Last name origins & meanings:
- English: topographic name for someone living by a knoll or
hilltop, from Middle English knelle (Old English
cnyll(e), cnell(e), a derivative of Old English
cnoll), or a habitational name from a minor place named with
this word, for example Knell or Knelle in Sussex.
German: from Middle High German knellen ‘to cause to explode’,
‘to snap one’s fingers’, hence a nickname for a noisy, loud-mouthed
person, or in Swabia and Bavaria for someone who cursed a lot.
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