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Female names ending in 'A'.... why?

Kemaleon 3 | 122  
5 Apr 2008 /  #1
Hi, i hope this isn't the wrong place for this.

Why do all Polish Female names and in 'A'?

PolskaDoll 28 | 2,099  
5 Apr 2008 /  #2
Out of this entire list of female names there is one that ends in 'e', the rest all end in 'a' :)

Is it because it is the feminine form of a name?
Wroclaw Boy  
5 Apr 2008 /  #3
With surnames females end with an A males with an I.
bajka - | 71  
5 Apr 2008 /  #4
male names also end with Z or K

example boniek or chodkiewicz - so that's blown that theory
z_darius 14 | 3,965  
5 Apr 2008 /  #5
The name Chodkiewicz wouldn't really be considered as one ending with a "z" but with a tʃ (using IPA) . You are confusing language's phonetics with the spelling.
Wroclaw Boy  
5 Apr 2008 /  #6
If the passed down males name ends with an I the female version will end with an A.

Obviously there are some names which end with other letters in which case this rule does not apply.
bajka - | 71  
5 Apr 2008 /  #7
ok, so Mrs boniek would be Mrs boniekowa, and mrs chodkiewicz would be mrs chodkiewiczowa...... when talked about of course, but not in the formal passport - i believe.
5 Apr 2008 /  #8
ok, i have a question... i knew a girl who got married with a guy named Polański, and she changed her last name to Polański and not Polańska... why?
Vincent 9 | 892  
5 Apr 2008 /  #9
I would suppose that a women can use whatever surname, she wants...even if she gets married
5 Apr 2008 /  #10
yes...she can stay with a maiden name, use only her hubby's name, or use both (maiden-hubby's)...
but why that woman didn't change the last letter and stayed with Polański and not Polańska...?
Vincent 9 | 892  
5 Apr 2008 /  #11
i knew a girl

didn't you ask her:)... was she polish? What if a polish man married a different nationally...would she just take his name?
5 Apr 2008 /  #12
didn't you ask her:)

it was a while ago....we aren't in touch anymore...

was she polish?

yes :)

What if a polish man married a different nationally...would she just take his name?

if she wants to...
PolskaDoll 28 | 2,099  
5 Apr 2008 /  #13
What about forenames though? Why do a huge amount of them end in "a"?
Vincent 9 | 892  
5 Apr 2008 /  #14
Thats true....must have something about being feminine...we have male and female names here too...don't we:)
5 Apr 2008 /  #15
i think we need a professional to explain that to us... :/
Mali - | 300  
5 Apr 2008 /  #16
Why do all Polish Female names and in 'A'?

It's probably considered to be 'feminine'. Many countries do that where the feminine version ends with a vowel. ie the French prefer the 'e' (Danielle, Rochelle, Michelle, Adèle, Céline etc.).
OP Kemaleon 3 | 122  
6 Apr 2008 /  #17
Yeah i get the whole feminine thing but still, why?

what came first? the names or the language? what dictates that there should be a difference?

As the plucky Spurs fan up there says: we do have male and female names here too, but there isnt anything that signifies masculine or feminine about them.

My friend pointed it out to me thats all, and without being told i hadnt noticed before, once i knew it became obvious and curiosity is eating me now!!

Sorry to be 'foreign' about it but it just sounds strange to me. Are we saying that, like, 'A' is a chick? and 'E' is a bloke?

Would their love-child therefore be the letter æ?

Thanks for replies.

(Ooh, its snowing outside!!)
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
6 Apr 2008 /  #18
about a woman marrying a man named Polański - she would change her surname to:
Polańska - if the marriage was in Poland (according to Polish law)
Polański - if the marriage was outside of Poland (according to foreign law), simply because in USA, UK, Germany etc. you don't have this male/female distinction, so the law doesn't allow such female forms as -ska, -cka.

The Czech and Slovak citizens had problems because of this a while ago, some hotels in the tourist resorts (in more strict islamic countries) didn't want to accept a couple checking in as for example Mr. Hantuch and Ms. Hantuchova, because they thought those were 2 separate surnames.

About Boniek - the female form would be Bońkowa, but that's what you could hear in colloquial speech only, especially among older people, normally she would be called Boniek, without any changes.

