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Tradition of Polish Women's Last names vs. Men's

16 Feb 2007 /  #1
I'm new in this forum but both of my parents are immigrants and I grew up speaking polish. Looking to get back into the groove but I've got a side note question -

Many women end their last name in "ska" (for example) or somehow feminize it from the male version of the last name. For example, Szyszkowska instead of Szyszkowski. My parents chose to have me use the male version (although I am female) probably because it creates confusion here in the States. Can someone explain to me a little more about this practice?
krysia 23 | 3,058  
16 Feb 2007 /  #2
It creates confusion. In the US they don't seperate male from female last names and they have no clue that it sounds funny for a female to have a 'ski' ending. They think it's a different last name if it was 'ska' than your father's.

I'm female. My name ends with a 'ski' also.
littlemak_uk 2 | 10  
17 Feb 2007 /  #3
This interests me, what about Makaruk, no ska or ski, so how what would the male and female versions of this be?
forgetmenots 4 | 77  
17 Feb 2007 /  #4
as far as I am concerned in that case you use the same form for both male and female, but I have also heard " Mrs Makarukowa and Miss Makarukowna but this is old style polish :)
littlemak_uk 2 | 10  
17 Feb 2007 /  #5
Thankyou, that is interesting, I have only ever known it spelt Makaruk, I was told once that it sounded more Ukrainian than Polish.
Kamyk 2 | 61  
17 Feb 2007 /  #6
maybe because of the ending with "uk" .. Last names ending with "uk" are popular for Ukraine, or the ones ending with "is" are popular for Lithuania, and so on..
littlemak_uk 2 | 10  
22 Feb 2007 /  #7
Thankyou for the information, I often wondered if it had been altered when he came in to the UK by people who did not know how to spell the name. My Father did not speak or write English at the time so it is/ was possible that this is what happened.

However I have seen other people spelling it in this way so I am resonably confident that it is the right way.
26 Mar 2009 /  #8 Polish language is gender sensitive. English is not.

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