from MHG sûr ‘sour, dour, bitter, grim, fierce’ and man ‘a person, a man’.

    • Tietricus dictus Surman 1218

    SWARZ: ‘black, dark-colored’, Lat niger ‘black’; NHG schwarz.

    • Purchart Niger 1145
    • Burchardus niger 12th c.
    • Cu[o]nradus miles dictus Swarze 1225
    • Wernerus Niger 1226
    • Burch. Niger 1140 (SCHWARZ)
    • Gerhardus Niger 1147 (SCHWARZ)
    • Albertus Niger 1159 (SCHWARZ)
    • Perhtold Swarze 1200 (SCHWARZ)
    • Liutwinus niger 1070×95 (*)
    • Hartradus niger 11th c. (*)

    TIUVELÎN: Dim. of MHG tiuvel ‘devil’, Lat diabolus; the word is also an adjective meaning ‘fiendish, devilish, stemming from the devil’.

    • Rudolfus Divellin 1194 = Rudolfus Tuvillin 1200 = Rudolfus Tivilin 1207<
    • Marcmannus Diabolus 1200 (TEUFEL)

    TORSE: ‘cabbage-stalk’, for a skinny, gaunt person.

    • frater C. Torso 1234
    • Cunr. dictus Dorse 1240 (DORß)

    TÔT: ‘dead; death’', Lat mors ‘death’; NHG tot, Tod.

    • Hugo Mors 1199
    • (Nichol. dictus der Tot n.d.)

    TRÔST: ‘help, assistance’; as a byname, ‘helper, comforter; guarantor’; NHG Trost.

    • Chu[o]nrat Trost 12th c.

    UNGESMAC: ‘stinking; disgusting, unpalatable’.

    • Rapoto Ungesmach 1197 (*)

    VLÔCH, VLÔ: ‘a flea’, OHG flôh, Lat pulex: NHG Floh.

    • Wernherus Pulex 1233

    VOCHENZE: ‘bread baked at one’s own hearth’; the vochezer did not bake bread to sell, but was permitted only to use grain brought to him by the customer.

    • C. Vochince 1239

    *VOLARC: From MHG vol ‘full’ and arc ‘treasure chamber’.

    • Vollarc 11th c.

    VRÂZ: ‘a glutton; feasting, gluttony’.

    • Heinrih Fraso de Tuncelingun 1095×1147 (*)
    • Wilh. Vraß 1149 (FRAß)
    • Heinr. Vraß 1159 (FRAß)

    VRIUNT: ‘a friend’, OHG friunt; NHG Freund.

    • Chuonradus Friunt 1156 (*)

    VUHS: ‘a fox’, Lat vulpes; NHG Fuchs.

    • Arnoldus qui Vulpis dicitur 1237 = Arnoldus Vulpes 1242
    • Arnolt der Fuhs n.d. [may be the same person]
    • Hugo dictus Vulpes 1237
    • Daniel cognomine Fu(h)s 1198 (FUCHS)

    VÜHSELÎN: Dim. of vuhs ‘a fox’.

    • Berchtoldus dictus Vuhseli 1219
    • Joh. Vuchselinus 1234

    VÜRSTE: ‘the first, the best, the highest; a ruler; a person of the highest rank after the king’, OHG furisto; NHG Fürst.

    • Bertholdus Fursto 1227

    WANDELBÆRE: ‘not as it should be, defective; fickle’.

    • H. Wandilber 1238 = H. Wandelber n.d. (*)

    WILDE, WILT: ‘wild, fierce’; NHG wild.

    • C. cognomine dictus Wild miles 1229
    • Heinr. dictus Wilde 1245

    Wirsinc: Probably a derivative in -ing of MHG wirs ‘worse’, wirsen ‘to make worse, to damage’, thus, ‘one who is worse’.

    • Pertholdus de colle qui et Wirsinch dictus est = Pertholdus de colle qui et Wirsinc 1095×1147 (*)

    WÎS, WÎSE: ‘sensible, clever, educated, wise’, Lat sapiens; NHG weis.

    • Berhardus Sapiens 12th c.

    Wisebegere: ‘white Bavarian’, from MHG wîz ‘white’, Lat albus, and a variant of Beier ‘a Bavarian’.

    • Albertus Begero albus 1236 = Albertus Wisebegere miles 1250

    WÎZ: ‘white, bright’, Lat albus ‘white’; NHG weiß.

    • Herich Albus 968
    • Hugo Albus 1148
    • Purchardus Albus urbanus Turicensis 1159
    • Reginbold Albus 976
    • Uodalrich Albus 1136 (WEIß)
    • Eberwinus albus 1226 (WEIß)

    *WÎZSILBERLÎN: From MHG wîz ‘white, bright’, silber ‘silver’, and the dim. suffix -lîn.

    • H. et C. Wizsilberline 1239
    • Conr. Wißsilberlin 1239 (WEIZßSILBERLE)

    Wutan: Apparently MHG Wuotan ‘Woden’.

    • Heinrich Wutan 1095×1147 (*)

    ZWIBOLLE, ZIBOLLE: ‘an onion’; NHG Zwiebel.

    • Heinricus Zeibil 1226 = Heinricus dictus Zebel n.d. = Heinricus Zebul n.d. = H. Zœbel n.d. = H. Zobel n.d.
    • Heinr. Zwivel [and Zwifel] 1185 = Henr. Zwivil

    ZAGEL: ‘a tail’, metaphorically also ‘penis’, here with a dim. suffix; can also refer to a piece of land that sticks into another.

    • Co[v]nradus Zegilli 1203

    Zophilare: Perhaps ‘one who does the zopfen’, a hopping dance step; some connection with zopf, zoph ‘a pigtail, a plait, a braid’ is also imaginable.

    • Burchardus Zophilare 12th c.

    Latin Only With No Clear MHG Basis

    Falsus: ‘false, untrue’.

    • Gunthalm falsus 1050 (*)

    Parvus: ‘small; short; insignificant’.

    • Liutwinus parvus 1070×95 (*)

    Testa: ‘tile; jug, crock; potsherd; fragment; head’, as a byname probably referring to the head.

    • Henricus Testa marscalus 1189



    • Arnolt Anagiol 1095×1147 (*)


    • Enceman Biciehare 1095×1147 (*)


    • Cuno Græwelarius 1223


    • Werinhere Ho[v]cemo[v]th 1095×1147 (*)


    • O[v]dalrich Hosel 1095×1147 (*)


    • O[v]dalrich Mocelere 1095×1147 (*)


    • Erich nunnile 968


    • Heinrich Runne 1095×1147 (*)


    • Otto der schilehenta 1137 (*)