Last Names Derived from Professions

Many of today's last names (including many of the most common last names) derive from the medieval tradition of appending people's trade to their given name (for a fictional example, see Ken Follett's "The Pillars of the Earth" and "World Without End"). So let's bring them all together here, those Smiths, Millers, Bakers, Farmers, etc.!

1

by
4.05 avg rating — 6,395 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
2

by
4.11 avg rating — 945 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
3

by
3.50 avg rating — 158,450 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
4

by
3.56 avg rating — 276,771 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
5

by
3.70 avg rating — 78,923 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
6

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 72,366 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
7

by
3.77 avg rating — 205,282 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
8

by
4.17 avg rating — 180,082 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
9

by
3.90 avg rating — 129,717 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
10

by
3.90 avg rating — 656,182 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
11

by
4.04 avg rating — 51,743 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
12

by
3.37 avg rating — 23,500 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
13

by
3.68 avg rating — 59,211 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
14

by
3.93 avg rating — 44,534 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
15

by
3.62 avg rating — 11,326 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
16

by
4.01 avg rating — 6,072 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
17

by
4.29 avg rating — 13,800 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
18

by
3.88 avg rating — 23,293 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
19

by
3.58 avg rating — 4,278,504 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
20

by
3.66 avg rating — 8,750 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
21

by
3.96 avg rating — 66,220 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
22

by
4.74 avg rating — 221,522 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
23

by
3.48 avg rating — 8,239 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
23

by
3.98 avg rating — 79,428 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
25

by
3.81 avg rating — 9,073 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
26

by
3.76 avg rating — 102,218 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
27

by
3.97 avg rating — 5,159 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
28

by
3.81 avg rating — 48,776 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
29

by
4.22 avg rating — 944 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
30

by
3.85 avg rating — 14,571 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
31

by
4.01 avg rating — 16,859 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
32

by
3.94 avg rating — 2,702 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
33

by
3.96 avg rating — 44,282 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
34

by
3.86 avg rating — 416 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
34

by
4.02 avg rating — 101,940 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
36

by
4.06 avg rating — 53,991 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
37

by
3.88 avg rating — 3,793 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
38

by
3.66 avg rating — 5,881 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
39

by
3.71 avg rating — 11,039 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
40

by
4.25 avg rating — 333,807 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
40

by
3.81 avg rating — 102,797 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
42

by
3.97 avg rating — 34,640 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
43

by
4.20 avg rating — 29,704 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
44

by
4.33 avg rating — 33,146 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
45

by
4.07 avg rating — 2,210 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
46

by
3.91 avg rating — 11,077 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47

by
3.59 avg rating — 10,602 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
48

by
3.66 avg rating — 4,859 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
49

by
4.07 avg rating — 5,858 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
50

by
3.61 avg rating — 7,477 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
51

by
3.67 avg rating — 5,363 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
52

by
4.17 avg rating — 47 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
52

by
4.09 avg rating — 12,459 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
54

by
3.95 avg rating — 7,224 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
54

by
3.32 avg rating — 2,863 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
56

by
3.99 avg rating — 574 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
57

by
4.13 avg rating — 10,248 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
58

by
4.38 avg rating — 1,670 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
59

by
3.62 avg rating — 1,899 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
59

by
3.84 avg rating — 1,045 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
59

by
4.25 avg rating — 32,014 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
62

by
4.15 avg rating — 860 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
63

by
4.37 avg rating — 776 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
64

by
3.56 avg rating — 9,828 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
65

by
3.71 avg rating — 54,210 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
4.22 avg rating — 45,599 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
67

by
3.73 avg rating — 494 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
67

by
4.22 avg rating — 27,612 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
69

by
4.15 avg rating — 26,246 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
70

by
3.66 avg rating — 21,332 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
71

by
4.11 avg rating — 1,263 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
71

by
4.06 avg rating — 14,918 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
73

by
4.19 avg rating — 441,121 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
74

by
2.96 avg rating — 5,738 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
75

by
4.19 avg rating — 12,621 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
76

by
4.02 avg rating — 2,436 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
77

by
3.67 avg rating — 4,910 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
78

by
4.03 avg rating — 78 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
79

by
3.91 avg rating — 3,890 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
80

by
3.98 avg rating — 74,967 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
81

by
4.19 avg rating — 24,249 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
82

by
3.90 avg rating — 5,597 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
83

by
3.70 avg rating — 1,294 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
84

