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What does Kaufman mean German?

If you are familiar with German surnames or have come across Kaufman in your genealogy research, you might have wondered about its meaning and origin. In this article, we will explore the history of Kaufman and provide insights into its German heritage, as well as its Jewish connection.

What is the Origin of Kaufman?

Kaufman is a German surname that originated in the Middle Ages. The name was given to those who were involved in buying and selling goods, and it was often associated with the merchant class. In German, the word “Kaufmann” means merchant or trader, which points to the occupational origin of the surname.

Like many German surnames, Kaufman was frequently used as a descriptive surname, indicating a person’s occupation or social status within the community. As such, it was considered a secondary surname, added to the given name to specify one’s trade or profession.

The Jewish Connection

Although Kaufman is a German name, it is also a common Jewish surname. The name was adopted and passed down by Jewish immigrants who migrated to Germany from Eastern Europe and other parts of the world.

In Jewish tradition, the original name was Kofman, which is a Yiddish variation of Kaufmann meaning “buyer” or “acquirer.” The name was popular among Jewish merchants and traders, who played an essential role in the development of Europe’s commercial industry in the Middle Ages.

As Jewish communities began to settle across Germany, the name evolved into its German version, Kaufman. With the passing of time, the Jewish community adopted this name, and it became their surname.

The Different Spellings in Kaufman

It is essential to note that Kaufman is often spelled differently, depending on the region and the time of its use. The name has been known as Kauffman, Kauffmann, Kofman, Kofmann, and even Kieffman.

The variations in spelling can often make researching Kaufman ancestors difficult. Genealogists must consider the different spellings of the name when locating records and researching family histories.

Notable People with the Surname Kaufman

– Andy Kaufman: an American comedian and actor best known for his unusual comic style and performances on Saturday Night Live and Taxi in the 1970s and 1980s.

– Charlie Kaufman: an American screenwriter, producer, and director. He is known for his works in movies like “Being John Malkovich,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” and “Adaptation.”

– Philip Kaufman: an American screenwriter and film director. He is known for movies like “The Right Stuff,” “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” and “Henry & June.”


In conclusion, Kaufman is a German occupational surname that means merchant or trader. It has a long and intriguing history, with Jewish and non-Jewish associations. Over the years, it has been used with different spellings and variations, making it a challenge to trace ancestral origins consistently. Despite the difficulties, Kaufman remains a historically significant and widely recognized surname, with notable contributions made in various fields, including entertainment and film.


What is Kaufmann ethnicity?

The Kaufmann surname has its origins in Germany and is a common German and Jewish (Ashkenazic) name. The original meaning of the name Kaufmann is “merchant” or “wholesaler” in the German language, which suggests that the name was originally an occupational surname. It is believed that people with the Kaufmann surname were involved in trade and commerce, and they may have worked in a market, store, or warehouse.

The Kaufmann name is particularly associated with the Jewish community in Germany, especially during the Middle Ages. Many Jews in Germany during this time period chose their surname based on their occupation, and Kaufmann was a popular choice since many Jewish people were involved in commerce and trade. As a result, the surname was widely used among Jewish families in Germany and has since spread to other parts of the world where German Jews migrated.

The Kaufmann surname has also been used by non-Jewish families in Germany who have no connection to the Jewish community. These families likely took the name because of its association with commerce and trade, which was an important aspect of the German economy throughout history.

In addition to Germany, the Kaufmann surname is also found in other parts of Europe, such as Austria, Switzerland, and France. It is also present in other parts of the world, including the United States, where many German immigrants and their descendants bear this surname.

The Kaufmann surname is of German and Jewish origin and is associated with commerce and trade. It has a strong historical association with the Jewish community in Germany, although it is also used by non-Jewish families who have an interest in commercial activities. Today, the Kaufmann surname is widely distributed around the world and continues to play a significant role in various aspects of human activity.

How common is the last name Kaufman?

Kaufman is a German surname that has its origins in the Middle Ages. It is a relatively common surname in the United States, but it is not one of the most common surnames. According to statistical data compiled by the United States Census Bureau, Kaufman ranks #1,007 in terms of the most common surnames in America. This ranking is based on the number of occurrences of the last name Kaufman among the US population.

