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Surname Pothoff - Meaning and Origin

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Pothoff: What does the surname Pothoff mean?

The surname Pothoff is a German name and can also be found in other countries. It is derived from the Middle High German word "potehof", which means a small or restricted courtyard. In Germany, people bearing this surname can be traced to the vicinity of Westphalia, where they were noted for their contribution to the local society.

The name was originally derived from a geographical feature, and it became a habitational name when people began to adopt the name of places they lived in as surnames. The first recorded spelling of the surname was found in the 13th century when people bearing the name were documented in the region of Westphalia. The name was later adopted by other countries, including the United States, England, and France.

The current meaning of the name is believed to refer to someone who lived in a courtyard surrounded by a protective wall. In some cases, Pothoff could refer to a family that owned and operated a farm located near a courtyard. It could also denominate a family of people who lived near such a courtyard or farm and often provided services to the people living on it.

Today, the surname Pothoff is still found across Germany, the United States, England, and other countries. In modern contexts, it continues to refer to someone who resides in a protected courtyard or near a protected farm. It continues to be a popular surname even after many centuries, a testament to its longevity and the influence of the founding family.

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Pothoff: Where does the name Pothoff come from?

The last name Pothoff is most likely derived from a Germanic name and today is most common in Germany, the Netherlands, and other Dutch-speaking areas of Europe. It is especially prevalent in the German state of Lower Saxony, where a number of Pothoff families have lived since the Middle Ages. According to, in the 1800’s, there were also quite a few Pothoff families in the United States, though these chiefly resettled from Germany. Today, Pothoff families can still be found in both North America and Europe. It is especially common in the Netherlands, as well as in parts of Germany, including the city of Bremen. In the US, the last name Pothoff is not especially common, though there are still a few people, mainly of German ancestry, who can trace their family name back to this source. While the frequency of the name has greatly declined in the US since its arrival in the 19th century, it still remains in some places, primarily located in those areas that attracted German immigrants a century ago.

Variations of the surname Pothoff

Pothoff is a surname of German origin, with variants and alternative spellings such as Pothof, Potthoff, Potthof, and Potthaus, among others. It is typically an occupational surname, used to denote a person who owned or operated an inn or public house. This surname is also found in some Dutch, English, French, and Polish variants.

In Germany the surname is particularly common in the regions of Lower Saxony and Bavaria; in the Netherlands it is found in few areas, including Noord-Brabant and Utrecht; in France the name mainly occurs in the north, especially in Hauts-de-France, Pas-de-Calais, and Nord; and in England it is found in Northamptonshire and the surrounding areas.

Other surnames associated with this name include Potoff, Pothauf, Potheoff, Potthauf, and Pothauf. These variants mostly occur in Germany but also in other countries such as Austria, the Netherlands, and France.

The surnames Pohtoff and Pohtauf may also stem from the same origin. These names occur mainly in Germany, and they are usually found in the states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Lower Saxony.

Another associated surname is Potthast, which is mainly prevalent in Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands. It usually denotes a person who worked in the mining industry. In some areas of Germany, it may be derived from Potthof, and is the equivalent of Smith or Miller.

Finally, variants like Potthausen and Potthause can be found mainly in Germany and the Netherlands. These names usually refer to the owners or operators of an inn.

Famous people with the name Pothoff

  • Brent Pothoff: American entrepreneur and investor
  • Grant Pothoff: American college basketball player
  • John Pothoff: Canadian journalist
  • Mark Pothoff: American artist
  • Max Pothoff: American actor
  • Nelson Pothoff: American politician
  • Nick Pothoff: Dutch football manager
  • Scott Pothoff: American film producer and cinematographer
  • Tammy Pothoff: American professional basketball player
  • Matthew Pothoff: American marketing executive

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