German: 1. from Middle High German kunkel ‘spindle’, ‘distaff’ (from Late Latin conicula, conucula diminutive of conus ‘cone’, ‘peg’), hence a metonymic occupational name for a maker of spindles or a spinner or alternatively a nickname for a tall thin person. 2. from a medieval German personal name, a pet form of Kuno (see Kuhn). 3. possibly from Low German kunkel ‘dugout’, ‘shelter’, or ‘deep water’, of uncertain application: perhaps a topographic name. 4. (Künkel): habitational name from a manor near Eisenack (Thuringia) or Erkelenz (Westphalia).