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Taken from a person who was very tall. From the Germanic element hoch meaning 'tall'.  This is a hereditary surname of Nickname Origin.  Nicknames were derived from a physical feature, character, a favoured style of clothing or from animals, birds, flowers or a colour. Naming was borne thousands of years ago and at first there were just first names. Around the 11th century the Normans introduced the first hereditary surnames taken from their estates in France. By the 15th century they had spread to England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the rest of the European countries. They consisted of a store of Baptismal, Locality, and Occupation names with Nicknames being formed from the Norman originals and Old Norse terms. In these early centuries Coats of Arms were borne. The knights wore heavy armour from head to foot and the only means of identification for his followers was the emblem on the shield and on this surcoat. The coat of arms for this surname is one of the first granted from the very early centuries.