The other day my oldest daughter asked me, “Daddy, what does Gruber mean?”
Oddly enough, I wasn’t sure, so I told I sent her a link to lmgtfy.com.
So I looked it up. I found this definition at Ancestry.com:
German (Grüber) and Jewish (Ashkenazic): topographic name for someone who lived in a depression or hollow, from (respectively) Middle High German gruobe, German Grube ‘pit’, ‘hollow’ + the suffix -er denoting an inhabitant.
I found this very interesting. I’m a transplant to Lawrence, Kansas from southeast Kansas, which had a large mining history in its past. You can read more about that from the LJWorld story, “Mining’s Legacy, A Scar On Kansas.”
Southeast Kansas is known for its “strip pits,” which removed a lot of the earth in pursuit of precious materials and, in turn, left behind quite a few ruts (and places to fish). And so, quite literally, I am Eric J. Gruber, and I come from a place with pits.
In my search, I also found another less common definition from Urban Dictionary:
A bearded-stallion of a man. Always heterosexual.
That one gave me quite a chuckle. Stallion!