- Genforum Rather reasonable explanation of origin
Ancestry.com gives the following distribution of locations where US emigrants bearing the "Gass" surname came from:
The surname variant "Gast" is said to be common in areas of Swiss settlement (Ancestry.com)
- For immigrants of german origen, "Gass" is probably derived from mIddle high german "gazze", which evolved to "gasse"Gasse", and Yiddish among Ashkenazic Jews, "gas", all meaning "street".
- For immigrants of Scot-English-Irish origin, the name may derive from a community in Perthshire, "Trinity Gask". The word "gask" is said to be derived in turn from gaelic "gasg" meaning a "piece of land running out from a plateau".
- Given Name.
- Among English Speakers, Ancestry considers this a variant of "Gash", derived from the Norman personal name "Wazo". Among German speakers this variant is said to derive as a diminuitive of "Gottfried" or "Gottschalk". .
Commonly encountered variants include:
- ↑ It is not clear how "Wazo" would transform to "Gash", but that's what Ancestry says. Possibly the route is through the corruption of the surname "Wazo" (roughly meaning "quick" from the old English) to the English surname "Wass", and from there to "Gass", but this seems improbable. ~~~~
- ↑ Again, it is not clear how "Gottfried", etc would transform to "Gash", but that's what Ancestry says. Personally, I think they're just making this up. ~~~~