The surname Schreckengost was first found in Austria, where the name Schreckengost became noted for its many branches in the region, each house acquiring a status and influence which was envied by the princes of the region. In later years, bearers of the name became a power unto themselves and were elevated to the ranks of nobility as they grew into this most influential family. The name Schreckengost comes from the Middle High German word "schrecken," which means "to leap" or "spring," though it carries the connotation of jumping due to being startled or frightened. Like many surnames, the name probably began as a nickname; perhaps the original bearer of the name was talented at leaping or perhaps he was timid and easily startled or frightened. The nickname stuck, and eventually the person took it as his surname.
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