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Changing my name to a Polish one


czeslaw 2 | 9
20 Jun 2009  #1
This is an unusual topic/question. To make a long story short, I plan on changing my name after my father passes away to a Polish one. The reason is because I was adopted, and learned of my Polish heritage (and Finnish, Croatian, Slovenian and Roma ["Gypsy"]) over the past few years (and confirmed through DNA testing). I am an American male, born and raised in the US, with a very Anglo-Saxon sounding name, and so changing my name, especially to an "English-unfriendly" Polish one, is admittedly a rather drastic step, but nonetheless it is what I want to do. I have felt a connection to the Slavic lands and culture my whole life long, and was never at home with my given name. I know that may sound strange to some, sort of like people who were born one sex but feel that they should be the other, yet that is the way I feel about my name.

The name I wish to use is Czesław Mieczkowski.

So what I wish to ask is, how does that sound to a native Polish speaker? I chose the imię because it is clearly Slavic, not Latinate. The nazwisko I chose because my biological father's last name was Hildebrand, which translates from German as "battle sword." I don't believe there's a Polish equivalent, but I know that 'miecz' is sword.

I would be very grateful to hear what native Polish speakers think about all this nonsense. :-) Also, if someone can suggest a variation of Czesław that is easier for English speakers to pronounce , I would appreciate that too. (I came up with 'Czeko,' but I don't know how that sounds to a native speaker.)

Czesław
Switek - | 59
20 Jun 2009  #2
Czesław Mieczkowski sounds good. It's very Polish indeed and only Poles (native speakers) are able to pronounce it properly. ;)

Shorter version Of Czesław is Czesio.
Bzibzioh
20 Jun 2009  #3
Czesio.

or Czesiek

Czesław Mieczkowski is fine. Czesław is very old fashion thou. What about Tadeusz? I like when first name and last name have the same number of syllables (3+3)
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
20 Jun 2009  #4
An excellent, very Polish and noble-sounding name. There were four lines of nobles amongst the Mieczkowskis, each entitled to use one of the following coats of arms:

Zagłoba, Mora, Odrowąż and Bończa. You may view trhem online at:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Polish_coat_of_arms_images
answers.com/topic/list-of-polish-nobility-coats-of-arms-images
jump_bunny 5 | 237
21 Jun 2009  #5
The reason you decided to change your name is rather unusual. I know Polish people born in the UK and who have English names. I don't think that's good, it is losing the national identity.
OP czeslaw 2 | 9
21 Jun 2009  #6
Czesław Mieczkowski sounds good. It's very Polish indeed and only Poles (native speakers) are able to pronounce it properly. ;)

Oh, good!

Czesław is very old fashion thou. What about Tadeusz? I like when first name and last name have the same number of syllables (3+3)

I think the fact that it sounds old-fashioned makes me like it even more. For Americans -- and I am certainly in the minority regarding this -- I greatly prefer "old-fashioned" names to the things parents are calling their kids these days. Give me an Agnes or an Edith anyday over Mikayla, McKenzie, Brittany, Morgan, Ashley... no offense to people who have those names, of course! :-) Tadeusz is a nice name, but I think it's just not for me. And I rather like the asymmetry of the rhythm of Czesław Mieczkowski (2 + 3 syllables).

An excellent, very Polish and noble-sounding name. There were four lines of nobles amongst the Mieczkowskis ...

Thank you, Polonius. That's very interesting! I knew a little about the Polish nobility and heraldry, but I certainly didn't know that Mieczkowski was one of the noble names.

The reason you decided to change your name is rather unusual. I know Polish people born in the UK and who have English names. I don't think that's good, it is losing the national identity.

I think it's a little sad that names get mutilated to "fit in" with other cultures. I think Polish names are especially susceptible, since their orthography causes them to be so badly butchered, especially by English speakers. Conversely, I'm really glad to be bringing such a Polish name to California. I can't wait for the first time I have to spell it to someone over the phone.
Bzibzioh
21 Jun 2009  #7
I can't wait for the first time I have to spell it to someone over the phone.

Good luck, Czesiu!!! :D
GardenGirl
21 Jun 2009  #8
I stumbled upon your posting because my Polish grandfather's name was Czeslaw; then it became Chester. I find reading this discussion to be very interesting.
Lir
21 Jun 2009  #9
Yes Good Luck with the name change. I can really understand why you wish to have a Polish name. Sense of belonging is very strong and at the end of the day, its your choice entirely. However I think if it was me I would go for an easier first name. Makes life a lot easier all round.

