Family name origins & meanings
- German : from Bein ‘bone’, ‘leg’, as a nickname for a cripple or for someone who was exceptionally long-legged. In some cases it may be a short form of a compound name containing this element such as Langbein (‘long leg’), Stelzbein (‘peg leg’).
- North German : from a short form of the personal name Bernhard. In Low German the older short form Behn (see Behn) was diphthongized to Bein.