North German and Danish: shortened version of the given name Matthias or Mathies (s).
South German: similar to Sebastian but with an s at the end.
East German: like Werner but with an e at the end.
In Germany, Austria and Switzerland, it is the most common name for boys born in the year of birth between 1973 and 1992.
In the United States, it was named after Thomas Thumb, a character in John Bunyan's 1666 novel The Pilgrim's Progress. He was called Thomas because there were no other Thomases alive when he was born.
The name became popular after appearing in this book as each chapter is told from the point of view of different characters.
Some sources say that Thomas Thumb was not a real person but instead used as a metaphor for poor quality small toys that were popular at the time. However, this is not confirmed by any source I have found so far.
There are several reasons why the name is becoming more popular in Europe.
Thiessen is derived from the German personal name Matthias, which is derived from the apostle Matthaeus (English Matthew). Versions of this name were particularly common throughout Christian Europe throughout the Middle Ages. Today Thiessen is found only in Michigan.
Thiessen was first used as a surname by a family from Alsace-Lorraine who settled in Michigan. They were German Protestants and members of the Mennonite church. Most Thiessens were farmers but some became merchants or carpenters. The name has become popular among Christians of German ancestry in the United States.
Thiessen was originally written with an s at the end of each word; this is still done in some foreign languages to indicate a plural form of the name. For example, German Matthäusen means "of Matthew", while Mattschen means "of Matt".
In English, however, the spelling Thiessen is now preferred because it avoids confusion with the name Matthew.
The name Thiessen has been used as a given name by individuals who share the same first name as another person. This has occurred most commonly with boys named Matthew or Michael who have a brother or friend called Thomas. Such pairs of names are often placed in alphabetical order by their respective publishers.
North German and Dutch: shortened version of the personal name Thietilo, an early medieval pet form of Dietrich (German), Diederik (Dutch), or any compound name with the same initial element. The -th- element is a diminutive suffix.
South German: from the surname Thiel, which was originally written as "Dietil". This name is derived from the elements die ("alive") and tielfen ("protection"), so it means "protective life."
Additionally, the word "thiele" means "fellow traveler" in German. Thus, "thiel" means "a fellow traveler," or, more generally, "an ally."
Thiel was once used as a given name, but it is now considered a surname in itself.
The name was originally used as a patronymic name, meaning "son of Dietrich". It was later adopted as a personal name, especially in Bavaria where it became very popular. The name was also used as an adjective.
Thiel was first mentioned in 1004 as Dietrico filio Teutonicorum Rex Suardoniae. He probably came from East Francia to Suardonia, which at that time was part of Bavaria.
Thijs is a popular given name and surname in the Netherlands. It is an abbreviation for Matthijs (the Dutch version of Matthew), Timothijs, or Timotheus (Dutch forms of Timothy). The letter ij is pronounced [ei]. There are many variations of this name, including Thijsse, Thys, Thyssen, etc.
Thijs was originally a nickname for a person who was called Matty. This name was later adopted as a first name on its own. Now it is used among friends and family to refer to someone who is called Matt.
Thijs was first used by Christians as a baptismal name. It means "godly" or "religious".
As a first name, Thijs is used widely across the world because many people share the same first name. Some famous people with the name include: Thomas Thys, a Belgian painter; Thijs van den Berg, a Dutch road racing cyclist; and Thijs Alinkx, a former professional road bicycle racer from Belgium.
As a last name, Thijs is commonly found in Belgium, the Netherlands, and South Africa.
Thyssen is a common surname in Belgium and the Netherlands.