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Surname Waiß - Meaning and Origin

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Waiß: What does the surname Waiß mean?

The last name Waiß (sometimes spelled Weiss) is found primarily in Austria and Germany. The root of the name comes from the Middle High German term “waisc”, which literally means “white” or “white hair”, and is thus associated with individuals who have blond or white-haired features.

The exact origin of the Waiß surname is unclear, though it shows up in many different places over time. It is believed that the name first began to appear in written records in the 12th century. It is also thought to have been brought to Austria as part of a large influx of families who emigrated from Germany throughout the Middle Ages and early Modern period.

The exact meaning and origin of the Waiß surname continue to be open to interpretation, though it is generally understood to have originated from a physical description of a person who had light-coloured hair. This is supported by the etymology of the surname’s root, “waisc”, which literally translates to “white” in Middle High German.

The surname Waiß is now most often found in Austria and Germany. Over time, the spelling of the name may have changed and evolved, but the core meaning has stayed the same: a white-haired individual or of someone whose appearance is remarked upon for their light-colored hairfeatures.

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Waiß: Where does the name Waiß come from?

The last name Waiß is most common today in Germany and Austria. It is the Low German language form of the English word Weiss, meaning white.

The last name is particularly common in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony in Germany, as well as in the states of Austria including Vienna, Lower Austria, Burgenland, and Styria. There is also a small degree of Waiß families in Switzerland, Slovenia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Poland.

It is said that the last name was originally occupational, with people using the name because they worked in the cloth industry. This could possibly be the reason why the surname is more common in places like Austria and North Rhine-Westphalia, which are mainly rural and agricultural.

Overall, the Waiß surname is not especially rare, and there are over 1,000 families in the world that carry the name. In terms of location, it is most common in countries like Germany and Austria, where there are over 600 families registered. However, it can also be found scattered in parts of other European countries, such as Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic.

Variations of the surname Waiß

The surname Waiß is a German surname derived from the Middle High German words ‘wis’ and ‘wiss’ which both mean white. The surname is primarily found in the German speaking countries of Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Variations of the surname Waiß include Weiss, Weis, Wiess, Wyss, Wisse, Weisse and Weiß.

Weiss is the most common spelling of Waiß used in Germany and Austria. This spelling is also commonly used by Jewish families.

Weis is another widely used variation of the surname, mostly seen in the German-speaking part of Switzerland.

Wiess is the form of the surname used in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.

Wyss and Wisse are two slightly less common variants. They are mostly used in Switzerland.

Weisse is the form seen in the German parts of Belgium and Luxembourg, while Weiß is the form used in Alsace, a region of France close to the German border.

Surnames derived from Waiß are also found, including Waiser, Waisser, Waisler and Wais.

All of the variants of the surname Waiß have the same meaning, ‘white’, and all trace back to the medieval German words for ‘white’, ‘wis’ and ‘wiss’. The variants of the surname have evolved over the centuries, making it a versatile surname which is now used by individuals of different backgrounds throughout Europe.

Famous people with the name Waiß

  • Julius Waiß: German chess master, judge and writer.
  • Kevin Waiss: German footballer who plays for VfB Lübeck.
  • Christian Waiss: Austrian football coach and manager who has managed several clubs in the German 2.Bundesliga.
  • Manfred Waiss: Former Austrian professional footballer who played for clubs such as Österreich Wien and KAA Gent.
  • Edward Waiss: American actor who has appeared in TV shows such as ‘The Blacklist’ and ‘Gotham’.
  • Karsten Waiss: German sprint canoer who won the bronze medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
  • Marlies Waiss: Austrian figure skater who competed at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.
  • Anton Waiss: Austrian painter and printmaker.
  • Philip Waiss: German sculptor known for sculpting large-scale pieces such as the projects Skyline Bratislava and Gateway Stuttgart.
  • Stephan Waiss: Former football goalkeeper who played for both Berliner FC Dynamo and Erzgebirge Aue in the German 3.Liga.

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