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Possible origins of the name Zerweck

There are several different theories about the meaning and origin of our name. So far, none of these hypotheses seems really convincing to me; but perhaps other arguments may come up after this publication in the internet which facilitate a decision in favor of one or another theory.

The first theory, assuming the origin of the name in German speaking countries, considers the similarity of the sounds w ↔ b (there is also the name Zerbeck) and thus creates a connection to Beck, Becker, or Bäcker, German terms for “baker”. Also “Weck(en)” as buns or bread rolls are called in  Baden-Württemberg, the Palatinate, Hesse and parts of Franconia and Switzerland (Weggli), prove the etymological kinship with the baker.

Somewhere I have read (I unfortunately do not remember where) that the syllable "zer" would mean “upper”, “on the top”, “on the hill” or the like. Then Zerweck would simply mean "the upper baker” or the “baker on the hill”.

The second theory is based on the similarity of the name Zerweck or Zerwac with Zerwas or Zervas. This name is usually deduced from the name Servatius, and thus indirectly from the Saint Servatius.

As a third possibility it is sometimes assumed that the name is of a Slavic-language origin. Unfortunately I do not know any more details. A former colleague from Poland, however, told me that a derivation from a Polish word was unlikely. On the other hand, the fact that, in the 19th century, there were American immigrants from Slovakia named Zerwick may be an indication in favor of that theory.



Korntal-Münchingen, January 20, 2009

Günter Zerweck


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