Thread: Names

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  1. TheNuttyOne's Avatar

    TheNuttyOne said:

    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. Ray Alpha said:


    "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;