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1,109 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
85

by
4.19 avg rating — 5,399 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
86

by
4.21 avg rating — 21,335 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
87

by
3.99 avg rating — 2,562 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
87

by
4.02 avg rating — 244,086 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
89

by
4.14 avg rating — 21,248 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
89

by
3.84 avg rating — 35,872 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
91

by
3.77 avg rating — 3,149 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
91

by
3.77 avg rating — 3,417 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
91

by
3.68 avg rating — 384 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
91

by
3.74 avg rating — 39 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
91

by
3.76 avg rating — 10,539 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
91

by
4.23 avg rating — 24,023 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
97

by
4.15 avg rating — 498 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
97

by
3.69 avg rating — 29,023 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
97

by
3.98 avg rating — 466 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
97

by
3.27 avg rating — 7,971 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
flag this list (?)
7 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) 546 books
456 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 3058 books
785 friends
Derya 840 books
78 friends
Phillip 4337 books
123 friends
Thom 6023 books
316 friends
Bettie☯ 14855 books
106 friends
Miriam 11742 books
441 friends
Reese 1120 books
132 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-27 of 27 (27 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn FOOTNOTE: Sartoris....."taylor" in Latin.


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Yes, of course! (What am I missing about Atwood's "Blind Assassin," though?)


message 3: by Hayes (new)

Hayes Meyer, Maier, Mayer?


message 4: by Bettie☯ (new)

Bettie☯ Was Forster a rapist by trade?


message 5: by Hayes (last edited Jul 08, 2010 08:21AM) (new)

Hayes Forester, perhaps.

Wagner? Muller? Ferber?

(Just found Ferber... Farber=Dyer in german)


message 6: by Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (last edited Jul 08, 2010 08:50AM) (new)

Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Meier (or in last names, any variant spelling) refers to a poulty farmer in German.

Wagner => wagonner (a wagon driver). Same in German for a wagon, or rather, cart wheel maker, btw.

Müller = German for miller.

Forster = forester (forest keeper); again, virtually the same in German (Förster).

And, yes, Ferber (or actually, Färber) = German for dyer.

Anyone for French names? (Boulanger? Patissier? Boucher?)


message 7: by Hayes (new)

Hayes Thanks T.-A. You learn something new every day!

Färber: can't do the umlaut thing on my keyboard... or accents...

Wiki failed me on these!


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Yeah, I know -- that used to drive me nuts when I was living in the States! I hated always having to open a Word doc, insert the umlaut as a special symbol and then copy it ...


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads It's not bad on a Mac, but I never have figured out how to do it on a PC keyboard.

And what is "Atwood"?


message 10: by Hayes (last edited Jul 08, 2010 09:27AM) (new)

Hayes Susanna wrote: "It's not bad on a Mac, but I never have figured out how to do it on a PC keyboard.

I know there is a way, but I cant remember the stupid code numbers...

Themis-Athena wrote: "Yeah, I know -- that used to drive me nuts when I was living in the States! I hated always having to open a Word doc, insert the umlaut as a special symbol and then copy it ..."

...so I've got the ones I use most on my Google side bar, so I just have to copy and paste. No umlaut in Italian, however!


message 11: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Themis-Athena wrote: "Yes, of course! (What am I missing about Atwood's "Blind Assassin," though?)"

Well, it's kinda grim, but "assassin" is a profession in the story-within-the-story. They are higherlings, and there are several of them, the blind assassins. And, of course, there are many books about professional assassins, more's the pity. Martin Sheen plays a professional assassin in Apocalypse Now, a film I wish was a book so I could make GR questions about it.


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) No, but other diacritical marks (à etc.) ...


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Susanna wrote: "It's not bad on a Mac, but I never have figured out how to do it on a PC keyboard.

And what is "Atwood"?"


Yes, I'm wondering about that as well!


message 14: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Themis-Athena wrote: "Susanna wrote: "It's not bad on a Mac, but I never have figured out how to do it on a PC keyboard.

