This is an ancient medieval Dutch-German surname, but of much earlier pre 7th century origins. It is a nickname derived from the word 'meger' and meaning a tall, thin, person, or possibly given the robust humour of the 14th century, the complete reverse! Nicknames form a very large group within the European surnames listings, and it is estimated that at least one in seven of all surnames are from this source. It is not entirely clear as to when the first recording took place, but Hainrich dictus Mager of Uberlingen, is so recorded in the charters of that place in the year 1295.Other early examples from surviving rolls and charters of Germanic origins, and showing the development of the compound forms with suffix, include Nikolas Magermann with the translation of 'The servant (mann) of Mager' recorded in Greifswald in 1320, and the similar Hans Magerhermans, in another compound spelling, appears in the charters of Irslingen in 1388. Over the centuries almost all surnames have continued to develop, often becoming almost unrecognizeable from the original spellings, particularly when transferred by emigration to other countries
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