Recorded in a wide range of spellings of which a few examples include Eick, Eich, Eicke and the diminutives Eyckel, Eykel, Eykelen and Eykelin, the habitational or even occupational Eichler, Eichmann, Eyckeler, and the compounds such as Eyckelbeck, Eykelbeck (oak stream), Eyckelberg, Eykelberg (oak mountain), Eykelbosch (oak bush), Eykelhof (oak house), and many others, this is a Germanic surname. The base or prefix forms derive from the pre 7th century word "eiche" meaning oak, and as such it was originally a name given as pre 7th century a baptismal name, or later as either a nickname surname for someone who was as strong as oak, or perhaps was occupational for one who worked with oak as a forester or carpenter. In the 18th century in particular, many refugees particularly from muslim controlled regions to the south of Austro-Germany such as the Turkish Empire, or anti protestant or anti-semetic countries such as Hungary or the Balkans, fled to Germany. There they were given as their surname "ornamental" names, which in a sense were in some ways similar to a double-barrelling. These names were called ornamental because they were intended to be beautiful, and to reflect the glories of nature, although in some cases they were locational from particular places. Early recordings taken from surviving German charters include: Cunrad Eicke of Freiburg in 1298, and Heinrich der Icher of Budweis in 1380.
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