Last name origins & meanings:

  1. German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): nickname for a person with red hair, from Middle High German rōt, German rot ‘red’. As a Jewish surname it is also at least partly ornamental: its frequency as a Jewish surname is disproportionate to the number of Jews who, one may reasonably assume, were red-headed during the period of surname adoption.
  2. German and English: topographic name for someone who lived on land that had been cleared, Old High German rod, Old English rod, roð.
  3. German: from a short form of any of the various Germanic personal names with the first element hrōd ‘renown’. Compare Rode 1, Ross 3.
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