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Surname Schmer - Meaning and Origin

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Schmer: What does the surname Schmer mean?

The last name Schmer is of German origin. It is derived from the German word schmer and refers to somebody who was particularly skilled or clever. Historically, the last name Schmer originated as a hereditary nickname to describe a person who was a clever trader or shrewd negotiator.

Schmer is an uncommon name in both German and English-speaking countries, with only a few thousand people in the United States having this last name. Many variations of the name exist throughout the world, including Shmer, Schmark, and Schmir.

In Germany, the Schmer name is associated with a saying: "Schmeres auf, schmeres ab, heimliches Gluck ist der Schmer." It means, "Bargain up, bargain down, but secretive luck is Schmer's." This saying was used to describe the clever trader and negotiator who was often able to get the better of a bargain using his ingenuity and wits.

The name Schmer can be found in the United States mainly in North and South Dakota, Nebraska, and Minnesota.

The meaning of the Schmer family name conjures up an image of an individual who is not only highly skilled, but who also has an eye for a good deal or clever bargain. It signifies a person with a sharp wit, strong wit and a good eye for details. It is an interesting name that suggests cleverness and shrewdness in dealings.

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Schmer: Where does the name Schmer come from?

The last name Schmer is most common today in Northern Germany and Northern Europe. The surname is thought to have originated in Germany in the Middle Ages and is believed to have been derived from words such as ‘Schmied’, meaning Blacksmith. This is due to the fact that many individuals with the surname Schmer would have been Blacksmiths.

As with many German surnames, the last name Schmer spread during the 17th and 18th century via emigration throughout Europe. Today, some notable places with a high concentration of Schmer’s include Germany’s most northern-lying states such as Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It is also found in large numbers in Westphalia, North and East Saxony, as well as Denmark, Sweden, Poland and Netherlands.

Since 1900, there has been an influx of Schmers in the United States, although the majority of the people with this last name still reside in Northern Europe. As of 2015, the last name primarily appears in cities such as Hamburg, Stuttgart, Berlin, Zurich, Munich, and Hannover.

Variations of the surname Schmer

Schmer is a German surname derived from the word ‘Schmear’, meaning smeared or stained. Variants of this name include Schmeer, Schmeier, Schmerer, and Schmerer. In some areas of Germany, the surname was altered through the process of phonetic evolution, resulting in alternate spellings such as Schmaer, Schmaerlin, and Schmeil. Additionally, some immigrants of German origin anglicised the spelling of the name to Smear or Smyer on arriving in Britain and America.

The Schmer surname is also common in Jewish communities, particularly in areas of Germany. Many Jews adopted their own surname variant with Schmera or Schmara being the most common. Jewish surnames could similarly be anglicised through immigration, resulting in forms such as Shermer and Schmero.

Following World War Two Schmer was one of the many surnames affected by the Nazi policy of addressing surnames. In some cases, the surname Schmer was dropped completely and replaced by the more ‘Germanic’ sounding names such as Schmalz, Schmaltz, and Fleischhauer. In some cases, the spelling was altered slightly to become Schmerhoff or Schmerz.

In conclusion, the Schmer surname is quite common and is known to have several variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin. Common spellings in Germany include Schmeer, Schmeier, and Schmerer, whilst anglicised variants such as Smear and Smyer are present in Britain and America. The Jewish community also often have a variant of the surname, including Schmera and Schmara, whilst Nazi-era surname alterations can be observed in the surnames Schmerhoff and Schmerz.

Famous people with the name Schmer

  • George Schmer, Olympic ice skater
  • Dr. Harry Schmer, Physiologist and Researcher
  • Alex Schmer, Professional footballer
  • Maite Schmer, Actress
  • Fritz Schmer, Politician
  • Stephan Schmer, Artist
  • Tim Schmer, Musician
  • Richard Schmer, Academic
  • Albert Schmer, Entrepreneur
  • Rebecca Schmer, Comedian

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