:)
Wroclaw 44 | 5,388
21 Jun 2009  #10
grandfather's name was Czeslaw; then it became Chester.

probably because it was easier for people to remember/pronounce. chester is an english name meaning fort/fortress
time means 5 | 1,310
21 Jun 2009  #11
Polish heritage (and Finnish, Croatian, Slovenian and Roma ["Gypsy"])

Wtf.

am an American male, born and raised in the US,[/quote]

Mate you are an American, what's wrong with that?

I can't wait for the first time I have to spell it to someone over the phone. (quote)

I'm sure your psychiatrists secretary cannot wait as well.
OP czeslaw 2 | 9
22 Jun 2009  #12
time means, I said I'm changing my name, not yours. :-) Thanks for your concern, but I'm perfectly comfortable doing this. And also proud to be as red-blooded an American as any other.

I'm sure your psychiatrists secretary cannot wait as well.

I'll let you know what she says. :-)

Good Luck with the name change. I can really understand why you wish to have a Polish name. Sense of belonging is very strong and at the end of the day, its your choice entirely.

Thanks, Lir, much appreciated.
Torq 26 | 2,371
22 Jun 2009  #13
The name I wish to use is Czesław Mieczkowski.

Cool idea!

Mieczysław Mieczowski would sound even more swordlike.

Or maybe some old warrior name like Gniewomir (from gniew - anger), Gromosław
(from grom - thunder) or even Mściwój (the avenger of warriors or warrior-avenger).

Although Mściwój would sound very old-fashioned. I have only know one person
in my life with that name.
OP czeslaw 2 | 9
22 Jun 2009  #14
Mieczysław Mieczowski would sound even more swordlike. Or maybe some old warrior name like Gniewomir (from gniew - anger), Gromosław (from grom - thunder) or even Mściwój (the avenger of warriors or warrior-avenger).

Cool names, Torq; thanks for those! "Gromosław, Władcy Losu!"

Although Mściwój would sound very old-fashioned. I have only know one personin my life with that name.

I think inflicting Czesław on everyone I know is bad enough. I can just imagine how well Mściwój would go over. (By the way, it sounds a bit like the English word 'mischievous,' which is rather cool in itself.)
welshguyinpola 23 | 463
22 Jun 2009  #15
Polish heritage (and Finnish, Croatian, Slovenian and Roma ["Gypsy"])

Not another one. How can someone be from so many different nationalities. Ur American just accept it and get over the hangup you have.

As for this new name sounding cool, Czeslaw doesnt even sound cool in poland let alone elsewhere in the world. Have you ever even stepped foot on Polish soil? In fact, you will sound liek such a t**** when you have to tell people ur name and ur not even Polish.

GROW UP
OP czeslaw 2 | 9
23 Jun 2009  #16
As for this new name sounding cool, Czeslaw doesnt even sound cool in poland let alone elsewhere in the world. Have you ever even stepped foot on Polish soil? In fact, you will sound liek such a t**** when you have to tell people ur name and ur not even Polish.GROW UP

Well, thanks, welshguy! Nice to meet you too. Tell me, please, is there a website where I could learn about courtesy and proper manners in Wales? I'm curious how parents there transmit these concepts to their children.

Diolch yn fawr iawn,

czesław
Easy_Terran 3 | 312
23 Jun 2009  #17
Czesław Mieczkowski sounds good. It's very Polish indeed and only Poles (native speakers) are able to pronounce it properly. ;)

Oh, good!

Will YOU be able to pronounce your name?

Well, thanks, welshguy! Nice to meet you... these concepts to their children.

Although harshly said, I agree with Welsh guy: why...?

And he's right about the sound of Czesław in Poland, at least the region I live in - not good. To say the least.

Plus, a (fairly) new cartoon in the Polish TV where character named Czesio (diminutive of Czesław)(from Włatcy Móch) who is rather a retard, won't bring you friends in here (my opinion).

It's not we are trying to tell you're stupid. NOT AT ALL.
I guess, what we're trying to say is: please think twice before making such a HUGE change.

E_T
Torq 26 | 2,371
23 Jun 2009  #18
Oh, come on lads - stop moaning! The fellow has discovered his Polish
roots and wants to change his name to a Polish one.
What's wrong with that? He sounds like an intelligent man, so he will easily
be able to learn how to pronounce his new name.

