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Surname Maier - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'M'

Maier: What does the surname Maier mean?

The last name Maier is of German origin. It derives from the Middle High German term 'meiger,' meaning 'higher or superior', often used for stewards of landholders or great farmers or leaseholders. Today, it corresponds to the occupation of mayor or a person in a position of leadership and authority. Some alternative spellings include Mayer, Meyer, and Meier. While it's prevalent in Germany, it is also found among Jewish families as it was often adopted as a hereditary surname during the period when surnames were introduced in Germany in the late 18th century. Notably, the meaning could differ in Jewish usage, from the Hebrew name 'Meir' meaning 'one who shines'.

Maier: Where does the name Maier come from?

The last name Maier is most common in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. It is the 56th most common surname in Germany, and it is one of the most common surnames in Austria and Switzerland as well. The name is considered to be of German and Austrian origin. It is derived from either the Old High German word "meiger," meaning "Mayor," or from the Middle High German word "mair," which means "bailiff" or "steward."

The name Maier can also be found in other European countries, particularly in France, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and parts of Poland and Russia. In the United States, the surname is still relatively uncommon and is only found in small pockets in areas with high German, Austrian, and Swiss immigrant populations. Most of these families originated in southwestern Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, although there are some families who arrived later from other European countries.

In the United States, the highest concentration of the Maier surname is found in the states of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, although it can also be found in several other states. Outside the United States, the last name is especially common in Germany, where it can be found in large numbers in the south and western regions of the country, such as Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg. In Austria, it is also relatively common in Vienna and the surrounding region.

Variations of the surname Maier

The surname Maier is a popular German name that is centuries old. It is usually spelled the same way in many different languages, including German and English. However, there are various forms of spelling and other denominations of the same name, all of which are related in origin.

The German spelling of Maier is usually the same, though it can also be spelled Mayer, Meier, Mayer (with an umlaut), Maier and Meyer. Other names derived from the same origin and often found with the same spelling or slight variations include Meier, Meierlin, Myer, Meir, Meer, Mehl, Mahl, Maal, Meiler, Mueller and Muller.

In some cases, the surname may also be adopted from other cultures with similar spellings, such as the Hebrew name Mayersohn or the Polish surname Majer.

In non-German areas, such as in North and South America, the surname may be spelled with alternative spellings such as Meyer, Myers, Majer or Majors.

In some regions, such as in Romania, Belarus and Lithuania, the same surname may appear with various endings that reflect the local dialect or language, such as Moishe, Myerovich, Mierzwinski or Mayersons.

The comprehensive list of variants and spellings of the surname Maier demonstrates the legacy and history of the surname across many different European languages and cultures.

Famous people with the name Maier

  • Sepp Maier: Sepp Maier is a former German goalkeeper and manager. He spent most of his professional career playing for Bayern Munich and the West German national team. He was part of the West German team that won the 1974 World Cup.
  • Herlinde Koelbl: Herlinde Koelbl is a German photographer who is best known for her portraits of politicians and celebrities. Her photographs have won several awards and her book "Let Us Face the World" was awarded the Deutsche Jugendfotopreis.
  • Fritz Maier: Fritz Maier is a German sculptor who is best known for his monumental public sculptures. His work has been exhibited extensively throughout Europe and the United States.
  • Brigitte Maier: Brigitte Maier is a French actress and television presenter. She has starred in several television shows and films, most notably the 2007 film "Mes Amis: The Story of a Meeting".
  • Harry Maier: Harry Maier is a German-born Canadian expressionist painter who works mainly in watercolour and oil. His work has been exhibited throughout Canada and Europe.
  • Henning Maier: Henning Maier is a German football midfielder who currently plays for FC Ingolstadt.
  • Alexander Maier: Alexander Maier is a German television actor. He has starred in several television series, films and advertisements.
  • Julie Maier: Julie Maier is a German singer and songwriter. She has released two studio albums and written several singles.
  • Johann Maier: Johann Maier is a former Austrian cyclist who won the National Road Race Championship of Austria in 1938.

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