65 Cool Swiss Last Names With Meaning

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What’s in a last name? One of the most wonderful, amazing things about surnames is that you can find rich culture, deep history, and great meaning woven into the last names found in a particular country. 

Swiss last names beautifully reflect the culture and history of the country. These last names tell the diverse, remarkable story of Switzerland — the ancestral occupations, social status, geographical origins, and cultural diversities. Some Swiss last names are even diminutive forms of times personal names as well. 

Meaningful Swiss last names are a great, interesting way to learn more about such a lovely country. Here, we’re sharing 65 cool Swiss last names that paint an intricate picture of Switzerland’s charm and culture

65 Cool Swiss Last Names With Meaning

Cool Swiss Last Names With Meaning

Read on and embrace history with these cool Swiss last names

1. AMMANN

Ammann is a surname that is Swiss German. It is derived from “amber man” which is a Middle German term that means “retinue man” or “retainer”. This Swiss surname may have indicated people who worked as administrators originally. N

2. ANDROS

Andros is a Swiss German surname that can be commonly found. It is said to be a variation of the boy name “Andreas”. The name “Andreas” comes from “Andreios”, a Greek name which means “masculine” or “manly”.

3. BACHMANN

Bachmann is a surname which is composed of two Middle High German words: The first is “bach” which means “stream”, and the second is “man” which means “man”. This surname is said to be toponymic in origin, so it represents those who live or dwell near a brook or a spring.

4. BAUMANN

Baumann is a surname that is derived from “bumann”, a Middle High German word which means “farmer”. This surname is said to have early medical roots, and is thought to represent a status name for peasants. 

5. BERGE

Berge is a surname that is from the word “berg” which is German for “mountain”. This is another surname with a toponymic origin, and it is said to represent people who live or dwell in mountains or hills. 

6. BIERI

Bieri is a surname that is derived from a boy’s name. The boy’s name is “Pierre” which is the French variation of the classic name, “Peter”. The name “Peter” comes from “Petros”, which is the Greek word for “stone”.

7. BLASER

Blaser is a surname that is derived from the Middle High German word “blasaere”, meaning “blower”. This surname is said to most probably be of occupational origin, and most likely represented a wind instrument-playing musician. 

8. BRUCKER

Brucker is a surname that came from “Brucke”, a German word which means “bridge”. It is said that this surname is either an occupational name for a person who was a bridge keeper, or a toponymic name which represents those who dwell near a bridge. 

9. BRUNNER

Brunner is a surname that comes from “Brunner”, a German word meaning “spring” or “fountain”. This surname is said to have most likely been a toponymic name which refers to people who lie near a fountain or a spring or a well. 

10. BURRI

Burri is said to have originally been a nickname of the boy’s name “Burkhart”. The name “Burkhart” is made up of two German elements: “Burg” which means “castle” or “fort”, and “hart” which means “hardy” or “brave”. 

11. CHRISTEN

Christen is a Swiss surname which came from “Christianus”. “Christianus” is a name of Latin roots, and it means “follower of Christ” or “a Christian. 

12. EGGER

Egger is a Swiss surname which was derived from “egged”, A German word which means “to plow” or “to harrow”. It is said that Egger might have been occupational in origin, to refer to a peasant or a farmer. 

13. ELMER

Elmer is a Swiss surname that is said to have been toponymic in origin. This surname represents to those who resided in Elmer, a village that is situated in the Glarus region of the country of Switzerland. 

14. FANKHAUSER

Fankhauser is a surname that is said to have been derived from “fang haus”, a German phrase which means “capture house”, an enclosure that was used during hunting to keep animals locked in or captured. The surname Fankhauser may have been referring to those who dwelled in, or looked after, a said capture house. 

15. FAVRE

Favre is a surname that is derived from “faber”, a Latin word which means “craftsman” or “smith”. This surname is said to be occupational in origin, and refers to a person who is from a family of craftsman or blacksmiths. 

16. FISCHER

Fischer is a surname that comes from the same German word which means “fisher” or “fisherman”. It is said that this surname is occupational in origin, and is indicative of a person who was a fisherman by occupation. 

17. FREI

Frei is a surname that is of German roots. It is actually the German word for “liberal” or “free”. It is said that the surname Frei may most probably have been originally a status name in indicating an emancipated or free person within a feudal system. 

18. FUCHS

Fuchs is a surname that comes from “fuhs”, an Old High German word which means “a fox”. Fuchs is said to most likely have been a nickname given to someone who was sly, crafty, or cunning – like a fox. Some also say that this surname may have also been a pet name for someone who had red hair. 

19. GASSER

Gasser is a surname that came from the German word “gasse” which means “alley” or “street”. This surname is most likely of toponymic roots, and may have been indicative of individuals who resided in a side street or an alley. 