Easy Terran, I understand your love of cartoons - I was also very keen on
them when I was 9-10 but you must surely have heard that apart from
Czesio of "Włatcy Móch" the name Czesław was also a name of such famous
Poles like:

Czesław Miłosz...

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czes%C5%82aw_Mi%C5%82osz

Czesław Niemen...

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czeslaw_Niemen

Czesław Lang...

pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czes%C5%82aw_Lang

Plus, as Catholics (well, most of us are anyway) we remember the blessed
Czesław Jóźwiak - a martyr and the blessed Czesław Odrowąż.

It is a great, old Polish name which means "the one who expects to be famous"...

pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czes%C5%82aw

...and should not be ridiculed in any way!

Czesław - I congratulate you on the choice of your Polish name and wish
you all the best in your quest to discover your Polish roots. Should you have
any questions regarding Polish language, history or culture - don't hesitate
to PM me and I'll try to answer them the best I can.
Easy_Terran 3 | 312
24 Jun 2009  #19
Easy Terran, I understand your love of cartoons - I was also very keen on
them when I was 9-10

Do you feel better now, after demeaning my person by that low irony, Torq?
osiol 55 | 3,922
24 Jun 2009  #20
Czesław is very old fashion thou

Wouldst thou to recommend... something modern and down with the kids? Chesswaf Myechcoughskee seems quite content with the name he's chosen. For most of us the only time we get to choose our own name is when we sign up to websites or try to evade the law.
PennBoy 76 | 2,437
24 Jun 2009  #21
Czesław

Dude not Czeslaw, Lutek would be better
Patrycja19 63 | 2,700
24 Jun 2009  #22
The reason is because I was adopted, and learned of my Polish heritage (and Finnish, Croatian, Slovenian and Roma ["Gypsy"])

why not focus on finding the name picked for you by your real parents?
and find out more about all your heritage.

your not one nationality.

I can see where this would be hard, both my parents were polish and all four
grandparents so I have no other proof of other nationality, even though I thought
I did, when I actually found documents. everything points to poland.

now before poland was a country.. or long before.. when we all were running around
in loin cloths, and no tops on. I dont think anyone cared about nationality, only
survival and making babies :) LOL
Torq 26 | 2,371
24 Jun 2009  #23
Do you feel better now, after demeaning my person by that low irony, Torq?

Hmmm... lemme think... do I feel better... erm... well... YES ;)

But seriously ET, if you feel that your person is "demeaned" by such
a small bit of irony, said completely in a jokingly manner then you
should keep away from internet fora, mate. You're way too sensitive.

Oh, and sorry if you really felt touched. You have to forgive me, I spent too
much time on football fora in the past and believe me it takes much more effort
to "demean" someone on, let's say, Wolverhampton Wandereres forum lol
annawadyslawa
2 Jul 2009  #24
Czeslaw- I too am adopted from Poland many years ago and i too have begun to look for my family. I love the idea of u changing ur name to a polish one. My name used to be Anna Wadysława Wnek and I was born around Wroclaw. My adopted parents changed my name to an American name, Jennifer. I guess it's fine b ut part of my identity has always been missing. And it's not like Anna is an unpleasant name. I have thought many times about changing it back but have worried it would upset my adoptive parents. So i do very much envy u. Keep in touch, please.
Matowy - | 295
5 Jul 2009  #25
Not another one. How can someone be from so many different nationalities.

Even though this is crudely conveyed, the overall point of what he is saying is quite true. I do not understand why on earth one would want to go so far as to feel a "connection" to ones "heritage" or ancestors. Is the long dead past really so important to you today? People who are so hung up over ethnic/national ties are kind of pathetic in their pretentiousness, in my opinion =/ Whether every single one of your ancestors was born and raised in Poland, it doesn't change the fact that you were born and raised in America, with American citizenship, an American passport, and in an American culture. If you like Poland, then that's fine. Having some Polish "blood" doesn't make you any more or less Polish than anyone other non-Polak.

This is generally a really silly thing I've seen in Americans. They tend to over-emphasize their long lost irrelevant heritage and ethnic ties, so then they go about calling themselves "Irish" or "Polish" or whatever they feel like, when in reality they are no such thing. Ethnic origin does not = citizenship. Only Israel/the Jews is stupid enough for that kind of mind-numbingly limited ethnic-oriented thinking.
Patrycja19 63 | 2,700
7 Jul 2009  #26
People who are so hung up over ethnic/national ties are kind of pathetic in their pretentiousness, in my opinion

And again, Opinions are like arseholes... everyone has one!

