This German and Jewish surname of FLECK was originally derived from the Old German word FLECK, meaning patch or spot. The name is of uncertain origin, and it has been suggested amongst various possible reasons for its adoption as a surname, the possibility that it was a metonymic occupational name for a user of patches in repairing shoes, clothes or utensils. It may also have been a habitation name from a place named with this word. In some parts of Germany the word denoted a type of round loaf; the surname could perhaps have been a name acquired by a baker of such loaves. The name is also spelt FLICK, FLECKNER, FLEK, FLECKMAN and VLECK. The first hereditary surnames on German soil are found in the second half of the 12th century, slightly later than in England and France. However, it was not until the 16th century that they became stabilized. The practice of adopting hereditary surnames began in the southern areas of Germany, and gradually spread northwards during the Middle Ages. A notable member of this name was Sir Alexander FLECK (l889-l968) Scottish industrial chemist, born in Glasgow. Educated at Glasgow University, he lectured there for two years before working as a physical chemist on radium and later on the manufacture of sodium. He became chairman of ICI in l953 and was chairman of the committee which investigated the nationalized coal industry.
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.
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