And what is "Atwood"?"

Yes, I'm wondering about that as well!"


One of my grad school classmates was one Alfred KLEINERKREUTZMAN......What's that about ?


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Little cross man??!!


message 16: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Themis-Athena wrote: "Little cross man??!!"

Yes, he said his grandfather would tell the story of how the name came to be, but if Al ever told ME the story, I forgot it. I'm guessing it was the person who was "kleiner", not the cross.


message 17: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Don't forget 'cooper', 'chandler', 'baker', etc. Any such list could get really unweildy really fast.


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Do feel free to add books by Coopers, Chandlers, Bakers, etc. ... the more the merrier, as far as I'm concerned! :)


message 19: by Booklovinglady (last edited Jun 16, 2016 08:55AM) (new)

Booklovinglady What's a 'James'? (As in Henry James, #10)

'Bakker' is Dutch for baker, by the way. 'Boer' is Dutch for farmer and 'Brouwer' is Dutch for brewer. 'Molenaar' is miller, 'Meester' is (school) master and 'Visser' is fisherman.


message 20: by Koenraad (new)

Koenraad 'Kuyper' is the old Dutch form of 'Kuiper' - Cooper in English
'Craemer' is the old Dutch form of 'Kramer' - Peddler/Pedlar in English
'Coster' is the old Dutch form of 'Koster' - Sacristan in English
'Volder' is Dutch for Fuller
'Olyslaegers' is Dutch for a person who crushes plant seeds to get the oil (I don't know the English translation for this)


message 21: by Booklovinglady (last edited Jun 15, 2016 09:10PM) (new)

Booklovinglady Koenraad wrote: "''Olyslaegers' is Dutch for a person who crushes plant seeds to get the oil (I don't know the English translation for this).."

Olyslaegers (Olieslager) = oil-crusher/oil-presser :-)

Coster/Koster is also Sexton. She isn't in the list yet, and I don't have any of her work, otherwise I would have added something by Anne Sexton.


message 22: by Booklovinglady (last edited Jun 15, 2016 09:01PM) (new)

Booklovinglady Hayes wrote: "(Just found Ferber... Farber=Dyer in german)"

The Dutch surname 'Verver'/'Verwer' also means 'dyer'.


message 23: by Koenraad (new)

Koenraad Booklovinglady wrote: "Olyslaegers (Olieslager) = oil-crusher/oil-presser :-)"

Thanks for the translation - didn't realize it was quite that simple :-)

"Coster/Koster is also Sexton. She isn't in the list yet, and I don't have any of her work, otherwise I would have added something by Anne Sexton."

You can add books that are not on your shelves to a list. Just go to "Add Books To This List" and click on Search where it says "Add books from: My Books or a Search". Then you can look up a title, an ISBN or an author and add books from the results.


message 24: by Koenraad (new)

Koenraad Added Felix Timmermans and Lia Timmermans (father and daughter btw). Dutch for' Carpenter'.


message 25: by Booklovinglady (last edited Jun 16, 2016 09:07AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Koenraad wrote: "Added Felix Timmermans and Lia Timmermans (father and daughter btw). Dutch for' Carpenter'."

Completely forgot about Felix Timmermans.... I've added an omnibus with his work. Thanks Koenraad.

Added another one too, by the way: Snijders (son of 'Snijder') = cutter


message 26: by Booklovinglady (last edited Jun 16, 2016 09:18AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Koenraad wrote: "You can add books that are not on your shelves to a list...."

I know I can ;-) but I rarely do. Except for Listopia's used for the seasonal challenges of the Netherlands & Flanders group (in which only titles of books translated into Dutch are mentioned), because if I stuck to the titles on my own shelves for these, I wouldn't have a Listopia to refer to :-)


message 27: by Booklovinglady (last edited Jun 16, 2016 09:16AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Hayes wrote: "Wagner? Muller? Ferber..."

"Wagner" is German and if I remember correctly it has something or other to do with carts/wagons. So maybe someone who makes carts and wagons. I'm sorry, but it is nearly 40 years ago since I took German classes in high school :-)


back to top