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Surname Schlegel - Meaning and Origin

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An Emotional Voyage into My Roots: iGENEA DNA Test and the Power of The Name 'Schlegel'

Taking a journey into my roots through a DNA test with iGENEA lead me through an emotional roller coaster, bringing forth a wave of anticipation, pride, and elated discovery. The undertaking amplified my appreciation, and feeling of connection to my surname 'Schlegel', transforming the name from a mere identifier to a rich symbol of shared history and heritage.

K. Schlegel

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Schlegel: What does the surname Schlegel mean?

The last name Schlegel is of German origin and it can be interpreted in several ways depending on its historical context. Most commonly, it is believed to come from the Middle High German term "slegel", which refers to a hammer or a mallet. In this context, the name might have been an occupational surname for a blacksmith, stone mason, or someone who used a hammer in their line of work. Alternatively, in the Middle Ages, Schlegel was used as a symbol in the coat of arms for some families, signifying strength and power.

On the other hand, the name could also be derived from the term "schlagen," meaning "to fight" or "to play." In this light, the name could have been associated with someone who is a fighter, a player or a gamester.

However, as with many surnames, exact origins and meanings can be difficult to trace definitively due to changes and adaptations over time. Regardless, the name has been borne by several notable individuals throughout history, such as the famous German poets and philosophers August Wilhelm and Friedrich Schlegel.

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Schlegel: Where does the name Schlegel come from?

The last name Schlegel is most commonly found in Germany today. The name has Germanic roots, derived from the word "schliegen", meaning "to lock, to fasten." As a result, the name is likely to have originally been an occupational name for a locksmith or a fastener related to metalworking.

In Germany today, Schlegel is the 147th most common last name with an estimated 42,500 people sharing the name. It is particularly popular in Eastern Germany in the provinces of Brandenburg, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, as well as in Bavaria. Due to the large number of surnames of German origin carried to the United States by immigrants in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Schlegel name can also be found in the United States, numbering around 2,400 people.

Schlegel is also a common name in the Czech Republic, as well as in a number of other European countries. For example, in Austria there are 3,000 people with the name, Switzerland has 2,000 people, and the Netherlands 1,200.

The name has sometimes been turned into other forms in other countries, such as Szlegel, Schedel, Schledel and Schellgel.

Variations of the surname Schlegel

The surname Schlegel has a variety of variants, spellings, and other surnames with the same origin. One of the most common variants is Schleger. This variant is especially common in the United States and Canada, having been brought over by immigrants. Another variant is Schlegelmilch, which is particularly common in Germany. This is a form of the name featuring the addition of the German word for “milk” and is typically seen as a toponymic, meaning the surname is derived from an ancestral area.

Schleicher is another variant of Schlegel, seen mostly in Austria. It is derived from the German word “schleichen”, meaning “to move stealthy”, suggesting that the ancestor who originally bore the surname might have been a sneaky person. Another form of the name is Schlager, which is derived from “schlag”, meaning “to beat”. This could refer to the ancestor’s proficiency in combat or athletics.

Other forms of the surname include Schlegerl, Schegel, Schlegeli, and Schlegeler. These usually feature a more Germanic spelling of the name. In addition, the surname is also known to have derived surnames, including the German forms Schlegelmuller, Schlegelberger, and Schlegelberger, and the French form Schlegelièvre.

Overall, the Schlegel surname has a variety of variants, spellings, and surnames derived from it. These variations give us an insight into both the ancestral origin of the family, as well as the characteristics of the ancestor who originally bore the surname.

Famous people with the name Schlegel

  • Friedrich Schlegel: Friedrich Schlegel was one of the foremost representatives of German Romanticism, and was a leading figure in the Swabian school of poetry. He is best known for his influential treatise On Philosophical Poetry.
  • August Wilhelm Schlegel: August Wilhelm Schlegel was a German poet, translator, and critic, and was a prominent figure in early German Romanticism. He is best known for his translations of ancient texts into German and for his critical works on poetry and art.
  • Dorothea Schlegel: Dorothea Schlegel was a German writer, academic, and feminist. She was a proponent of the new educational ideals of Romanticism and is best known for her novel Sir Daniel.
  • Ludwig Schlegel: Ludwig Schlegel was a German Orientalis and Protestant theologian. He is best known for his work on the critical-historical analysis of the Bible, as well as his translation of the New Testament into German.
  • Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel: Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel was a German poet, literary critic, and philosopher. He is best known for his works on aesthetics and early German romanticism.
  • Moritz August von Schlegel: Moritz August von Schlegel was a German botanist and entomologist, and a member of the Schlegel family of scholars. He is best known for his work on the taxonomy of fungi and insects.
  • Adam Ludwig Schlegel: Adam Ludwig Schlegel was a German scholar, philologist, and editor. He is best known for his monumental edition of German-language works, from classical literature to original compositions, the Schlegel-Bibliothèque.

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