from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Place names with the basic word -heim represent one of the most important name types (not only) in German toponomics .

Mode of education

The typical place name on -heim often denotes the place of residence of a person named or at least indicates a factual connection between this person and the place. It usually consists of a personal name with a genitive ending and home , which can have the meanings "settlement, residence, place of residence " - as a legal term of the right of residence, see home  - and thus gives an indication of early personal names of the same classes.

Example: Gaisbot + -es- + -heim = Gabsheim , cf. the early spellings Caisbotesheim, Keisbotesh (eim), Gesbotsheim, Cheisbotesheim ( Lorscher Codex )


The spread of the name type reflects the Germanic settlement in Western and Central Europe after the penetration into the area of ​​the Roman Empire . One finds -heim names mainly in southern Scandinavia , in western Germany, in the Benelux countries, in England , in Alsace and in Lorraine , in northern Switzerland and in Austria in parts of Upper Austria , Salzburg and Tyrol . To the east, however, the Germanic toponyms were wiped out by the immigration of the Slavs from the end of the 6th century, so that the former distribution of home names there is not known.


  • - heim, -heimen, -heym, -haim, -haimen
  • -ham, -am, -kam (the latter contracted from -ingheim ; old Bavarian)
  • -hem, -em (Low German, Lower Rhine)
  • -um (Frisian, Low German, Lower Rhine)
  • -om ( Lorraine )

Since the basic words have often been blurred beyond recognition in the course of history (e.g. to -em , -en , -um , -om ), they can sometimes no longer be distinguished from suffixes , so that in many cases only the allow the oldest documentary evidence to be reliably assigned.

-um can be found in Friesland , on the Lower Rhine (e.g. Bockum instead of Bockheim), on the Lower Rhine between Gouda and Arnhem , in the province of Limburg and next to it on the Harz , north of the -heim -forms, with an accumulation between Wolfenbüttel and the Elm . Stray finds can also be found all over the northeast.

Centers of the place names on -heim are in the Ruhr area and on the Lower Rhine , the southern Rhine area from Basel to the Frankfurt area - a northern group from Bingen to Landau ( Pfalz and Vorderpfalz ) and a southern group in Alsace from Hagenau to Basel - and the Untermain to in the Wetterau , on the Mittelmain around Würzburg , around Heilbronn and Stuttgart , in the source area of ​​the Danube on the Swabian Alb , around Ulm and Augsburg , in the Donauried and the Ries , on the Franconian Alb in the Nuremberg area and around Landshut , as well as in the Harz Mountains . Litter finds can be found in the entire space thus circumscribed.

The - (h) em forms are common in Flanders , Brabant , Limburg and Nord-Pas-de-Calais .

The form - (h) the concentrated in Upper Bavaria , south of Munich, at the bottom Inn to Passau and Innviertel over the house jerk up in the Salzkammergut , and marks the early baiuwarischen core settlement area.

Place names in -ham can already be found in Middle English , such as Birmingham (from Beormaham "home of the Beorma clan") shows.


The following examples show typical early personal names:

Algolsheim (Agolf), Andolsheim (Andolf), Arnheim (Arno), Artzenheim (Azzo), Baldersheim (Baldur), Dittenheim (Tito), Egisheim (Egis), Heidenheim (Heido), Mannheim (Manno), Marckolsheim (Marko), Meinheim (Meino, Megino), Rüsselsheim (Ruciles or Rucilin), Sammenheim (Sammo)

In personal names as names of origin , the forms are often distorted beyond recognition:

Prayer hammer (to Gebhardsheim ), Herkommer (to Herkheim ), Krauthahn (to Kreutheim ) or Arnim (to Arnheim ).

In addition, there are also training places of activity + home and hallway + home


Formations on places of occupation and other activities (indirect occupational name ):

Kirchheim , Sennheim , Mühlheim

Formations with corridor shapes:

Auenheim , Bergheim , Bolheim , Bruchheim ( Bréhain ), Talheim , Wertheim ("elevated land on the water")


  • Fritz Langenbeck: The origin of the -heim place names in the southern Baden Upper Rhine Valley from Alsace. In: Badische Heimat. Vol. 37, Issue 1, 1957, ISSN  0930-7001 , pp. 54-61.

Web links

Wiktionary: -heim  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Westphalia regional: "home" places: structural elements of a Carolingian settlement policy in south-eastern Westphalia. Retrieved April 3, 2015 .

Individual evidence

  1. Name interpretation. The place name Gabsheim
  2. A first look at a rich past ( Memento from August 21, 2014 in the Internet Archive ). Lorsch Abbey, a walk through history. (First paragraph)
  3. a b Konrad Kunze : dtv-Atlas onenology . First edition, dtv, 1998 (dtv volume 2490), ISBN 3-423-03266-9 , p. 91, with distribution map.
  4. The place names in the district area . In: Internet portal on the regional and local history of individual regions in the federal states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland. Institute for Historical Regional Studies at the University of Mainz e. V.
  5. ^ Map of the district of Mainz-Bingen in Rheinhessen with places on -heim
  6. Finding the place names. The Yellow Citizen in Frankish times
  7. ^ Hermann Ehmer: History of the county of Wertheim . Verlag E. Buchheim, Nachfolder, Wertheim 1989, p. 28: The name "Wertheim, which means something like 'elevated land by the water'."