Here we will study the meanings of German surnames beginning with Z.
Alternatively, click on the following letters to go to German surnames beginning with:
Zahn – Literally translated this German surname means ‘tooth’ in English. It is most likely to have originally been the nickname for a person with prominent or missing teeth.
Zander – This German surname is a variation of the German surname ‘Sander’. Please see ‘Sander’ listed under ‘German surnames beginning with S’ for further information.
Zapf – Most likely to have originated in Southern Germany, in Bavaria in particular, and stem from the Middle High German word ‘zapfe’ which means ‘stopper / cork’. Thus, this German surname is most likely to have been an occupational name for a tavern owner – in particular referring to the person who poured the beer and wine. However, there is also the possibility that it may have been a nickname for a ‘drunkard’.
Zech – This German last name is most likely to have originally denoted inhabitants of a place bearing the same (or similar) name, such as ‘Zochau’ in Kamenz, Saxony.
Ziegler – This German surname was originally the occupational name for a brick maker.
Zimmer / Zimmerman – Stemming from the Middle High German word ‘zimber’ meaning ‘timber’ / ‘wood’, this German last name was originally the occupational name for a ‘carpenter’.
Zoeller / Zoellner - Deriving from the Middle High German word ‘zoller’, this German surname was originally the occupational name for a ‘customs collector’, ‘tax collector’ or ‘court official.’
Zorn – Literally translated this German last name means ‘anger’ and is thus most likely to have originally been a nickname for a person who became ‘quickly annoyed’ or ‘angry’.
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