"Reineke Fuchs" is the German version of "Reynard the Fox," a character from European folklore.

"Reineke," or the almost certainly closely related "Reinecke," is also a surname of German origin.

It appears that the character's name is older, so it is possible that the surname is derived from the character's name. However, it is also possible that they independently developed from the original Proto-West-Germanic given name *Raginaharduz.

Is the surname "Reineke" derived from the character Reineke Fuchs or vice versa, or did the names independently develop?

1 Answer 1


Reine(c)ke is a diminuitive of Reinhard, a common male first name, much older than the fox. Like all such names it also serves as a surname, usual semantics being "son of ...". "*Raginaharduz" sounds like a scholar's hypothesis (hence the asterisk). Summary: independent.

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    Welcome to G&FH:SE. Your answer would be greatly improved if you can provides one or more sources to support your assertions. Commented Jan 15 at 16:01

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