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This question is not so much about language and grammar, but what I want to know is what could possibly be the origin of these two last names? Loeffler is a fairly common last name, Loeffelmacher is not. Loeffelmacher means "spoon maker" from my translation, I assume Loeffler means something similar.

But there's no possible way spoon-making was a job. Does it imply a person that does woodworking? Or a person who does silversmithing? How about Loeffler?

Or is it possible that there's some cultural significance to spoons which I am not aware of?

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    Spoon-making was a profession. Remember: These names stem from a time when everything was hand-made. Spoons were either wood, horn or metal. – Stephie Mar 21 '15 at 17:36
  • so cool @Stephie! i figured a spoonmaker would have diversified into other wooden items, so why pick the spoon as the namesake? – the0ther Mar 21 '15 at 18:07
  • my doctor's name is Knoepflmacher, and my podiatrist's name is Schumacher. i'm gonna collect them all :-) – the0ther Mar 21 '15 at 18:07
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    Consider this as the first stages of specialization: If you make only buttons / spoons / bowls / ... you can streamline the process and get really fast. Assuming that you have a large enough customer base, of course. – Stephie Mar 21 '15 at 18:18
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    @Stephie I think also guilds played a role in maintaining such specialization, because they fixed prices. In a fluctuating price economy, it makes more sense have a broad base of woodworking knowledge and make whatever item is in highest demand at the time. But with long-term price fixing in place, you can pick one item and stick with it. – Atsby Mar 21 '15 at 19:06
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According to Duden – Das Lexikon der Familiennamen, the name Löffler (Middle High German: leffeler) means Löffelmacher and it is indeed a job title for a craftsman who makes wooden spoons.

  • amazing! never heard of Das Lexikon der Familiennamen, but as a beginner student auf Deutsch, i probably would not have known to look for it. thank you! – the0ther Mar 21 '15 at 18:04

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