Von

In German, von is a preposition which approximately means of or from.

When it is used as a part of a German family name, it is usually a nobiliary particle, like the French, Galician, Spanish and Portuguese de. At certain times and places, it has been illegal for anyone who was not a member of the nobility to use von before the family name. However, in the Middle Ages, the von particle was still a common part of names and was widely used also by commoners; thus, "Hans von Duisburg" meant Hans from Duisburg. The Dutch van, which is a cognate of von but does not indicate nobility, can be said to have preserved this earlier meaning.

Read more about VonCapitalisation, Examples

Famous quotes containing the word Von:

    Self-alienation is the source of all degradation as well as, on the contrary, the basis of all true elevation. The first step will be a look inward, an isolating contemplation of our self. Whoever remains standing here proceeds only halfway. The second step must be an active look outward, an autonomous, determined observation of the outer world.
    Novalis [Friedrich Von Hardenberg] (1772–1801)