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Surname Goebbels - Meaning and Origin

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Goebbels: What does the surname Goebbels mean?

The last name Goebbels is a German surname and is derived from the Middle High German term 'Gobel', which means 'a maker of scythes and blades'. The name was used to describe people who were associated with the profession of blade-making, particularly bicycle or scythe-makers.

The name Goebbels is also linked to the infamous Nazi leader Joseph Goebbels, who was Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda. However, the origin of the surname has no direct connections to him or his family.

Origin of the Goebbels name has varied slightly according to region, from Goebel, Goebels, Gebel, Goeble, and Goebele. Goebbels was the official spelling of the family name of Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, and is of German origin.

The Goebbels name has been prominent in Germany since the Middle Ages, and is believed to be associated with professional scythe, or bicycle-makers. The same shift in spelling from Goebel to Goebbels appears to have taken place throughout the German-speaking world over the years.

Presumably, the name has been adopted by some as a reminder of the hugely controversial Nazi figure, Joseph Goebbels. However, those with Goebbels as their surname should keep in mind that the name predates him and is not directly associated with his political agenda or legacy.

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Goebbels: Where does the name Goebbels come from?

The last name Goebbels is most commonly found in Germany and throughout Central Europe. It is derived from the medieval given name "Goebel," and is a habitational name from places named Goebels, which can be found in several areas of Germany.

The name Goebbels originated with Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Propaganda Minister in Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. He was known for his inflammatory and vitriolic anti-Semitic rhetoric, and can be considered one of the most infamous figures of Nazi Germany. Goebbels' legacy still lingers in German society today; the name has become a controversial one, and is therefore not as common as other German surnames.

The last name Goebbels is occasionally borne by some families in other parts of the world, from countries including Lithuania, the United States, and Canada. In Brazil, Goebbels is associated with a wealthy and prominent Jewish family, who were forced to flee Europe during the Holocaust. There are also some Goebbels living in the UK, most of whom are descendants of German immigrants.

Overall, the surname Goebbels is still relatively uncommon today, outside of its main area of origin in Germany and its neighbouring countries. While a minority of families around the world still carry it, generally speaking the name retains its highly charged political and historical implications.

Variations of the surname Goebbels

The surname Goebbels can be spelled in various ways, such as Gøbbels, Gebbels, Goebbel, Goebbelss, Geobbel, Goebbelsz, Geobbels, Goebbelsen, Goebel, Gebel, Gebels, or Georbel.

The surname Goebbels is of German origin, derived from the Middle High German word “gebel”, which meant “a person who dwells in a communal house”. This surname was mainly used to identify the inhabitants of communal dwellings in the Middle Ages. As Christianity spread in Germany, surnames were adopted from the patron saint of each parish or village.

Variants such as Goebels, Geobel, Geobbelss, Goebelsz, Goebbelsen, Goebel, Gebel, Gebels, and Georbel might have arisen as a result of dialectical differences in the pronunciation of the original surname.

The surname Goebbels is found predominantly in Germany, although it is also common in other countries like Austria and Switzerland. It is also the surname of the famous Nazi politician, Joseph Goebbels.

Famous people with the name Goebbels

  • Paul Goebbels: Paul Joseph Goebbels was the Nazi propaganda minister in Nazi Germany and was considered Hitler’s closest adviser. He was a fierce loyalist and one of the main architects of Hitler’s vision.
  • Helmut Goebbels: Helmut Goebbels was the elder brother of Paul Goebbels and was a journalist who wrote articles promoting Nazi ideals. He was jailed in 1945 for his part in the German Resistance movement.
  • Magda Goebbels: Magda Goebbels was the wife of Paul Goebbels and was a prominent member of the Nazi Party. She was a strong advocate of Hitler, often referring to him as ‘the Fuehrer’.
  • Harald Goebbels: Harald Goebbels was Paul and Magda Goebbels' second son. He was 10 years old when he died with his parents in the bunker at the end of the war.
  • Helga Goebbels: Helga Goebbels was Paul and Magda Goebbels' eldest daughter. She was 16 years old when she was poisoned in the bunker.
  • Hedda Goebbels: Hedda Goebbels was the second daughter of Paul and Magda Goebbels. She also died in the bunker, aged 14.
  • Hedwig Goebbels: Hedwig Goebbels was the youngest daughter of Paul and Magda Goebbels. She was 12 years old when she died in the bunker alongside her siblings.
  • Joseph Goebbels: Joseph Goebbels was the father of Paul and Helmut Goebbels and was a bookkeeper and accountant. He was a strong believer in the Catholic faith.
  • Ottilie Goebbels: Ottilie Goebbels was the mother of Paul and Helmut Goebbels. She was a stay-at-home mom and deeply religious Christian.

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