[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Hoppe/Heppe et al.

Spaghettitree at aol.com Spaghettitree at aol.com
Wed Oct 8 09:25:30 PDT 2008

Hi Gloria and Carla - Welllllllll, you may have something connecting Hoppe 
and Heppe somewhere, and then again, maybe not.   A great deal depends upon how 
it sounds and who is saying it and what their language is and what century it 
is and what area of what country they may be living in and, on top of that, 
long before there were any spelling rules, who was writing it down without 
really considering there may be a "right" way and a "wrong" way because there 
weren't any. Sometimes one portion or another was chopped off or abbreviated.  And 
then translation upon translation upon Anglicization and it becomes a crooked 
country path indeed.    Maybe that's what makes country paths so enchanting to 
explore - and why I love going down dirt roads with no names just to see 
where they wind up.   

So, Hoppe sounds like Hoppy to Americans, Hohp-eh to a German (the e is 
barely pronounced), but with the umlaut or e added to represent the umlaut, Höppe, 
it is pronounced (by a German) more like Heppe but with a mouth-twist which 
people in the western hemisphere don't usually know how to do.  These 
pronunciations are widely variable over time and place, so everything I've written may 
be different from anything you've seen.  Given the gazillion dialects in 
Germanic speaking countries, piled on to obsolete usage, added to misheard or 
misunderstood verbal versions, you can see how this expands.  You might compare how 
bizarre ordinary American English accents vary from Brooklyn to Texas to 
Louisiana to Montana and all points inbetween, none of it sounding like the Queen's 
English except, perhaps, some portions of Appalachia, believe it or not.   I 
was born and raised in Missouri and had no idea I had an accent until I came 
to California and someone said I had a "twang" - which I didn't like being told 
because I am a word-person, book-person, language-person, artist (as opposed 
to a computer whiz and anything containing numeric formulae).  I finally 
figured out it is only the letter '"i" which sounds more like "ah".   Just one 
sound!   To some people, that made me "country" when I grew up in the suburbs of a 
large city.  

As to Hoppe, et al., Hans Bahlow says:

Höpfner - Low German Höppner, also in East Central Germany-Silesia area 
besides Höptner, Heptner.  Heppner: Bavarian Hopf(n)er: hop farmer and dealer; the 
importance of hop for beer brewing in the Middle Ages is reflected by the 
frequent street name "Hopfenmarkt"; the cities also had so-called Hopfenhäuser 
(hops buildings) where the burghers who had a brewing license could buy their 
hops (Peter Rote "im hopfenhowse".  Liegnitz 1387); hence hop gardens or fields 
show up in place names like Hopfgarten, Hoppegarten.  Surnames for hop growers 
are Hoppenfreter = Hoppener, Barth 1326, Hoppensack, Rostock 1270 (from a 
register of hop growers) Hopfenstock (Breslau, Görlitz; today Hopfstock, Hopferebe 
(both mean hop vine) Kirchheim 1275, Hoppestrunk, Cologne 1142, also Hopf, 
Höpfl. Hoppe, see this.

Hoppe:  East German-Silesien, Low German, occupational surname for a hop 
grower or hopper; documented in Liegnitz 1417-33; Hannus Hoppe = Hans Hopphener, 
in Glatz; Höpfel = Hopfener.  

In Hanks and Hodges' Dictionary of Surnames:
Höpfner: German occupational name for a grower of hops or dealer in hops, or 
occupational nickname for a brewer, from the use of hops in the manufacture of 
beer, from German Hopfen hops (Middle High German hopfe, Old High German 
Hopfo) + 
-er suffix of agent nouns. 
Varieties: Höpfer, Höptner, Heptner, Hep(p)ner, Hopf(n)er, Bavaria - Hopf.
Cognitives: Jewish (Ashkenasic) Hopfer, Hoffner, Hopman.
Low German: Höppner, Hoppe.
Dutch: Hopman, Van Hoppe.
Diminutive German: Höpfli (Switzerland)

Then again, in Elsdon Smith's New Dictionary of American Names:
Hoppe, Hopp:  English - Descendant of Hop or Hob, pet forms of Robert (fame, 
bright).     - another path altogether!

In Brechenmacher's Etyomological Dictionary:
Hopfer (occupation) Hopfenbauer.  1395 Joh. Hopffer zu Augst (Basel).

Höpfner, Low German Hoppner, Höppner, (occupation), Hopfenbauer. 1304 
Wetzelin Hoppener zu Greifwald.  1533 Kaspar Höpfner (Hö[ner) aus Frankenberg (Sa.)

Hopp(e): sowiet oberd. zu "hoppen" = hüpfen (stolpern).  Anknüpfungspunkte an 
den (forename) Hubert finde ich oberd. nicht 1321 Berthold der Hoppe (etwas 
später Hopp) zu Andelsbach (Sigmaringen); Hopfenbauer, 1446 Widericus Hoppe, 
Kleriker des Bremer Stifts, königl. Schreiber.  See Hopfe.  

As to a connection with Sawatzki, you need someone who is fluent in Polish.  
All I could find is Saw/n/t - the Biblical name Sawa - Aramaic saba (accent 
over first a) meaning "old man".
Zawad-i,pl - zawada, "obstacle, impediment" - fortress.

Bear in mind the gentleman on one of these boards recently who inquired about 
his male ancestor who was known as Kwiatkowski and Blüme both.   Kwiat is 
Polish for flower; Blüme is German for flower.  Anglizice that to Bloom, or even 
Flower or Blossom.  

Well, I got carried away here, but chasing the histories of surnames just 
adds to all that we are, I think.   

Maureen Schoenky

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