The surname of DIETRICH was a baptismal name 'the son of Theodoric' an ancient baptismal name. This name was introduced from Holland and Germany into England in the 15th century. The name was originally spelt as DIEDERICK, and it is also spelt as DIETRICH, DERK, DIEHLMANN, DIETMANN, and DIDRIKSEN. Surnames are divided into four categories, from occupations, nicknames, baptismal and locational. All the main types of these are found in German-speaking areas, and names derived from occupations and from nicknames are particularly common. A number of these are Jewish. Patronymic surnames are derived from vernacular Germanic given names, often honouring Christian saints. Regional and ethnic names are also common. The German preposition 'von (from) or 'of', used with habitation names, is taken as a mark of aristocracy, and usually denoted proprietorship of the village or estate from where they came. Some members of the nobility affected the form VON UND ZU with their titles. In eastern Germany there was a heavy influence both from and on neighbouring Slavonic languages. Many Prussian surnames are of Slavonic origin. The Dutch language is most closely related to Low German, and its surnames have been influenced both by German and French naming practices. The preposition 'van' is found especially with habitation names, and the 'de' mainly with nicknames. The word Heraldry is derived from the German HEER, (a host, an army) and HELD, (champion): the term BLASON, by which the science is denoted in French, English, Italian and German, has most probably its origin in the German word 'BLAZEN' (to blow the horn). Whenever a new knight appeared at a Tournament, the herald sounded the trumpet, and as competitors attended with closed vizors, it was his duty to explain the bearing of the shield or coat-armour belonging to each. Thus, the knowledge of the various devices and symbols was called 'Heraldry'. The Germans transmitted the word to the French, and it reached England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. A notable member of the name was Marlene DIETRICH (Maria Magdalene von Losch), born in 1904, the German film-actress and singer. Her image of sultry beauty was developed by Josef von Sternberg in such films as 'The Blue Angel' (1930). In 1930 she went to Hollywood, where she made numerous films.
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