20. GERBER

Gerber is a surname that is actually also the German term for a “tanner”. Because of this, Gerber is probably a surname of occupational origins, used to indicate people whose occupation was in tanning leather. 

21. GISLER

The Swiss surname Gisler is said to be a modified variation of the name “Geissler”. Gisler comes from the Middle High German word “geiz” which means “goat”. Because of this, Gisler is probably an occupational surname that represented a goatherd.

22. GRAF

Graf is a Swiss surname that means “count” or “earl” in German. It is said that this surname most probably was a title for people who originally were of artistocratic families. Others say Graf may have been a surname for people who served families of royal lineage. 

23. HALLER

The Swiss surname Haller is a variation of the personal name “Halter”. “Halter” is derived from “halte”, a Middle High German word that means “pasture”. Thus, Haller is most likely a toponymic surname indicating people who resided near large grass pastures, or on this type of land. 

24. HARTMANN

Hartmann is a surname that is composed of two Middle High German words: The first is “hart” which means “hardy” or “brave”, and the second is “man” which means “man”. So Hartmann carries the meaning “brave man” and was probably indicative of a brave individual or a warrior. 

25. HAUSER

Hauser is a surname that comes from the Middle High German word “hus”, which means “house”, with the suffix “er” added at the end. This surname probably indicated a person who gave protection or shelter to others — like an inn keeper or lodge. 

26. HOFER

Hofer is a surname that is derived from the Middle High German word “hof”, which means “farmstead” or “manor farm”. Thus, Hofer was probably a toponymic surname referring to those who dwelled on a farmstead, or an occupational surname for those who ran or managed a manor farm. 

27. HOFMANN / HOFFMAN

Hoffman / Hoffman is a Swiss surname that comes from the word “hofman” which is Middle High German and means “one who manages the property or farm of another”. So this surname most likely indicated a person who worked as a steward.

28. HUG

The surname Hug is actually an Old German word which means “someone with a strong mind and heart” or “spirit”. So this surname most likely referred to someone with great character or great strength. Hug is said to also have most likely been utilized as a personal name. 

29. IMHOF / IMHOFF

Imhof / Imhoff is a surname that has Middle Low German roots, and it means “at the manor farm”. Thus, this surname is one that was occupational, and refers to people who worked at a farmstead or manor farms.

30. JAGGI

Jaggi is a surname that comes from the German word “jagen”. “Jagen” means “to hunt”, so therefore this surname was probably an occupational one that is indicative of those who were hunters or huntsmen. 

31. KAUFMANN

The surname Kaufmann is actually also the German word for a merchant or a trader. Because of this, the surname is thought to most likely have been occupational in nature, referring to those who worked as merchants or traders. 

32. KELLER

Keller is a surname that is also the German term for the word “cellar”. Thus, this surname is said to be of occupational origins, indicating a warden manning prison cellars, or a person who looked after food cellars. 

33. KLAUSER

The surname Klauser is said to be a diminutive of “Nicholas”, which is a personal name derived from “Nikolaos”. “Nikolaos” is a Greek name which carries with it the meaning, “victorious people”. 

34. KLAUSNER

Klausner is a surname that was derived from “klosenaere”, a Middle High German word which means “hermit”. Because of this, Klausner was probably a surname that indicated an individual who resided at a place that is isolated. 

35. KOCH

The surname Koch is actually also “cook” in masculine German. Because of this, this surname is thought to be an occupational one, and refers to individuals who cooked for a living. 

36. KOHLER

Kohler is a surname that originated from the middle High German word “kol”. “Kol” means “charcoal”, and thus this surname is most likely occupational in origin, and represents a person who sells charcoal or who burns charcoal. 

37. KUHN

The Swiss surname Kuhn is also a German word meaning “daring”, “harry”, “audacious”, or “bold”. Because of the meaning it carries, the surname Kuhn was most probably used to refer to an individual who possessed the qualities mentioned above, 

38. KUNTZ

Kuntz is a surname that is a diminutive of “Konrad”, which is an Old High German word. “Konrad” means “bold advisor”. The surname Kuntz is likely occupational in origin, and is indicative of people who worked as counselors or advisors. 

39. LANGEL

The Swiss surname Langel is derived from the German word “lang” which means “tall” or “long”. Because of this, Langel is thought to have been a nickname for a person who was tall in stature. 

40. LIECHTI

Liechti is a surname that is derived from “liechti”, a Swiss German word meaning “a clearing”. This surname is said to be topographic in origin, and refers to those who live or reside in a clearing. 

41. MARTI

Marti is a Swiss surname that originated as a nickname for the boy’s name, “Martin”. The name “Martin” is derived from “Martinus”, a Roman name which indicates a person who was a follower of Mars, a Roman God. 

42. MEIER

Meier is a surname that originated from the word “Meier”, which is a Middle High German word that means “mayor” or “administrator”. This surname is then most likely an occupational one, referring to those in these particular occupations. A variation of this surname is “Meyer”.

