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The most common Swiss last name is Müller, which means "miller" in English. You'll find Müllers mainly in the German-speaking cantons, which make up most of the land area of Switzerland.
Swiss surnames are commonly found in Switzerland and all around central Europe. If your last name is Swiss or even has German origins, take a look at this list of some of the most well-known Swiss last names. Each name includes some background like its meaning and how it was used. Additionally, you can learn more about the history of Swiss surnames below.
The Origin of Swiss Last Names
As you will be able to see from the list below, many Swiss surnames were occupational, habitational, or status names. Having your last name reflect your profession was the most common, and it would be passed down to children from their father. Many have German roots such as originating from Old German or Middle High German words. This is because German is an official language in Switzerland, along with French and Italian.
Of course, this makes a lot of sense. When looking at a map, Italy, France, and Germany are the bordering countries of Switzerland. This is why you will see a lot of influences from those languages in Swiss last names. The most popular surname in Switzerland is “Muller,” which you can learn more about below!
Most Common Last Names in Switzerland
- Accola - This Swiss surname comes from the Latin word for “neighbor” or “inhabitant.”
- Ammann - This is a Swiss-German occupational name for an administrator like a retainer or other official.
- Bachmann - A German topographic surname for someone who lived by a stream.
- Baumann - A German and Dutch status name for a peasant or neighbor.
- Baumgartner - This is a Swiss-German occupational name for someone who worked on or owned a farm.
- Bieri - This Swiss-German surname is commonly found in Switzerland in Emmental or Bern. It is a form of the French name “Pierre” and was used for a quarryman or stonemason.
- Blaser - This Swiss-German surname is an occupational name for a musician who played a wind instrument.
- Brunner - This is a German topographic name for someone who lived near a spring or well.
- Bucher - This is a German topographic name for someone who lived by a beech tree. It is also a French occupational name for a logger.
- Buhler - This is a derivative of the German-surname “Beuhl” which was a topographic name for someone who lived on a hillside.
- Egger - A South German topographic name for someone who lived on a street or valley corner.
- Elsinger - A Swiss-German occupational name for a keeper of mules or donkeys.
- Favre - A Swiss-French occupational name for a smith or ironworker.
- Fuchs - This is a German surname used as a nickname for someone who is cunning or has red hair.
- Gerber - This is a Swiss occupational name for a tanner.
- Graf - This is a German status name that was used as a title of nobility.
- Hess - A German name for someone who resided in the territory of “Hesse.”
- Hofer - This is a South German surname for someone who lived on or managed a farmstead.
- Hoffstetter - This is the Swiss-German variant of “Hofstetter.” It is a German occupational name for someone who lives or works on a farm estate. It comes from the Middle High German words for “farmstead” and “manor farm.”
- Kaufmann - A German occupational name for a merchant or wholesaler.
- Keller - Popular in central Europe, this German surname was an occupational name for someone who oversees a household.
- Marti - This is the Swiss-German pet form of Martin, which is a derivative of “Mars,” the Roman God of war and fertility.
- Maurer - This is a German occupational name for someone who builds defensive walls out of brick or stone.
- Meier/Meyer - This is a German status name for a tenant farmer or steward,
- Moser - A North German occupational name for a vegetable grower or seller.
- Muller - This is a German occupational name for a miller.
- Pfister - A Swiss-German occupational name for a baker.
- Schmid - This is a variation of “Schmidt,” a German occupational name for a blacksmith.
- Schneider - This is a German occupational name for a tailor and it was also sometimes used for a woodcutter.
- Schweizer - This is a German ethnic name for a native of Switzerland.
- Seiler - A German occupational name for a roper.
- Senn - A South German occupational name for a dairy farmer or cheesemaker.
- Sommer - A Danish and Norwegian name for someone associated with the season “summer” in some way.
- Stalder - A German habitational name for someone who lived in Stalden in Switzerland.
- Steiner - This is a German occupational name for a quarryman or stonemason.
- Suter/Sutter - “Suter” is a variation of “Sutter,” which is a Dutch occupational name for a shoemaker.
- Vogel - This is a German and Dutch occupational surname for a bird catcher.
- Vogt - A German occupational name for a bailiff or farm manager.
- Weber - A German occupational name for a weaver.
- Zimmermann - A German occupational name for a carpenter.
Most Popular Swiss Last Names on FamilyEducation: Accola, von Arx, Schaffhauser