[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Patzer; was Re: Surname Equivalent

Guenther Boehm GHBoehm at ish.de
Thu Apr 21 13:10:52 PDT 2005

Jerry Frank schrieb:

> At 06:50 AM 21/04/2005, Cris Howe wrote:
>> Does anyone know the origin of the name "Patzer"?   My daughter tells
>> me this is the German word for "mistake"  or "goof."
>> Cristine Howe, Trenton MI USA
> The German verb "patzen" is to goof, bungle, or make a mistake.  I 
> don't know however that the surname necessarily follows from the 
> verb.  For example, there is a town in Germany called Patz so a person 
> from that town could be known as a Patzer.  Hence the surname could 
> also be locational.

Hello Chris & Jerry,
Patzer = mistake may not be the original meaning. Think of Batzen = 
lump. So I once more suppose an old and forgotten profession. Clay 
constructions like the filling of wooden frameworks have been built of 
single lumps of clay mixed with chopped straw. The man who prepared 
them, was most probably a Batzer [Patzer]. These lumps were also used to 
render the walls with plaster by smashing them against the wooden 
wickerwork or polework. And if such a lump accidently hit the finished 
surface and spotted it, this was a "Patzer" too - i.e. the original 
meaning of the mistake.

from Hilden, Germany

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