The name WENDORFF is of two-fold origin. It was a baptismal name meaning 'the son of Wendimar' one who is a wanderer and famous. It was also a locational name, derived from the Old German word WINIDA. The Wends once occupied a large area of North East Germany, and many German placenames and surnames are of WENDISH origin. Their Slavonic language is still spoken in the South East part of Eastern Germany, around Bautzen and Cottbus. 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. The name has numerous variant spellings which include WEND, WENDISCH, WINSCH, WUNDISCH, WENSTER, WINTSCHER and VINDIS to name but a few. A notable member of the name is Wim WENDERS, born in 1945, the German film-director. Originally a student of medicine and philosophy, he attended Munich's Cinema and Television College from 1967 to 1970, where he made his first short film 'Schauplatze' (1967). He has been frequently honoured by the Cannes Film Festival, winning the International Critics Award for 'Kings of the Road' (1976), the Golden Palm for 'Paris, Texas' (1984) and Best Director of 'Wings of Desire' (1987). A minor notable of the name was Paul Robert WENDT, born on the 5th March, 1905 in Davenport, Iowa. He was an Educator, and his appointments included Professor of Education at San Francisco State College, and at Southern Illinois University. He was also the author of articles, chapters and monographs in the field.
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