Surname Piccard - Meaning and Origin
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Piccard: What does the surname Piccard mean?
The last name Piccard is believed to have come from the word "picqueur", which is an old French term that refers to a person who draws cards or a card game. In this context, the name is thought to refer to someone who was skilled at playing card games or gambling.
The name Piccard could have also originated as a nickname, which was given to someone who was small and thin in stature. This theory is supported by the word “pic” meaning “small” and “card” as a reference to their thin, narrow body.
Originally, the name would have been used in the Picardy region of France. It was first recorded in the 13th century and was popularized by the Swiss scientist Jacques Piccard, who was the first person to travel to the deepest point in the ocean, the Mariana Trench. During World War II, his son Auguste, known as the “Monsieur Fin des Profondeurs”, became an underwater explorer as well.
The Piccard family is also associated with space exploration, and two of Auguste’s sons, Bertrand and Jan, became astronauts. Jan is remembered for his round-the-world trip in a hot air balloon, setting two world records in 1982.
Today, the Piccard name remains well-known and is associated with success, achievement and inginuitiy. People with the last name Piccard continue to make their mark in history.
Piccard: Where does the name Piccard come from?
The last name Piccard is most commonly associated with Switzerland today. Piccard is a traditional Swiss-German surname which denoted an occupation of that region in the Middle Ages. It originally referred to someone who was a "pigeon keeper" or "pigeon farmer," meaning someone who raised and sold pigeons for hunting or as a food source. However, it has since evolved to refer to a variety of occupations.
Piccard is a relatively popular surname in Switzerland, as it ranked as the architect's 56th most common Swiss family name in 2013. It is often found in the regions surrounding Basel, Bern, and Zurich, which tend to have the highest concentrations of the surname.
Over the years, a number of prominent figures have borne the last name Piccard, such as Swiss physicist Auguste Piccard, who made the first successful flight into the stratosphere in 1931, and his son Jacques Piccard, a Swiss engineer and oceanographer who completed the first successful descent to the deepest part of the Mariana Trench challenger deep in 1960.
In more recent times, the last name Piccard has also spread to other parts of the world, such as North America and Australia. This is thanks to the large number of Swiss immigrants that moved to those continents during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. As a result, Piccard is now a common surname in many different countries.
Variations of the surname Piccard
The surname Piccard is a patronymic surname deriving from the personal name "Piers," which is a diminutive of Pierre (Peter). Variants of the surname include Pickard, Pikard, and Pikart. The spelling of the surname may also sometimes be Picard.
Within the United States, this surname is commonly seen with an "s" at the end, such as Picards, Pickards, Pikers, Pikards, and Pikarts. In some cases, the "c" may be substituted for a "k," such as Pikers and Pikers.
The Piccard surname is also seen in various countries in the form of Picart, Pickarts, Peygarts, Pickart, Pikardt, Pyckart, Pykardt, and Piquard. The surname is also seen as Picard in France and Belgium, as well as in Germany as Piccardt and Pickardt.
In Austria, a variant of the surname is recorded as Pickhard and Pichard. In Poland and Lithuania, the surname is seen as Pyccard and Pijckard, as well as Pzekard and Bikerk in some cases.
Overall, the Piccard surname is highly varied and is seen in many countries. There are many spellings and generational variants that can be used to trace one's family ancestry.
Famous people with the name Piccard
- Auguste Piccard: Auguste was a renowned Swiss scientist and explorer. He was one of the first to explore the stratosphere, using two independent stratospheric balloons. He also developed the bathyscaphe, a type of submarine, which allowed him to explore the ocean depths.
- Jacques Piccard: The son of Auguste, Jacques, was also a renowned scientist and explorer. He conducted oceanographic research and made several dives into the deep sea with his state-of-the-art submarine, Trieste. He set several records for depth achieved and time spent underwater, and wrote several books on the subject.
- Donato Piccard: Donato is the son of Jacques and the grandson of Auguste. He is also a scientist and explorer. He has conducted research on a variety of topics, including human growth and development, and the ecology of the deep sea.
- Michel Piccard: Michel is the son of Auguste and the brother of Jacques. He also conducted research on oceanography and developed a method for controlling the depth of a ship’s diving.
- Bertrand Piccard: Bertrand is another son of Auguste and the brother of Jacques and Michel. He is an explorer and has traveled around the world in the first-ever non-stop flight in a hot air balloon. He recently launched a new solar-powered plane called Solar Impulse which also completed a global circumnavigation.
- Jean-Luc Piccard: Jean-Luc is the son of Michel and the grandson of Auguste. He is a television actor and has appeared in several sci-fi films. He is best known for his role as Commander William T. Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- Sophie Piccard: Sophie is the daughter of Jacques and the granddaughter of Auguste. She is an oceanographer and environmental activist and is known for her work on ocean protecting marine life.