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Surname Vaas - Meaning and Origin

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Vaas: What does the surname Vaas mean?

The last name Vaas is of German and Dutch origin, and is thought to derive from the personal name ‘Vas’ which comes from the Old German ‘Wasso’, meaning ‘Vassal’ - someone in a subservient role to a higher authority. The name is thought to have been introduced into the German culture by way of the French language (via ‘Wasse’).

In German and Dutch culture, Vaas became a family name, which was likely adopted by families connected to the now-obsolete noble system as they held positions such as Vassal. The non-noble families who adopted this name likely did so to give them a feeling of greater social standing in their hometowns or regions.

The coat of arms/crest for the Vaas family is a white shield with a gold chevron. This could indicate similar meanings, as a shield reflects protecting someone noble or powerful, while the chevron often symbolizes strength and protection - both qualities often associated with the role of Vassal.

In areas who may have adopted the surname Vaas, since it was released from the now-obsolete noble system in the late 1800s, it has taken on other subtle meanings such as ‘993’ - demonstrating the relationship between numerical words and the sound of their phonetic composition (in this case Vaas) - making it a potentially interesting option for modern surnames.

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Vaas: Where does the name Vaas come from?

The last name Vaas is most commonly found in the Netherlands, Austria, and Germany as well as countries that have historically had a large German-speaking population, such as Poland, the Czech Republic, and the United States of America. The majority of occurrences of the surname Vaas are in Germany, with the Netherlands following closely behind.

There are many different possible meanings of the surname. It may have come from the old German words “vas” (“house”) and “ans” (“ancestor”) to mean “descendant of the house". It may also have come from the German word “waas”, meaning “changeable”, or the Flemish word “vasse”, meaning to “carry in a boat”. Additionally, the surname may be derived from the Dutch word “vaas”, meaning “boy” or “servant”.

People with the surname Vaas have been found in several locations across the United States for over a century, with concentrations in the Midwestern states of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Ohio and Pennsylvania have also seen their populations rising in recent years. Currently, over 2000 individuals in the US are listed as Vass or its variants; a large majority are concentrated in the Upper Midwest.

The last name Vaas has a long history and spans many cultures and countries. It’s a testament to the family’s roots and connection to their native countries over the centuries.

Variations of the surname Vaas

The surname Vaas is of German origin and can also be written as 'Viess' and 'Viss'.

Variants of the surname Vaas include Wahs, Vehs, Vahsen, Vahsner, Veas, Vaess, Vas, Væs, Vahs, Väss, Vash, Vase, Vass, Vasse, Vassen, Vähs, Väs, and Vässen.

A few surnames of similar origin but slightly different spelling are Vases, Waas, Waes, Was, Waesen, Wasner, Wasen, Wes, Wies, Wiess, Wiss, Vǀas, and Vlaes.

The name has many regional and dialectical variants, such as Vasey, Wasey, Vassay, Vassie, Vasses, Wastie, Vaisey, Vissey, Vassey, Vasey, Vais, Vaus, Voosey, and Ways.

These varied spellings of the same name can occur due to regional dialects and customs such as spelling subtlety, pronunciation, and illiteracy thrown in the mix by clerks and officials as the surname was developed.

In the United States, the surname Vaas is mainly associated with Dutch heritage, but it can also be found among German families who migrated to the U.S. in the 1800s such as Pennsylvania Dutch Pennsylvanians, Ohio-German Ohioans, Wisconsin-German Wisconsinites, Michigan Dutch Michiganders and American-Dutch Americans. It is also recorded in Quebec, Canada, in areas with sizeable Low German-speaking communities, such as Prussia and Schleswig-Holstein.

Famous people with the name Vaas

  • Bhajan Vaas: award-winning filmmaker from India, known for his acclaimed works such as ‘Salt N Pepper’ and ‘Memories On A Roof’.
  • Ruud Vaas: Dutch professional footballer who rose to prominence by playing for Ajax in the 1970s.
  • Jonny Vaas: Polish-American actor best known for his roles in films such as ‘The Guide’ and ‘Under The Knife’.
  • Christian Vaas: Norwegian comedian who has released several comedy albums and starred in the television series ‘Tale Blazers’.
  • Jules Vaas: Belgium-born painter and sculptor whose works explore the contradictions and complexities of contemporary life.
  • Tyron Vaas: American singer and songwriter, best known for his hits ‘Rock Out’ and ‘So Alive.’
  • Ilse Vaas: Dutch politician and member of the Dutch Parliament, representing ruling Labour Party.
  • Mara Vaas: Norwegian television presenter best known for hosting the popular program ‘Lights, Camera, Action.’
  • Piet Vaas: Dutch-born professional cyclist who became a six-time Dutch National Road Race Champion.
  • Gregory Vaas: British engineer and inventor who notably developed the navigation system Vas TREK.

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