Usage German (Archaic)
Pronounced Pron. IE-təl
Edit Status Status
Contributor Contrib.Kate on 4/1/2011
1. From a short form of a Germanic personal name formed with agi "point (of a sword)", "corner" (Old High German ecka).2. Nickname from Middle High German itel "bare", "only". In the days before surnames had begun to make their mark, bearers of common personal names would often have a second personal name as a distinguishing feature; someone who did not have a second such name could be distinguished by this fact in itself, as for example 'itel Hans' as against 'Hans Joachim'.A famous bearer is Prince Eitel Friedrich of Prussia, second son of Kaiser Wilhelm II.This name has fallen out of usage since it coincides with the modern German adjective eitel "vain".