Whether every single one of your ancestors was born and raised in Poland, it doesn't change the fact that you were born and raised in America

WOW< no shyt sherlock.. was that a educated guess?

If you like Poland, then that's fine. Having some Polish "blood" doesn't make you any more or less Polish than anyone other non-Polak.

yes it does, Everyone here identifys by some ethnic background.. and
those who arent ethnically mixed by blood, and only have one ethnic background
a good portion of these families still practice the old countrys ways and do all the
same things they would have in the old country, same traditions etc.

if this were the case, why do so many different ethnically born Americans have
festivals celebrating their heritage? Polish, German, Muslim, japanese, chinese, korean,
Italian,greek, the list goes on.

[quote=Matowy]This is generally a really silly thing I've seen in Americans. They tend to over-emphasize their long lost irrelevant heritage and ethnic ties, so then they go about calling themselves "Irish" or "Polish" or whatever they feel like,

yeah and you stem from apes, so why dont you take your hairy arse and go shave

I know I am certainly sick of idiots thinking they know everything about us Americans
and WTF do you care if we want to do any type of searching for our family? does it
bother you that much that you have to shoot us down for it??

what a shytload of crap, generalize then shoot down the Americans, I hope you sit
on a large Potatoe, but then you would prob enjoy it cause your nose is so far up
your own arse.. you cant see straight.

I love this forum, and every time, you see grown adults always cutting someone
down and yeah I could ignore you, here I end up saying things I dont want to say, or
mean, but then again its my right to say my piece.. same as the rest.

whatever..
sawicki-lengyel
19 Jul 2010  #27
I hope that you went through with the name change, and weren't swayed by the detractors who posted. Persons raised within their biological family, who have never had a different identity/heritage simply have no clue, because nothing in their life experience even remotely approximates the adoptive experience. Therefore, because they don't understand it, they belittle it. Adopted individuals, or anyone who has had their sense of identity disrupted, are the ones who are far more likely to understand your motivations and, like me, fully support your decision.
Chicago Pollock 7 | 504
20 Jul 2010  #28
yes it does, Everyone here identifys by some ethnic background..

Only in certain parts of America (typically the urban ethnic enclaves with recent immigration). Once one moves out to the Great American hinterland the ethnic stuff dissipates. No one cares, we've all assimilated. When was the last time (except for this forum) you heard a Polish joke? Or any ethnic joke for that matter? 30 years ago?
plk123 8 | 4,150
20 Jul 2010  #29
Thank you, Polonius. That's very interesting! I knew a little about the Polish nobility and heraldry, but I certainly didn't know that Mieczkowski was one of the noble names.

whatever mr polonius posts, it's almost always a bit suspect.. take it with at least a few grains of salt

I would be very grateful to hear what native Polish speakers think about all this nonsense.

i do think it's nonsense.. personally, i think you should stick with the name you were given.. but whatever.. if you really want to have slavic sounding name then go with Sławomir/Słavek..

Although Mściwój would sound very old-fashioned. I have only know one person
in my life with that name.

no one here will ever pronounce that.. maybe even the OP wouldn't be able to..

Well, thanks, welshguy!

you aksed for an opinion and now can't take it?

yes it does, Everyone here identifys by some ethnic background.. and

but this guy has a number of them all mixed in together yet he only picks one.. and it may not be the predominant one..
skysoulmate 14 | 1,297
20 Jul 2010  #30
Czesław, an interesting concept and I'm all for it as I believe it's your (and your family's) future so you chose your own destiny. Having said that, if you're married make sure your wife is ok with it; unless she has a different last name than you do which is getting pretty common in Sweden for example.

Also, if your kids will be getting your last name please check with them too if they're old enough. You picked very difficult last name for sure and you know how kids like to bully other kids they deem "different" in one way or the other.

I don't want to advertise my last name here but my name was altered too. When my parents got married they combined their last names into a new one, to signify a new beginning. As an example, if their last names had been Lindgren and Svensson their new, combined last name would've been Lindsson. That's not my name but that's how it was created and I like that. One day I might alter it again if my wife's-to-be name would make sense to be combined with (and if she wants to do that of course).

Just an idea, overall I like your choices but think at least one of those names should be easy to pronounce. You'll be the guy holding up the line whenever they need the full spelling of your name... ;)


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