Family name origins & meanings
- German : from Middle High German zinke ‘peak’, acquired either as a topographic name by someone who lived on or near a crag or on a pointed piece of land or as a nickname for a man with a singularly pointed nose. Compare modern German slang Zinken ‘hooter’. The same word was used to denote the cornet, although the semantic development is not clear, and the surname may sometimes have been metonymic for a player of this instrument. It was not until the 16th century that the metal zinc was discovered and named (apparently from its jagged appearance in the furnace), so this is unlikely to be the origin of the surname.
- German : from Jacinctus, which derives from Hyacinthus, a saint's name. Compare Spanish Jacinto, Italian Giacinto.