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Updated June 9, 2019

Family name origins & meanings

  • German : descriptive name for a beggar, Middle High German bëtelære, or a very poor person.
  • German : habitational name; in northwestern Germany for someone from Bethel in Westphalia; in Austria from Bettlern in Bohemia (earlier Bettler; the Czech name of the place is Žebrák, from žebrák ‘beggar’), which was probably originally a settlement for homeless or dispossessed people.

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