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Surname Winkle - Meaning and Origin

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Winkle: What does the surname Winkle mean?

The last name Winkle is believed to have originated in Germany and is considered to be an occupational name derived from the Middle High German word "Wincken," which means "to pinch" or "to twist." The name refers to a profession of someone who made fabric by twisting and pinching linen threads. The Winkle family members were often referred to as linen weavers or linen twisters.

In some cases, the name could also be derived from Old German names such as Win(g)al, Wink, or Winkler, all of which refer to a selector or chooser. It may have been a nickname for someone who was particularly discriminating in making a selection, or it could have been used to describe an individual who was unerring in their judgement.

The Winkle surname has also appeared in various forms through history, such as Winkleman, Winkleson, and Winkelman. The last name Winkle is common in the United States and in other countries such as Germany, England, Austria, Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark.

Today, the Winkle name might refer to someone who is clever, conscientious, and systematic. The name might also be a reminder of hard work and dedication in a skilled occupation.

Winkle: Where does the name Winkle come from?

The last name Winkle is a relatively rare name today. Its origins trace back to the early part of the first millennium when it was a common last name in Britain and Germany. Winkle is a derivative of the Germanic and Old Norse word “Winkel”. The name literally translates to “corner”, likely a reference to someone who lives in or near a corner of a village or town.

Today, Winkle remains a rare surname. It’s most common in the areas of its origin – Germany and Britain. In Germany, it’s especially prominent in the North Rhine-Westphalia region. In Britain, most of the Winkles migrated south, and the name can be found in abundance in the East Midlands of England, particularly in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, and Leicestershire.

In the United States, the Winkle family had a large presence in Pennsylvania in the mid-1800s, though its presence has since dimmed. Other English-speaking countries like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand show sparser records of the name.

Outside of its British and Germans roots, data suggests that the name is rarely found in contemporary society. It appears that the Winkles have either moved on or adopted another surname.

Regardless, the impact of the Winkle family still resonates today. The name, in fact, lives on in two small British villages – Winkle Street and Winklespoke. This legacy serves as a reminder of the humble beginnings of this once-prominent family name.

Variations of the surname Winkle

The surname Winkle is a name of German and English origin. It is derived from the Old German word winkle "spike or thorn", or, in some areas, it may be derived from the Old English wincle, meaning "comely".

Variants of this surname may include the German Winkler, Winckler, Winkles, and Winks, as well as other forms the spelling could take such as Wynkle, Wencke, Wenckel, Vinkle, Vink, Vincke, Vinkler, Van Winkle, and Vynke.

These versions of the surname can be found around the world today. The most common variant is Winkel, which is found in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, and Switzerland. Winkler is also popular, found in Germany and Austria. The version Winkles is found mainly in the Britain, while Winckler is common in Poland.

The name has also been adapted to other languages, such as the French Finkle, the Dutch Winkel, and the Spanish Vinkel. In the United States, the surname is most commonly taken on the form Van Winkle, where it was carried in by Dutch settlers in the 17th century.

Overall, there are many variants of the surname Winkle, and each could be found in different countries and cultures across the world.

Famous people with the name Winkle

  • Larry Winkle: American artist known for his works featuring images of golf courses, roadways, and other landscapes.
  • Sarah Winkle: American professional soccer player and coach.
  • Robert Winkle: English actor, best known for his role as Larry in the British sitcom My Family.
  • Rachel Winkle: Owner of Lush Cosmetics and designer of the popular Emma's Diary clothing line.
  • Fred Winkle: Canadian businessman and philanthropist who founded the pharmacy chain London Drugs.
  • Paul Winkle: American aviator and inventor, credited with patents for an airplane navigational aid and a runway lighting system.
  • David Winkle: Politician who has served as an alternate mayor of Honolulu, Hawaii since April 2013.
  • Jack Winkle: Jazz musician and band leader who popularized the dixieland jazz style to global audiences.
  • Rudolf Winkle: Austrian composer, songwriter and conductor.
  • Diether Winkle: German philosopher and theologian, best known for his work on the philosophy of mind.

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