Last name origins & meanings:
- German (common in the north of Germany and around Hamburg): in
some cases probably a habitational name from the city of Kiel in
Schleswig-Holstein, but more likely a topographic name for someone
living by a long narrow bay or area of sheltered water, from Middle
Low German kil ‘wedge’, the word from which the city derives
its name. Alternatively, it may be from the same word applied as a
nickname to denote a crude person.
- North German: possibly an
occupational name for a ship’s captain, short for Low German
Kilmester (Middle Low German kil ‘keel’, ‘boat’ +
mester ‘master’, ‘skipper’). Kilmester is attested as a
surname near Rostock in the 13th century.
- German: from a pet form
of the personal name Kilian.
- Dutch: from Middle Dutch
kidel, kedel ‘smock’, hence a metonymic occupational
name for someone who make such garments or perhaps a nickname for
someone who habitually wore one.
- Dutch: habitational name from a
place so named in Antwerp or from the German city (see 1).
(Ashkenazic): variant of Kil.
(Kieł): from kieł ‘tooth’, ‘fang’, hence a
nickname for someone with bad or protruding teeth.
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