Updated June 9, 2019

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Family name origins & meanings

  • German : status name for a headman, leader, or captain, from Middle High German houb(e)t, houpt ‘head’ + man ‘man’. This word denoted any of various civil and military officials at different times and places; it is found as a surname in many parts of central Europe. The first element represents the original Germanic word for ‘head’, but already during the Middle Ages it was being replaced in the literal sense by Kopf, so that today it is retained only in compounds such as this, where it has the transferred sense ‘chief’, ‘principal’.
  • Jewish : mainly an ornamental adoption of 1.