Recorded in many forms including Breit, Breyt, Breitler, Breitling, Breitner, and a wide range of compounds such as Breitbart (broad-beard), Breitbach (broad-brook) and Breitstadt (broad-city), this is a medieval German surname. In its basic forms it is probably residential and originates either from a place called Breit or from living on "broad" lands. In the pre 7th century these were lands which had been prepared for agriculture, and probably lay between forests. In this respect the name is cognate to the English Botham, which also refer to lands on a valley bottom prepared for agriculture.Specifically a Breitler was a person from a place called Breit, although it is also claimed that as Breit the name can have been a medieval nickname surname for a broad or stout person, with Breitling being a person who belonged to the Breit people, in fact a clan or tribal name. Medieval humour being very robust, it may well be that the name as a nickname, would in fact mean the reverse! Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving charters of Germany include: Diem Brayt of Stuttgart in the year 1350, Georg Breitling of Schwarzwaldkreis, Wurttemburg, a witness there on May 29th 1587, and Friedricke Wilhelm Breitler, the son of Matthias Breitler, christened at Berlin Stadt, Brandenburg, on October 16th 1808.
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