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Thread: Names

  1. #1
    Senior Member TheNuttyOne's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Names

    What do 'von' and 'zu' mean in German last names?

    Von is 'of' so that probably means a pre-unification 'family name' like Mecklenburg etc. Is that right?

    What about zu?

    I thought about that when I heard the name zu Guttenberg (Karl Theodore). Looked on wikipedia but his name is von und zu Gutterberg HUH???? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Thanked 44 Times in 36 Posts

    "Von" means that somebody's family comes from that particular place.
    "Zu" means that their family are still in possession of it.
    "von und zu" means both

    More reading;

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