This surname KOTCH is of German origin, an occupational name, one who prepared food, a chef. The name was derived from the Old German word CHOC, and rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form COQUUS. Most of the occupations or professions reflected in family names are those known in the small villages in Europe, or those followed in a kings, or an important noble's household, or in some large religious house or monastery. During the Middle Ages much of Europe composed of small villages, and many surnames sprang from the occupation of the owner, and to describe a man by his occupation or profession was the most natural way to address a man, and set him apart from others in the neighbourhood. The name has numerous variant spellings which include KOCHE, KOCHMAN, KOCHLE, KOCHAN, KOCJANOWSKI, KOCHEL, KOCHIS, KOCHMAN, KOCI and KOCHER. 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. Notable members of the name include Robert KOCH (1843-1910) the German physician and pioneer bacteriologist, born in Klausthal in the Harz. He practised medicine at Hanover and elsewhere, and in 1883 he was the leader of a German expedition sent to Egypt and India in quest of the cholera germ. He won the Nobel prize for physiology or medicine in 1905. Ludwig KOCH (1843-1974) was the German naturalist, author and lecturer. He followed a musical career in Paris and Milan, first as a violinist, then as a lieder and oratorio singer. His publications include 'Songs of Wild Birds' (1936) and 'Animal Language' (1938).
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