German:1. (also Nötzel ) nickname for a person in need or distress, from Middle High German nōt ‘hardship’, ‘distress’, ‘suffering’. 2. possibly from a pet form of Notz, a short form of the personal name Norbert. 3. southern metonymic occupational name for a maker of nets, from Middle High German netzel(īn), a diminutive of netz ‘net’ ( see Netz ).
Dictionary of American Family Names © Patrick Hanks 2003, 2006.