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Surname Duffek - Meaning and Origin

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Duffek: What does the surname Duffek mean?

The last name Duffek is a Czech occupational name derived from the word "dufák" or "dufek" which refers to a tanner or leather worker. As an occupational name, it was likely first used to refer to someone who worked in tanning leather or other animal hides, such as as a shoemaker or saddler.

The Duffek surname is found in many parts of Europe and in locations across the world, likely spread as people emigrated in search of better economic opportunities. It is particularly prevalent in Central and Eastern Europe, with people bearing the surname in historic regions like Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic, and Galicia, now divided between Ukraine and Poland.

The Duffek surname is thought to have been first mentioned in writing in 1564, in a document from Austria, which refers to the family name of Hoffmeister and Duffek. It is also thought that the Duffek family of Corinthians was originally established in the town of Dufek.

The Duffek family name symbolizes a strong commitment to hard work, creativity and craftsmanship—all qualities associated with a successful tanner or leather worker. It also speaks of the possibility of ambition and the prospect of opportunity, as the name is associated with people who have immigrated with the dream of building a better, and more prosperous, life.

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Duffek: Where does the name Duffek come from?

The last name Duffek is common today mostly in Eastern Europe and parts of Germany, where between 450 and 800 people currently bear the last name.

Specifically, the name is often seen in Poland, with the majority of those with the name residing in the western part of the country, particularly in Łódzkie and Wielkopolskie. The most common variations of the name in Poland, at least according to the Polish Society of Genealogical Research, are Duwek, Duwekiewicz, and Dufek.

In Germany, the name mostly shows up in the states of Nordrhein-Westfalen and Bayern. The most common German version of the name is Dufek.

In the United States, Duffek is much less common. The majority of those with the name in the United States today are descended from German and Polish immigrants who arrived in the early 20th century.

Depending on the version of the spelling one uses, the name may also be seen in other places as well, including the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, and even a few in Italy and Belgium.

Variations of the surname Duffek

The surname Duffek is also spelled as Dufek, Duffick, Duffy, Dufeck, Duffet and Duffky. The family originated in Moravia, Czech Republic. Duffek is believed to be an occupational surname meaning someone who made or sold dovecotes or a keeper of doves, from the Czech word ‘duf’ meaning dove.

In Ireland, the variants Duffy and Duffet have both become established since the 17th century, and particularly in Connacht in the west of Ireland. The Duffys of Tuam, County Galway, are recorded as having arrived in the area during the 12th century.

In Scotland, the names Duffy and Duffey rarely appear before 1800 and the name probably arrived in Scotland during this period from Ireland. It became particularly common in parts of Lanarkshire and Stirlingshire, and may also have linked to the Irish surname–O’ Duffy. There were also Duffeks from Germany as well as Flemish immigrants to Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries who used the surname, possibly anglicised to Duffey.

In the United States, the name can also be found spelled as Dufek. It is believed to be the spelling which immigrants arriving from migrations from Germany, Austria and Czech Republic and other parts of Europe chose to adopt on arrival in America. The name is also believed to be linked to other surnames such as Duffky, Dufeck and Duffick that can still be found scattered throughout the USA.

Famous people with the name Duffek

  • Hilary Duff: American actress, singer, songwriter, and author.
  • Haylie Duff: American actress, author, singer, songwriter, television host, producer, and entrepreneur.
  • Sasha Duffek: former professional volleyball player who represented Canada on various international teams.
  • Donald Duffek: Canadian politician who represented the electoral district of North Vancouver-Seymour in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia from 1991 to 2001.
  • David M. Duffek: American football player who played defensive tackle in the National Football League for the New England Patriots in 1984.
  • Tony Duffek: American football player who played running back in the National Football League for the Atlanta Falcons from 1976 to 1977.
  • John Duffek: former Major League baseball outfielder who made his debut for the Baltimore Orioles in 1977.
  • Daniel Duffek: professional Austrian tennis player who competed on the ATP Tour.
  • Kyle Duffek: American football coach who is currently the offensive coordinator at the University of Oklahoma.
  • Jason Duffek: Canadian football player who played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

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