Last name origins & meanings:
- German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): metonymic occupational name for
a maker and seller of forks, from Middle High German gabel(e),
German Gabel ‘fork’. The reference is to any of the various
pieces of agricultural equipment denoted by this word, for example hay
forks, shearlegs, etc. Table forks were not used in Germany for eating
before the 16th century.
- German: topographic name for
someone who lived near a fork in a road or river, or owned a forked
piece of land, from the German word in this transferred
- German: habitational name from any of the places called
Gabel in Germany, in Schleswig, Thuringia, Silesia, and in particular
one in Bohemia, which derive their name from Slavic jablo
- German: from a short form of
- Americanized spelling of German Gäbel
(see Gaebel) or Göbel (see Goebel).
(Ashkenazic): adoption of 1–3 above.
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