About given names, I have no idea why all female names (both of Slavic and Latin or other origins) end in -a, must be some medieval tradition. But the -a ending is the most natural ending for the female gender (not only in Polish, also Latin, Italian, Spanish) so it was quite natural. For the male gender nouns/adjective there's no one such dominant ending (-e, -o, consonant) partially because most languages dropped the neuter gender, preasent in the Latin, and merged it mostly with male gender.

Currently, however, you're allowed to use different names, (for example Carmen/Karmen), which don't end in -a.
mamaye 2 | 38  
6 Apr 2008 /  #19
brawo krzysztof:)

my English is no good enough to explain it so clearly like you did:(

anyway,one more thing - in some Registry Offices in Poland it's still not possible to register a baby's female name not ending in -a (e.g. Carmen/Karmen). it's up to the individual officers' interpretation of law. also, spelling must be Polish - so if you want to name your baby Nicole, u must change it in fact for NIKOLA!
OP Kemaleon 3 | 122  
6 Apr 2008 /  #20
Crackinga responsa peoplesa!

And i didnt know about the second names, its always good to learn something new but would this mean if i married a Polish girl in Poland then she would have an altered version of my second name? or would i have to be Polish too?
Mali - | 300  
6 Apr 2008 /  #21
Yeah i get the whole feminine thing but still, why?

I'm not an expert about these things but I think that feminine names were made in the first place to differentiate from male names. In the Polish language (and other languages as well) most female names are a female version of a male name, which would be why adding a feminine ending to a first name would have been necessary.

As for the last name thing....I'll never know the answer to that :)

And i didnt know about the second names, its always good to learn something new but would this mean if i married a Polish girl in Poland then she would have an altered version of my second name? or would i have to be Polish too?

I'm pretty sure you'd have to be Polish. If your last name is Smith, I doubt it that she'd call herself Mrs. Smitha. I've only seen it done with Polish and maybe Russian last names.

I forgot to add: It also depends on what your last name is. If its a 'ski', then it will be changed to 'ska' for a female. Not all last names do this. My last name ends in a 'k' and therefore no 'a' is added. Also, I have an uncle's whose last name is 'Rasala' and that is both the masculine and feminine form.
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
6 Apr 2008 /  #22
if i married a Polish girl in Poland then she would have an altered version of my second name?

only if you have a typical Polish surname ending in -ski, -cki, -dzki, and even then she would rather have a choice, because it would complicate her life abroad, and with you being a foreign citizen, I guess the rules would allow her to receive your surname in an unaltered form.

Generally (for official purposes) only the surnames ending in -ski/-ska and -cki/-cka and -dzki/-dzka (in total about 35% of Polish surnames) have different forms for males females.

Surnames like (I mention only top 20 entries from the most popular Polish surnames list, but the rule is the same) Nowak, Wójcik, Woźniak, Mazur, Krawczyk, Kaczmarek have only 1 form, no matter what sex is the person.

A more complicated situation exists with surnames that are adjectives (addjective in Polish normally have different forms for each gender), some of them them are used in both (m/f) forms, some (it's probably a newer trend) only in the base (masculin) form, it's probably up to the person who carries such surname to decide what version she wants in her documents, but I'm not sure (I don't know the laws in that matter).

For example
Biały/Biała (= White)
Czarny/Czarna (= Black)

Historically most (maybe all) surnames existed in feminine forms, for example:
Nowak - Nowakowa (wife) - Nowakówna (daughter).
You can find them even in the writings from before WWII.
Today, these forms are still in use in everyday language (the "daughter form" mostly by older people), but not for official purposes.
Polonius3 994 | 12,367  
11 Apr 2008 /  #23
Only Polish surnames of adjectival form officially end in -a. because an adjective must agree with the noun it modifies (describes). Kowalski is an adjectvie meaning of, descended from, related to or associated with the kowal (blacksmith). Kowalski would be someone related or connected tio the blacksmuith like his son, helper, etc. Kowalska would be the blacksmith's woman/wife. Enlgish examples include the wrod Englishman and similar natioanltiy words. A Miss Winters is never called an Englishman but an Englishwoman. More more information on specific surnames contact research60@gmail

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