Surname Waag - Meaning and Origin
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Waag: What does the surname Waag mean?
The last name Waag is a German surname with several potential derivations. In some cases, the name likely derives from the German word "Wag," meaning "wagon" or "cart," and could have been given to people who worked in cart-related fields. Alternatively, the name could be derived from the Old German word "wag," meaning "wall," suggesting that the family were wall-builders or masons. In either case, the name likely started out as a nickname for someone with an associated profession or physical characteristic.
The surname Waag is also found in East Frisian, Dutch, and Afrikaans speaking parts of the world, where it has a slightly different etymology. In those regions, the name Waag is believed to derive from the Old German word "wac," meaning "watchful," and was likely given to someone recognized for their keen observational skills. It may also be derived from the Frisian or Dutch words "waeg," meaning "weighing scale," referring to someone who worked as a weighman in the marketplace.
No matter its origin, the last name Waag is an interesting story about a backward-looking onto an individual, family, or group's unique past. It's a tale of heightened observational skills, strong agricultural traditions, and ever-present craftsmanship that have been passed down through generations.Order DNA origin analysis
Waag: Where does the name Waag come from?
The last name Waag is most commonly found in the Netherlands and in Low Saxon regions of Germany today. It was first found in the 12th century when a certain Gilles Waag was the first De Waag of the city of Coevorden in The Netherlands. Since then, it has been used by numerous families, especially in the provinces of Drenthe and Groningen.
Its origin is believed to be from the Dutch word waag, meaning scale, indicating a profession or occupation related to the use of a scale or weighing device. Records from the 1200's and 1300's also include people with the surname Waag who were miners or blacksmiths.
The surname Waag is still commonly found today in the Netherlands and Germany, but its distribution is highly concentrated in its areas of origin. According to the Dutch objective family name database Meertens, it is the 15,076th most common Dutch surname, and the 8,581st most common German surname. In the Netherlands, it is most common in the northeast, around the province of Drenthe, with a secondary concentration in the province of Groningen. In Germany's version of Meertens, it is most commonly found in the Lower Saxony region in the country's northwest.
While Waag is not quite as common of a surname today as it was in the 1200s and 1300s, it still carries all sorts of interesting stories and origins from the time of its earliest known appearance.
Variations of the surname Waag
The surname Waag may be spelled in a number of ways including Waagg, Wag, Waage, Wagge, Wagar, Wagg, Waggie, Waggoner, Waggy, Wagy, Waheng, Waugh, Waugham, Waughan, Waugham, Waugaman, Waugham, Uaughan and Waugaman. These surname variants all have their origins in the medieval Germanic name or nickname ‘Waigg’, Waegg or ‘vöggr’, which mean ‘wave,’ ‘swinger’ or ‘oscillator.’ This name likely arose as a result of the original bearer’s activities, such as, for example, the movement of a plough or the rhythm of a tool used in weaving or rhythm of an oar, or even as an occupational reference to someone who was well-known for catching fish.
In the modern context, the surname Waag is a variant of the German and Dutch word “Waag,” which translates to “scale” or "measure". The Estonian surname “Vahe” may also derive from “Waag.” Other related surnames include Waggonor, Waggener, Wagenhöfer, and Wagenseller.
The surname Waag is also present throughout Europe, especially in the Netherlands, Germany and Central Europe. In Germany, it is a common surname in areas such as Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, and Rhineland-Palatinate. The surname is also to be found in Spanish-speaking countries like Spain and Mexico, where it is known as “Vaca”.
The surname in all its various forms likely began to be spelled Waag in the late 18th to early 19th centuries, when Germanic spelling conventions became more established. It was also at this time that surnames began to be more commonly adopted.
Famous people with the name Waag
- Otto Waag: former Austrian footballer
- Karin Waag: Austrian orienteerer
- Jonathan Waag: American-Norwegian film director
- Svein-Tore Waag: Norwegian judge
- Bengt Waag: Finnish ice hockey player
- Gunnar Waag: Norwegian journalist
- Kjell Waag: Norwegian football midfielder
- Johannes Waag: Danish actor
- Anthonius Waag: Dutch athlete and cyclist
- Eilif Waag: Norwegian chess master