German (also Kühl): 1. topographic name for someone who lived by a hollow or depression, Middle High German kūle, Middle Low German kule or habitational name from one of the numerous minor places in North Germany named with this word. The spelling Kühl results from a folk-etymological association with High German kühl ‘cool’ (Middle High German küel(e)) (see 2). 2. (Kühl): nickname from Middle High German küel ‘cool’, ‘calm’. 3. from a short form of a Germanic personal name formed with an element cognate with Old Norse kollir ‘helmet’.