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Friedman Coat of Arms / Friedman Family Crest

Friedman Coat of Arms / Friedman Family Crest

This German surname of FRIEDMAN was derived from a combination of a patronymic and local source. The element FRIED was derived from an Old Germanic personal name, and these tended to be passed on from generation to generation. The name was pet form of the popular medieval personal name FRIDILA, composed of the elements VRIEDEL (loved one) or VRIDELIN (peace-maker). It was also a locational name for one who lived near or in a wood. The name is also spelt FRIED, FRIEDMAN, FRIEDMANN and FRIEDWALD. The name was borne by a canonized 9th century bishop of Utrecht, and was a hereditary name among the Hohrnstaufen ruling family; hence its popularity in central Europe. 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. A notable member of the name was Milton FRIEDMAN, born in 1912, the American economist. He was the most influential of conservative American economists, A professor of economics at Chicago University from 1948 until 1976, he received the Nobel Prize for Economic Science in 1976. Because of the close relationship between the English and German languages, some Germans are able to transform their names to the English form just by dropping a single letter. Many Germans have re-spelt their names in America. After the start of the first World War, Germans in great numbers Anglicized their names in an effort to remove all doubt as to their patriotism. Afterwards some changed back, and then during World War II the problem became acute once more, and the changing started all over again, although not with as much intensity. Many immigrants from Germany settled in Pennsylvania.


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Last Updated: May 9, 2020

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