SDB Popularity Ranking: 19760

Last name: Weich

SDB Popularity ranking: 19760

This is an early medieval German surname. It is recorded in a large number of spellings including Weich, Weiche, Weicke, Wey, Weych, patronymics Weichs, Weiches, diminutives Weichle, Weichel, Weichlein and occupational Weicher. Arguably it is also the originator of the English pre 14th century surname Weech, Wich, Wyk, and Weeks. However spelt it has two possible origins and meanings. First and most likely, the name is locational for a person who lived at a 'weich'. This word in ancient times around the 6th century a.d.- would have described a building, probably a farm one set on its own, the Saxons being by choice solitary dwelling enthusiasts. However much later in the medieval period from the 11th century onwards, 'weich' would have changed meaning completely and was used to describe a village or town surrounded by fortified walls, as in Weichenberg, a town on a hill. Thus the surname itself could describe not only somebody who lived at weich, but almost the opposite - one who came from a 'weich'! The second possible origin was descriptive for a good humoured or 'soft' person. Quite why 'weich' by the 14th century had developed this additional meaning, we are unable to explain. What we do know is that the famous armourial register for coats of arms known as Rietstap's, lists several Weich's as bearing 'arms' granted particularly in Bavaria, - in those days a kingdom. Early examples of recordings in Germany include Wiche von Evehe of Breslau in 1150, Georg Wichel of Hamburg in 1521, and Johann Wichelt of Kurbitz in 1529.

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Surname scroll for: Weich

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