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German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): from German Stein ‘rock’, Middle High German stein, hence a topographic name either for someone who lived on stony ground or for someone who lived by a notable outcrop of rock or by a stone boundary marker or monument. It could also be a metonymic occupational name for a mason or stonecutter, or, among Jews, an ornamental name. This name is widespread throughout central and eastern Europe.