43. MICHEL

The Swiss surname Michel is a variation of the timeless name “Michael”. “Michael” is a personal name that is derived from “Mikhael”, a Hebrew name which carries the meaning, “One who is like God”. 

44. NOSER

Noser is a surname that originated from “Noss”, a Middle High German word which means “cattle”. Thus, the surname Noser was most likely an occupational one, referring to those who raise cattle as well as other domestic animals. 

45. OBERLE

Oberle is a surname that originated from the Middle High German word “ober” which means “upper one”. It is said that this surname is of topographic origins, and refers to those who live above a settlement or at the upper end of a settlement. 

46. PETER

Peter is a Swiss surname that is derived from “Petros”. “Petros” is a Greek word which means “stone” or “rock”.

47. PFISTER

The surname Pfister is actually the Middle High German word which means “baker”. Because of this, Pfister was most likely an occupational surname, indicating those who worked in the profession of baking. 

48. REIF

Reif is a Swiss surname that is a word of Middle High German which means “ribbon” or “roof”. Thus, Reif is said to be an occupational surname, representing an individual who worked as a Cooper or as a ribbon maker. 

49. ROTH

Roth is a surname that is said to have most probably originated from the Middle High German word “rot” which means “red”. Roth is believed to have been used as a nickname for a person who had red hair. 

50. SCHMIDT

Schmidt is a Swiss surname that is quite commonly encountered. It is derived from “smit”, a Middle High German word which pertains to a smith. This surname is then believed to be an occupational one and refers to someone who is a blacksmith or a metalworker. 

51. SCHNEIDER

Scheider is a surname that originated from the German verb “schneiden”. “Schneiden” means “to cut”. As a surname, Schneider is thought to be an occupational one, referring to amerchant of garments or a tailor.

52. SCHWARZ

Schwarz is a surname that is derived from the German word “Schwarz” which means “black”. It is believed that Schwarz may originally have been used to refer to someone with dark complexion or dark hair. 

53. SCHWEIZER

The surname Schweizer is actually the German word referring to “someone from Switzerland” or “a Swiss person”. It is believed that Schweizer most probably originated first in Germany, and then in time was adopted in Switzerland too. 

54. SOMMER

The Swiss surname Sommer is a German word which means “summer”. Because of this, it is thought that Sommer may have been used before as a nickname referring to someone who is associated with the season of summer, or someone who has a warm disposition. 

55. STAHELI

Staheli is a surname that is a variation of the personal name “Stahl”. “Stahl” comes from the word “stal” which is a Middle High German word that means “armor” or “steel”. 

56. SUTTER

Sutter is a surname which is derived from “suter”, a Middle High German word meaning “to sew”. Most likely, the surname Sutter was an occupational one, indicating people who worked as a shoemaker or as a tailor. 

57. TANNER

The surname Tanner is believed to be an occupational one, referring to a person who worked as a merchant of leather or as a tanner. It is also believed that Tanner could have also been a toponymic surname indicating a person who originated from the town of Tann, which is located in Germany.

58. THEILER

Theiler is a surname that originated from “teilen”, a German word which means “division” or “divide”. This surname is an occupational one, and refers to someone in a merchant’s shop who oversees the cutting of the cloth. 

59. VOGEL

The Swiss surname Vogel is also the word for “bird” in German. It is said that this surname most probably was used as a nickname for a bird catcher, or was an occupational surname for someone who caught birds.

60. WAGNER

Wagner is a surname that was derived from “wagener”, a Middle High German word which means “wagon maker”. Because of this, the surname Wagner is thought to be an occupational one. 

61. WEBER

The Swiss surname Weber is the word for “to weave” in Middle High German. Thus, the surname Weber most likely is of occupational origins, and is indicative of someone who works as a weaver. 

62. WUETHRICH

Wuethrich is a surname that originated from the Middle High German word “wüetrich” which means “tyrant”. Because of this, Wuethrich may have been used as a nickname to refer to someone who ie believed to be tyrannical in nature. 

63. ZIMMERMANN

Zimmerman is a surname that is composed of two words of Middle High German origins: “Zimber” which means “timber” and “mann” which means “man”. This is an occupational surname referring for people who worked as carpenters. 

64. ZURCHER

Zurcher is a surname that is said to be a toponymic one, because the word Zurcher is indicative of people who originated from the region of Zurich, which is located in Switzerland. 

65. ZWIEFELHOFER

Zwiefelhofer is a Swiss surname that is considered a habitation surname. It is said to be of Bavarian roots, and is a variation of the word “zwiebelhofer” which refers to someone who resides in an onion farm. 

Swiss last names gift us with insight into the rich tapestry of history and culture and meaning behind this marvelous country. The unique surnames belonging to a particular location give us a peek into its complexities and wondrous beauty. Understanding them will help us understand and appreciate a country even more, 

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