To put this into perspective, there are approximately 16 Kaufmans for every 100,000 individuals in the United States. While this may not seem like a high number, it is important to note that this is still a significant amount of people, given the size of the country’s population. In fact, the population of Kaufmans in the United States is estimated to be around 50,000 individuals.

It is also worth noting that the frequency of the Kaufman surname can vary depending on the region of the country. For example, in the state of New York, there are more Kaufmans than in any other state in the United States. This may be due to the fact that New York has historically had a large Jewish population, and the Kaufman surname is often associated with Jewish ancestry.

While the Kaufman surname is not one of the most common surnames in the United States, it is still relatively prevalent and represents a significant portion of the country’s population.

Is Kaufman a common name?

Kaufman is a surname of German origin, which is derived from “Kaufmann” meaning merchant or trader. The name has been in use for centuries and is quite common in German-speaking countries. However, the question is whether Kaufman is a common name worldwide.

According to various online sources, Kaufman as a last name is not among the 100 most common surnames in the world. In fact, it only ranks 8,600th globally, which means it is not very common on a global scale. However, its popularity varies by region, with most bearers of the name residing in countries such as the United States, Germany, Canada, and Israel.

In the United States, Kaufman is a reasonably common surname, with an estimated 52,670 people holding the name, which roughly translates to about 1 in 6,882 individuals. The name’s popularity in the US can be attributed to German immigration during the 19th and 20th centuries, during which time many Germans settled in various parts of the country, especially in the Midwest.

Furthermore, people with the surname Kaufman can be found in other parts of the world, such as Australia, the UK, South Africa, and Argentina, among others. However, the name is less common in these places.

An interesting fact to note is that Kaufman can also be a given name, although it is not very common. As a first name, Kaufman ranks 740,891st globally and is borne by fewer than 200 people.

While Kaufman is a reasonably common last name in some parts of the world, it is not among the world’s most common surnames. Its popularity varies depending on the region, with the United States having the most significant number of people with the name. Therefore, whether Kaufman is considered a common name depends on the context and the region in question.

What is the most common boy name ever?

Throughout history, countless male names have come into existence, each with their own particular meaning and origin. When considering the most common boy names ever, several factors come into play such as culture, geography, and time period. At any given time or in any given place, specific names will naturally be more popular than others.

To answer the question of what the most common boy name ever is, it is important to look at statistical data over an extended period of time. The Social Security Administration, for example, has kept records of the most popular baby names in the United States since the 1880s. According to their data, the most common boy name ever in the United States is Michael. Michael has held the top spot on their list of most popular baby boy names more often than any other name in the last century, appearing as the number one baby name in a total of 44 years.

Other names that have been commonly used throughout history include David, William, John, and James, each remaining consistently popular throughout many years. In recent years, however, other names like Liam, Noah, and Ethan have become more popular as young parents look for alternative traditional names for their newborns.

While Michael currently holds the title for the most common boy name ever in the United States, it is important to remember that names and naming trends can vary widely between cultures and countries. Therefore, while Michael might be the most common boy name ever in the United States, other countries may have entirely different popular names. Additionally, within a particular country, certain names may be popular for only a time, or cycles of a few years, before they are replaced by another more popular name.

Michael is currently considered the most common boy name ever in the United States, according to data from the Social Security Administration. While other names have also been popular throughout history, different regions and cultures all have their own specific naming traditions.

What country does the name Kauffman come from?

The name Kauffman is a surname of German origin. It is derived from the German word “Kaufmann,” which means “merchant” or “trader.” The name was commonly used in Germany during the medieval period, particularly in regions where commerce was prominent. As a result, many people with this name were likely involved in trade and commerce as merchants.

In addition to its German roots, the name Kauffman has also been adopted by Ashkenazi Jewish families. This is perhaps due to the fact that Jews were heavily involved in commerce throughout Europe, and may have adopted the name as a way of signaling their profession or social status.

Over time, the name Kauffman has spread beyond Germany and the Jewish communities of Europe. Today, there are Kauffman families all over the world, including in North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and elsewhere. While the name may have different variations depending on the country or region, the basic root of “Kaufmann” remains the same.