Recorded in various spellings which include: Zoren, Zorener, Zohra, Zorher, and Zorer, this is a surname of Germanic medieval origins, of which it has two. It is believed to be usually locational and to originate from various places called Zoren or Zorn. As a locational surname it describes either a person who is resident at such a place, in which case the genitive 'er' was usually applied as a suffix, or it describes one who has left the area, the first known recording being that of Nicol Zorn, a burger or citizen of the city of Strasburg, in the year 1252. This dating was at the very begining of the development of surnames, and as such was one of the earliest on record. What is far from certain is the meaning of the placename, since it is hardly likely to be the same as the nickname development. The Middle Ages was a time of robust humour, when the old order was begining to break down, and when people began to say what they believed. This also applied to the establishment of (sur)names, and people had little hesitation in applying sobriquets to other people, when they considered them appropriate. These were given in relation to a person's appearance, or to their attitude. A dictionary of German Surnames suggests that this name could have been a derivative of zorn or zurn meaning anger, and used to describe a person with a short temper! Other early examples of the surname recording include: Jakob Zorer, given as being the pastor of Mundingen in Breisgau, in 1556, Georg Zorner, the prior of Mengen, in Reidlingen, in 1567, and Dorothea Zohra, the daughter of Woitek Zohra, who was christened on January 1st 1714, at the town of Marggrabowa, in East Prussia.
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