Meaning and Origin of: Beilfuss

Family name origins & meanings

  • German : probably from the name of the aromatic plant Beifuss ‘mugwort’ (Artemisia vulgaris), Middle High German bībōz, but by the 13th century reinterpreted as bīvōt ‘for the foot’, with reference to the common belief that strapped to the legs the plant would ward off fatigue on a journey. The excrescent -l- is evidence of a further reinterpretation, as Beilfuss ‘axe foot’, suggestive of a deformity of the foot such as club foot.