This is an early medieval German surname. Recorded as Wilfling, Wilflingen, Wiflinger, Wolfinger, Wulfinger, and others, it is said to derive either from a personal name of pre 6th century origins "Wolfingen." or is occupational. If a personal name, it translates loosely as "Little wolf", with Wolf or Wulf or Ulf, being one of the most popular personal names of the pre Christian era. If occupational as in Wolfinger, it may have described a hunter of wolves, or perhaps have been a nickname for a person who was considered by his peer group to have the characteristics or abilities of a wolf. Certainly in Austria and Germany the personal name has largely retained its popularity even into the 21st century, the wolf being highly regarded for its speed, strength and cunning. It appears constantly as a prized charge on Germanic coats of arms throughout the last ten centuries. In England Wolf is still popular but other than say the surname Wolfit, is often buried in compounds such as Woolgar meaning Wolf-spear or Woolland, Wolf-friend. The first German recording that we have been able to find in any of the spellings is that of Bernhart der Wulflinger from Pfulendorff, in the year 1294.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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