Friday, April 11, 2008

What's in a Name?

Some names have clear stories while others seem like they were made up at random. My English landlady once told me that my name, Fitzgerlad means "son of Gerald" which would explain the other names with a Fitz prefix also and works for me as my Grandfather is actually named Gerald. In Germany, I've come across many more names that are made up of words. So many and some with crazy translations or pronounciation that I've decide to keep a running list (please feel fre to add) Here goes:
  • Kaseberg (cheese mountain)
  • Bauermeister (farm master)
  • Schade (loosely translates to poor thing, sometimes used as an explicitive in place of shit like one would say oh shoot!)
  • Klar (clear)
  • Berg (mountain)
  • Klein (small)
  • Kleinjung (small boy)
  • Biermann (Beer Man)
  • Hoffman (station man)
  • Kohlsdorf (I think this would be cabbace town)
  • Lowensberg (lion mountain)
  • Neuhaus (new house)
  • Rosenbaum (rose tree)
  • Deutsch (German) - I've actually seen this one in the US, not here
  • Montag (Monday) yes Heidi's last name is actually Monday
  • von - the prefix von in any last name literally means from. I met a Dutch guy whose last name was von Bremen (a city in Germany) and when I asked Patrick about this, he explained the history and trading background between the two places. I was impressed that a name could hold so much.

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