Recorded in the spellings of Kuhl, Kuhle, Kuhlen, Kuhlemann, Kuhlmann Kull, Kuller, and Kulling, this is an ancient surname of Germanic origins. First recorded in the 8th century as the personal name 'Kollo', it was originally a development of the word 'kule' meaning a hollow or shallow valley. There are a number of places in Germany so called, and for some nameholders at least the surname is locational. In the medieval period it is said that the surname meaning and spelling was changed by association with the High German word 'kuhl' meaning cool. This would in a sense make it a nickname. If so it seems that even nearly a thousand years ago concern for political and social correctness, was as prevalent as in the 20th century. Indeed if history teaches anything it is that nothing changes! In this case a few early examples of the surname recordings taken from authentic surviving charters and registers of the medieval times include: Bertolfus Culingi of Koln in the year 1172, Konrad Kullin of Dormetinggen in 1343, and Aberlin Kul of Cleebron in 1415.
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