an ostrich as symbol of the town of strausberg
|word/name||middle high german from old high german strūz|
|region of origin||germania|
|variant form(s)||strauß, struz, strutz, straus, strause, struys, struijs, struis, straussman, strausman|
||look up strauß in wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
strauss, strauß or straus is a common germanic surname. outside germany and austria strauß is always spelled strauss (the letter "ß" is not used in the german-speaking part of switzerland). in classical music, "strauss" usually refers to richard strauss or johann strauss ii.
the name has been used by families in the germanic area for at least a thousand years. the overlord of gröna, for example, went by the name of struz and used the image of an ostrich as his symbol. examples of it could still be seen on the thousand-year-old church bell of that town. "struz" or "strutz" is the north-german form of the word "strauss", which is the modern german word for ostrich.
some of the earliest jewish bearers of the name hailed from the judengasse in medieval frankfurt, where families have been known by the name of the houses they inhabited. all the houses had names and these included haus strauss, complete with an image of an ostrich on the façade.
when, for tax purposes, napoleon made surnames obligatory in 1808, some more jewish families decided to adopt the straus(s) name.