Recorded as Romk, Romke, Rumk, Rumke, the diminutives Romken and Rumken and the patronymics Romkens and Rumkens, this is a German surname. Like the surname Rump and Rumpf it originates from a pre 7th century word 'rumpr' which seems to have a joint Scandanavian and German origin. All mean the back or buttocks, although whether this was the original meaning some fifteen hundred years ago or more, and precisely how it applied as a nickname, since this is what it was originally, is unclear. Nicknames usually from the Medieval period or earlier, form at least 15% of the surname listings, and some researchers believe much more. They share one common characteristic. That is that in almost all cases, it is impossible to say today with confidence what was actually meant, at the time the name was given. What one can say is that all the really 'robust' names have either died out, or have been replaced or 'gentrified' to the point where they are no longer recognized. Perhaps the earliest redording which has survived is that of Georg Romke of Kreusberg in 1482.
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