Meaning and Origin of: Kaplan

Family name origins & meanings

  • Jewish (Ashkenazic) : surname used as a translation ofCohen, from German Kaplan or Polish kapłan‘chaplain’, ‘curate’.
  • German, Swedish, Czech, and Slovenian; Slovak (Kaplán); Polish (Kapłan); Hungarian (Káplán) : status name for a deacon, chaplain, or curate (ultimately from Late Latincapellanus (see Chaplin 1), or a nickname for someone resembling a clergyman).
  • Turkish : from kablan‘tiger’, hence a nickname for someone thought to resemble a tiger, typically in having indomitable courage or spirit. In the form Kaplanis, this is also found as a Greek surname, with various patronymic and other derivatives (Kaplanidis, Kaplanoglou, Kaplanellis, etc.)