Schwartzkopf Coat of Arms / Schwartzkopf Family Crest
This surname of SCHWARTZKOPF is a German and Ashkenazic Jewish nickname for someone with dark hair. The name was derived from the German word SCHWARZ (black, dark) + KOPF (head). Other spellings of the name include SCHWARZKOPF and SCHWARTEKOPP. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. A notable member of the name is Elisabeth SCHWARZKOPF, the German soprano born in 1915 in Janotschin. She studied at the Berlin High School for Music and sang in the Vienna State Opera (1944-48) and Royal Opera, Covent Garden (1949-52), at first specializing in coloratura roles and only later appearing as a lyric soprano. A singer of great dramatic range and versatility, she later concentrated on recitals of German songs. Surnames which were derived from ancient Germanic personal names have the same meaning in many languages. The court of Charlemagne (Charles the Great, king of the Franks (742-814) was Christian and Latin speaking). The vernacular was the Frankish dialect of Old High German, and the personal names in use were Germanic and vernacular. These names were adopted in many parts of northwest Europe, particularly among the noble ruling classes. Hereditary surnames were found in Germany in the second half of the 12th century - a little later than in England and France. It was about the 16th century that they became stabilized.
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