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Wojtczak SURNAME - question for native Polish speakers


PANI WOJTCZAK 2 | 12  
10 Nov 2007 /  #1
(English daughter b1958 of a Pole b1922. )

In England there are a lot of names like Carter, Cooper, Smith etc which all have their roots in a profession; other names relate to a town or area.

I used to ask my Dad - what does our name mean? He always said "nothing".

I asked him - "is it common?" No.

Does it sound nice or ugly in Polish? Is it an embarrassing name. 'No'.

My Dad didn't say a lot, as you can see.

I looked up our name in the London phone book, there were two - us and one other family. When we went to Warsaw 1973 I looked it up and there were also two! So, not a common name.

Now, having found this site, I have my big chance to find out The Truth about my surname.

Remember, to me it's just a list of letters without meaning, so please can you give me any thoughts you have on my surname? I;d be very grateful!

Helena Wojtczak
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
10 Nov 2007 /  #2
I used to ask my Dad - what does our name mean? He always said "nothing".

It doesn't really have a meaning but it sounds like composed of a root word "wojtek", or "wójt". The former is a common Polish given name, the latter means town's mayor, leader, but it also may carry a slight hint of Old Polish "wój" (warrior)

I asked him - "is it common?" No.[/PANI WOJTCZAK]
I don't have stats, but it sounds common enough for me. Perhaps mostly because the root word (wojt) is used for many variations of this surname.
[quote=PANI WOJTCZAK]
Does it sound nice or ugly in Polish? Is it an embarrassing name. 'No'.

In Polish it sounds well and neutral. The "czak" ending hints a little of more Easterly part of Poland.
OP PANI WOJTCZAK 2 | 12  
10 Nov 2007 /  #3
I'm grateful Darius to be given some information on my name. I didn't know that -czak was more of an Eastern Polish ending. So is the -ski more of a westerly ending?

So it might be derived from the first name Wojtek? Like son of Wojtek or something?

I quite like being derived from a mayor or a warrior, gives me nice delusions of grandeur!

I used to ask my Dad what is the feminine form (I had a friend called Dabrowska you see) but he said there is none, is that true? He said maybe the wife of a Wojtczak could be a Wojtczakowna or something, does that mean anything to you?

Also, my aunties used to call me Helenka (I loved that!)

HW
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
10 Nov 2007 /  #4
I used to ask my Dad what is the feminine form [/PANI WOJTCZAK]
Official (as in passports) name is the same for both genders.

[quote=PANI WOJTCZAK] I didn't know that -czak was more of an Eastern Polish ending. So is the -ski more of a westerly ending?

By easterly I mean Ukrainina/Byeloruss influence. Doesn't necessarilly meant ethinc, but certainly linguistic. I'm unawae of geographic distribution of "-ski". There were way to many migrations within Poland to pin this down.

He said maybe the wife of a Wojtczak could be a Wojtczakowna or something, does that mean anything to you?

Wojtczakowna - daughter of Wojtczak
Wojtczakowa - wife of Wojtczak
OP PANI WOJTCZAK 2 | 12  
10 Nov 2007 /  #5
"Wojtczakowna - daughter of Wojtczak"

Gosh. That's me. But that would not be my surname, would it, just something people might call me, as in "Who's that girl? Oh she's Wojtczakowna - assuming they both knew who Wojtczak was - am I right?
Polson 5 | 1,771  
10 Nov 2007 /  #6
Also, my aunties used to call me Helenka (I loved that!)

The -ka ending is a diminutive, you know, like John -> Johnny ;)

At the beginning the -ski ending was for the noblemen...some centuries ago, people wanted to look like noblemen (LoL) so they took names with -ski ending too...
OP PANI WOJTCZAK 2 | 12  
10 Nov 2007 /  #7
Yes I know. I still want to be Helenka. I feel I was deprived as a child, having never been called that. Want to make up for itnow, wish I had someone in my life to call me Helenka!
Koach 16 | 128  
10 Nov 2007 /  #8
My grandmother had a friend with that last name - she never married. I don't know if it was spelled the same way, but it was pronounced like it. She died about 10 years ago and lived in Calumet City, IL.
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
11 Nov 2007 /  #9
"Who's that girl? Oh she's Wojtczakowna - assuming they both knew who Wojtczak was - am I right?

Yes, that's exactly how these are used.
You would not have Wojtczakowna in your passport or any official documents.
annabanabee - | 1  
15 Jun 2008 /  #10
I also come from the Wojtczak family! My grandfather's surname was Wojtczak, as was my mother's until she was married! I have not found any others until now!
HelenaWojtczak 28 | 177  
5 Aug 2008 /  #11
annabanbee!

I don't know another Wojtczak in the whole world! So please be my Polish "cousin" ?

By the way, I forgot my log-in and re-registered. I used to be paniwojtczak now Helena, my real name.

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