Turk Family History
Turk Name Meaning
English (mainly Gloucestershire) and Dutch; German and Jewish (Ashkenazic) (also Türk): from Middle English Old French turc Middle High and Low German Turc ‘Turk’ all ultimately from Turkish Türk. In theory this could be an ethnic name but both in England and northwest Europe it is generally a nickname for a man with black hair and a swarthy complexion or a cruel rowdy or unruly man. The English surname may also be from a medieval personal name a back-formation from Turkel misanalyzed as containing the Old French diminutive suffix -el. The Dutch and German surname also represents a topographic or habitational name referring to a house name derived from the use of a picture of a Turk as a house sign. It is also found as a nickname for someone who had taken part in the wars against the Turks. This surname is also found in France (Alsace and Lorraine). Compare Turck and Tuerk . Slovenian (also Türk) and Croatian: nickname for a refugee from the Turks in the 15th and 16th centuries or e.g. for someone who behaved or looked like a Turk from an old vernacular spelling of the Slovenian and dialectal Croatian ethnic name Turek ‘Turk’. Refugees were not ethnic Turks but Croats and Serbs from ‘Turkey’ i.e. the Ottoman Empire which included whole Bosnia and parts of Croatia. The Slovenian surname may in some cases also be a nickname from any of various plants named tur(e)k. Compare Turck Turek and Tuerk . Turkish (Türk): ethnic or ornamental name from Türk ‘Turk’. Jewish (eastern Ashkenazic): habitational from one of places in Eastern Europe called Turki or Turka. Americanized form of Greek Tourkos an ethnic name meaning ‘Turk’. See also Turco . Scottish: shortened Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Tuirc a patronymic from the byname Torc ‘boar’.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022