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Shelhamer Coat of Arms / Shelhamer Family Crest

This German surname of SHELHAMER is a nickname which was applied to one who engaged in drinking and carousing; a gormandiser, a glutton. The name is also spelt SCHELLHAMMER, SCHLEMHAMMER and SCHLAMMER. 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 was Oskar SCHLEMMER (1888-1943) the German painter, sculptor, designer, dancer and theorist, born in Stuttgart. He was on the faculty of the Bauhaus from 1919 to 1933, where he developed his notions of theatre as a mix of colour, light, form, space and motion. He exerted a considerable, if indirect, impact on the creation and perception of dance in the 20th-century. 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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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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