I've been wondering about the Swiss (exclusively, I think) suffix in place names like Opfikon, Oerlikon or my favourite Pfäffikon.

What is the origin of the -ikon or -likon ending? It seems particularly with Zürich area but maybe I'm not familiar enough with the rest of German-speaking Switzerland

  • Do you think Swiss-German -ikon is related to the Swiss-Italian place name suffix -nico such as in Anzonico, Chironico, Giornico? Mar 3, 2020 at 22:14

1 Answer 1


It's from German Hof, through the suffix -ighof in German-speaking Switzerland.

From LikeMag.com:

Zwischen dem 9. und 11. Jahrhundert, als die Alemannen sesshafter wurden, hängten sie oft die Endung -hofen an und schlossen damit alle ein, die zu einem Hof oder einer Grundherrschaft gehörten. Aus "Ditingen" konnte so "Ditighofen" werden. In der Mundart wurden die Endungen dann zu "-iken", "-ken", "-gen" oder eben "-ikon" verschluckt.

So it is related to the settling of the Alemanni between the 9th and the 11th centuries, when the addition of the suffix -ighof represented all those belonging to a court or a manor.

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