The German surname of HOPMAN was an occupational name for a grower of hops or dealer in hops, or a name given to a brewer of ale from the use of hops in the manufacture of beer. The name was originally derived from the Old German word HOPFO. The name has numerous variant spellings which include HOPTNER, HEPPNER, HOPF, HOPPFER, HOFFNER, HOPMAN, HOPPNER, HOPPE, and VAN HOPPE. 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 John HOPPNER (1758-1810) the English portrait painter, born in Whitechapel of German parents. At first a chorister in the Chapel Royal, he entered the Royal Acadamy Schools in 1775, and became a fashionable portrait painter. 'The Countess of Oxford' is his masterpiece. Another notable member of the name was Heinz HOPF (1894-1917) the German mathematician, born in Breslau. After war service he studied at Berlin and Gottingen. In 1931 he became professor at Zurich. One of Europe's leading topologists, he worked on many aspects. 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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