Common Polish Names & Why They’re Hard To Pronounce



Non-Christian, but traditional, Slavic names are usually accepted, but the priest may encourage parents to pick at least one Christian name. In the past, two Christian names were given to a child so that he or she had two patron saints instead of just one. At confirmation, people usually adopt yet another Christian name, however, it is never used outside church documents.

In modern times, Jędrzejewicz may be both a masculine and a feminine surname. For example, in English, w is often changed to v and sz to sh. Changes in Spanish can be even more extreme; a Spiczyński may become simply Spika, for example, where a more rigorous transcription would produce de Spichiñ.

Names from the medieval period are some that are sure to stand the test of time – they have stayed relevant and pretty popular… Stefan is the Slavic variation of Stephen, which is derived from the Greek word Stephanos meaning, “crown”. Pawel is the long Polish names variation of the name Paul, which has Latin origins and means “small” or “humble”. Oskar is the Polish, German and Scandinavian variation of the name Oscar. Derived from Gaelic words os and Cara meaning “deer” and “friend” respectively, the name combines to form the meaning, “deer friend”.

Whether you’re of Polish descent or just looking for an exotic baby name, there are plenty of choices for you to ponder. Jennie is a Manchester native who discovered a love of teaching and travel whilst teaching at a kindergarten in China, and has spent her time since then becoming an expert in both. Jennie mainly teaches KS2 children and still thinks she has the best job in the world. In her spare time she can be found up to her elbows in a craft project or curled up somewhere comfy with a book and a hot cup of tea.

Your use of this site indicates your agreement to be bound by the Terms of Use. Also derived by combining two Old Slavic elements sem meaning, “family” and vit meaning, “Lord”. Milosz is taken from the name Milos, which is originally a diminutive of names that begin with the Slavic element Milu meaning, “gracious”. It has its origins in the Greek name Loukas, which meant “from Luciana”. It has been a popular name for many years across Poland.

These endings are common in Czech, Slovak and Ukrainian languages, as well as in English, but they never occur in Polish. More precisely, z Dąbrówki actually means owner of the estate, Dąbrówka, but not necessarily originating from there. Thus Jakub z Dąbrówki herbu Radwan translates as “”Jacob from Dąbrówka, with the Radwan coat of arms””. But with the later addition of his cognomen or nickname, Żądło, he would become known as, Jakub z Dąbrówki, Żądło, herbu Radwan – or he could be called just plain, Jakub Żądło.

Surnames ending with consonants usually have no additional feminine form. In the past, when the masculine form ended in a consonant, the feminine surname could have been derived by adding the suffix -owa for married women and the suffix -ówna for maiden surname. For example, Cezaria Baudouin de Courtenay, after her marriage to Janusz Jędrzejewicz, was named Cezaria Baudouin de Courtenay Ehrenkreutz Jędrzejewiczowa. The unmarried daughter of Jędrzejewicz would have the official surname Jędrzejewiczówna.

If these names are too uncommon for you, but you still want to pay homage to your Polish heritage, consider one as an interesting Polish middle name for a baby. Although these names aren’t in the country’s top spots, they are all relatively common Polish boy names that parents seem to adore. Another strong sounding name, Jedrek is pronounced JED-rik and is of Polish origin. The meaning of this name is “a strong man” due to which many boys are named this. Czeslaw is derived from the two Slavic elements ca meaning “to await” and slava, which means “glory”.

One thing that I personally love about common names in Poland is the fact that each one seems to have a history behind it. As you saw in this article, a name can be a result of an ancestors occupation, where they came from, or even just another way of saying ‘god’. Adjectival surnames, like all Polish adjectives, have masculine and feminine forms. If a masculine surname ends in -i or -y; its feminine equivalent ends in -a. Similar alterations occur to Polish names in Belarus, Lithuania, and Latvia. Many Polish surnames originate from an ancestor’s profession.

Short Polish names for girls are both strong and pretty. If you like the idea of using a nickname for a first name, almost all Polish girl names have a common shortened version. A Polish cognominal surname derives from a person’s nickname, usually based on his profession, occupation, physical description, character trait, etc. These areas would often be separate from the rest of the town due to the danger of fire (bell-makers and smiths), area ownership by the guild, or due to unpleasant pollution (tanners, wool-workers). Such serf areas would bear the plural form of the profession name, such as Piekary , Garbary , Winiary . After the First and Second World Wars some resistance fighters added their wartime noms de guerre to their original family names.

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