The German and Swiss surname Durst (also spelled Dürst) is of nickname origin, deriving from the Middle High German word turst meaning “boldness.” The name originally was a nickname for one noted for his boldness or risk taking.The name Durst may also be a habitational name from a farmstead in the Tyrol named with the same word, probably indicating a dry location. The name is first recorded in Silesia. The first records of the name in Switzerland date from the 16th Century. A notable bearer of the name was the accomplished 19th Century composer and violinist Matthias Durst. There are approximately 6,000 bearers of the surname Durst living in The United States today..