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Choosing a Polish Name for Your Newborn

9 Dec 2007 /  #1
Have you ever thought of giving your newborn child a Polish name? Have you exhausted what seem to be all Polish names and are still clueless about which of them are popular, original, or traditional? This article may be useful to obtain all the necessary information about Polish names.

The most important thing that you should know about Polish names is that girls' names most of the times end with -a (e.g. Marta, Magda, Anna). When you eliminate all the names that end with -a, it is easy to determine that the remaining names are boys' names. It is important to learn about this difference in case you have to find out the gender of a person based on their last name. The reason for that is that - again - there is a distinction between male and female last name endings (girls' last names usually end with -ska or -cka and boys' last names end with -ski or -cki). However, there are some very deceptive last names that do not tell you if a person behind this last name is a man or woman (e.g. Nowak, Kowalik). Also, there are those that even though end with -a or -ka can apply to both man and woman (e.g. Anna Karzatka but also Marian Karzatka). In these cases it is the first name that specifies the gender. The example I've just mentioned is a good reason why you need to be aware of the rules of first names endings.

Now that we have all those complicated distinctions behind us, let's move on to another feature of Polish names - their diminutive forms. One polish name can be said in many different ways. It is common among other countries' names as well. For example, an American name such as Ken, can be said in three different ways: Ken, Kenneth or Kenny. But what sets Polish names apart from other countries' names is that Poland goes to extreme. For example, the following Polish names Anna and Katarzyna can be said up to six different ways as follows: Ania, Anielka, Aniulka, Aneczka, Aniusia and Kasia, Kasienka, Kasiunia, Kaśka, Kacha. The number of those diminutive forms can grow depending on Poles' creativity.

Another important aspect of Polish names is that Polish people usually have two names given during Baptism and a third name given at a later stage of life during one of the Polish Christian tradition (Bierzmowanie). It is a lot of fun for young people to choose a name for themselves. However, only the first two names appear in all the documents, and only the first name is used in everyday life. Traditionally for Poland, religion plays a significant role when it comes time to choosing names. People often choose names of saints that protect the child from that day forward.

Now, you're probably curious what some of the Polish names are. Of course, the choice of the name depends on an individual's taste. Many Polish parents tend to choose popular names, some choose traditional ones, while the remainder believe that it would be nice if their child had an original, unique or foreign-sounding name. Let's look at some of the names.

The most popular names for girls are: Anna, Katarzyna, Karolina, Magdalena , Marta, Aleksandra, Paulina, Agnieszka, Malgorzata, Renata, Monika, Sylwia, Beata and Dorota.

The original, trendy and not as widely popular names for girls are: Natalia, Kinga, Klaudia, Kamila, Angelika, Patrycja, Dominika, Justyna, Zuzanna, Weronika.

The most traditional, but often older generation names are: Barbara, Jadwiga, Joanna, Zofia, Maria, Irena, Grażyna, Danuta, Krystyna, Teresa, Helena, Hanna, Elżbieta.

When it comes to boys, the most popular names are: Marcin, Michał, Jakub, Mateusz, Krzysztof, Rafał, £ukasz, Paweł, Dariusz, Karol, Radosław, Przemysław, Adam, Filip, Piotr.

Less popular and more original are: Patryk, Dominik, Adrian, Dawid, Kacper, Krystian, Konrad, Oskar, Damian, Szymon.

And the traditional names such as: Władyslaw, Stanisław, Stefan, Bogusław, Zbigniew, Wojciech, Tadeusz.

A phenomenon that is occurred with greater regularity is that many people go back to older generational names. Thus, what was considered old-fashioned ten years ago, now sounds new and trendy again. As a result, more frequently you will come across children with names such as Jas, Staś, or Kazio who bear a name of Jan, Stanisław, or Kazimierz.

If you are seriously considering giving your child a Polish name, the best words of advice are to choose a name that fits your child appropriately. After all, it is your child that is going to have to go through the rest of their life with that name. Hopefully this article has given those parents who are undecided about potential names a better understanding.
9 Dec 2007 /  #2
Sebastian , Artur , Adam , Przemyslaw or Przemek , Dariusz - Darek were popular when I was born
and for Girls it was Monika we had 4 in my class , Renata , and Ania were also popular but Monika wins !

Just a thought have you herd of a tradition in poland that the first born's name is the name of the paren's first love . It is true for my family. Thats why my mum hates my name because I am named after my dad's first love.
9 Dec 2007 /  #3
Thus, what was considered old-fashioned ten years ago, now sounds new and trendy again.

yeah, but nowadays, apart from going back to the traditional names, many parents give children foreign names: Nicole (or Nikola), Victoria, Angelika, Bryan (spelled Brajan <lol>) etc.
9 Dec 2007 /  #4
stephania, felicia and katarina are lovel names for a girl and joseph fpr a boy
9 Dec 2007 /  #5

or Katarzyna / Kasia (my girlfriend's name) is even lovelier
9 Dec 2007 /  #6
In Poland, every girl and their sister is named Kasia...I swear.
9 Dec 2007 /  #7
hehheh, guilty...I have a little Kasia too...
11 Dec 2007 /  #8
In Poland, every girl and their sister is named Kasia...I swear.

my sister is Kasia:) quite a popular name indeed..
11 Dec 2007 /  #9
In Poland, every girl and their sister is named Kasia...I swear.

In my family over in Poland the name Aleksandra was the dominate one. Seemed as though every other girl I met was called Ola. lol
Snow Queen  
12 Dec 2007 /  #10
I was told that it depened on what day you were born to what name you received. Depending on who's day it was like St Theresa or St Steven.

I love hearing how people got their name.
26 Feb 2008 /  #11
I am Maciej and I'm really proud of this.
26 Feb 2008 /  #12
Have you ever thought of giving your newborn child a Polish name?

Of course... my children will only ever have names of Polish/Slavic origin; what better way to demonstrate how proud you are of your ethnicity and origins. And proud I am!!!!
10 Jul 2009 /  #13
In Poland, every girl and their sister is named Kasia...I swear.

And in the US, every girl and their sister is named Kate or Katie...I swear ;)

Kathryn/Katherine/Catherine, Katarzyna, Ekaterina, Katharina, Katalin... It's just a popular name all over. :P
10 Jul 2009 /  #15
KamilaK, many dzięks. Interesting stuff! Three questions:
1/ Many formerly old-fashion names -- Stefan, Stanisław, Kazimierz, Karol (obviously JPII), Jakub, Wojciech, etc. -- have made a comeback but why not Józef? Also Wanda and Jadwiga? Any reason for this?

2/ Why has Kacper, the dialectic peasant version of Kasper, become so popular? Since most people try to be upscale you'd think they wouldn't want to sound like "wiocha"!?

3/ Whereas Stanisław, Władysław and Mieczysław seem to be more frequent now than 10-20 years ago, why have their feminine versions - Stanisława, Władysława and Mieczysława - not followed usuit.

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