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Knopf Coat of Arms / Knopf Family Crest

Knopf Coat of Arms / Knopf Family Crest

The surname of KNOPF was a German occupational name for a grower and seller of garlic, originally derived from the Old German word KLOBELOUCH, derived from the elements KLOB (split) and LOUCH (leek). The name was also adopted by Ashkenazic Jews, or perhaps it was a name bestowed at random on Jews by non-Jewish government officials in central Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. The name has numerous variant spellings which include KNOBLICH, KNOFLACH, KNOPFLOCH, KNOBLAUCH, KNOBELOCH, KNOBEL and KNOBLER. 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. Alfred A KNOPF (1892-1984) is the publisher, born in New York City. He studied at Columbia University, then worked briefly for a publishing house before founding one under his own name. The firm gained a prestigious reputation for the quality and variety of its literature, and attracted many authors who became Nobel and Pulitzer prizewinners. 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: Dec. 1st, 2021

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