This German surname SICHEL was a nickname for a pleasant and well-behaved person. The name was originally derived from the Old German word SCHICK, a polished and courteous person. 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. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. 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. The name in Hebrew is of uncertain origin, either of similar derivation to the above or perhaps an acronym of the Hebrew phrase SHem yisrael Kodesh, meaning 'the name of Israel is holy'. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers The name is also spelt as SCHICKE, SCHICKER, SHICK and SHICHTEL. A notable member of the name was Rene SCHICKELE (1883-1940) the German Alsatian writer, born in Oberehnheim. A journalist by profession, he wrote poems, plays and novels, including the triology 'Das Erbe am Rhein' (1925-31).