Recorded in some twenty spellings including Engel, Engleke, Engelmann, Engels, Engler, Engling and compounds such as Engelberg, Engelmayer and Engelrad, this is a German, Dutch, and sometimes Ashkenasic, surname. It has at least four possible origins. Firstly it may be a short form of an original pre 7th century personal name such as Engelbert or Engelhard, where the meaning is given as "angel-bright" and "angel-hard". The second possible origin is nationalistic, deriving from a tribe called the Angles. These Angles were also known as Engalanders as they originated from Engaland, a part of Northern Germany, and with their neighbours the Saxons, formed the original conquerors (the Anglo-Saxons) of what was then called East Britain. This conquest took place after ending of the Roman occupation of the country in the year 412 a.d., and was part of a Europe wide successful revolt which eventually lead to the overthrow of the Roman Empire. The Angles in turn they gave their name to England as a country, and to East Anglia as a region of England. Confusingly a third possible origin is that the name is regional, not probably from England, but from the original Engaland in Germany! Fourthly it may be a nickname for a kind person, one who was considered to be an "angel". This is from the original Greek word "angelos" meaning a messenger, with the transferred meaning of one who brought good tidings.
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