Jakiel (or Jakel) is one possible hypocoristic (endearing diminutive) form of such first names as Jakub or Joachim. The adjectival "-ski" ending may indicate patrimony, so Jakielski (Jakelski looks to be a misspelling or mistranscription from the Cyrillic)* would mean Jacobson. This does not mean the name is necessarily of ethnic Poilish origin, as the same principlel applies to Russian, Belarussian, Ukrainian and Slovak names.
* A semi-literate priest or village scribe (and such predominated back when) could have easily transcribed the Cyrillic Яакел as Jakel, forgetting that the Russian "e" palatalises (softens) the preceding consonant and should be transcribed into Polish as "ie".
Jakiel (or misspelt Jakel) could have arisen as the hypocoristic form of the first names Jakub or Joachim. The adjectival -ski ending could have indicated sonhood, so Jakielski would have meant "Jake's boy".
Lesko is the name of a town in Poland. The "les" root could have also been derived from las~les (forest) or the first name Lech/Leszek.
Ryczek is the diminutive form of ryk (roar, bellow, low -- the loud sound made by different animals). I could have origianted as a nickname for someone known to emit such sounds or toponymically to identify someone as an inhabitant of Rycza, Ryczka, Ryczki, Ryczów etc. ropughly translatable as Roarville, Lowton, etc.
The KOTKOWICZ surname may have evolved as follows. When someone nicknamed Kotek (kitten) for whatever reason fathered a son, fellow-villagers would have instinctively referred to the offspring as Kotkowicz or Kotkiewicz. The father might have been nicknamed Kotek because he had something about him that reminded people of a young cat or because he hailed from some such locality as Kotki, Kotkowo or Kotków (Kittenville, Kittenton, Catshire).
It may have been butchered or changed from Witkowski, but Witowski is also a bona fide surname used in today's Poland. Mateńkowski is also known and can be found in official registries, however its sole surviving bearer (a female) has died.
Szczerbacki from szczerbaty (gap-toothed like Madonna who can eat spaghetti without opening her mouth!) or a toponymic nick for someone from such places as Szczebaków, (szczerbin or Szczerbowo (Gapville).
I was under the impression Szczerbacki was originally Ukrainian or Russian (ie Shcherbakov, Shcherbachi, Shcherbaki, etc..) Is there any truth to this ?
Probably from szczerbaty (gap-toothed) or toponymically from the locality of Szczerby or Szczerbowo (Gapville).
The szczerb- (shcherb-) root is common to different Slavonic tongues. There are surnames and place-names incorproating it in all those countries.
my maiden name was marie 'kosteczko' which means little bone lol
It could have also come from the hypocoristic form of Konstanty -- Kostek. Incidentally, that is the root of Kościuszko's name which means "little Connie".
Both surnames are the most common in western Poland's Wielkopolska region. The largest Szymkowiak concentration is in the Poznań area and Ignasiak -- in and around Kalisz. Both names are also well-represented in the region's surrounding areas such as Piła, Leszno and Konin.
does anyone know the meaning of 1)Mu£awka and the 2) ethnic/geographic origin (Ukrainian, Czeck, or ?) of our surname. The name is a rarity in Canada/USA>
Nobody in Poland currently uses the Muławka surname, but there are several hundred people named Mulawka. Their major concentrations are in southern Poland including the Tarnobrzeg and Katowice areas. The mulawka (aka malawka) is a fresh-water fish that buries itself in muddy lake bottoms (from the word muł = muck, mud) when startled. Possibly a folk name for the tench (lin). It is not inconceivable that the word/name also exists in neighbouring Slavonic countries such as Ukraine and Slovakia.
The basic root is koza (goat), of which one spin-off is koziarz (goatherd). The adjectival Koziarski nickname probably originated to indicate the goatherd's son.
Looking for the meanings of surnames: Wikarski, Piechowiak and Kurkowski,
Wikarski - the vicar's son
Piechiowiak - the foot-soldier's son or the bloke from (the village of) Piechów
Kurkowski - the guy from Kurków (Spigotville, Tapton)
Both are probably of toponymic (place-name) origin. There are several localities called Sowin (Owlville, Owlton. Owlboro, etc.), so Sowiński would mean "the bloke from Owlshire".
There are many paiors of localities, eg Brzeziny Górne and Brzeziny Dolne (Upper Birchville and Lower Birchville). Dolniak would be used for someone hailing from the latter.
I've got a tough one for you. My surname is Czyczyn. Any idea what's the meaning of that?
Indeed, this is a stumper. The closest word to Czyczyn is czyczucha meaning either a type of silver-handled sword or a sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus), a fish of the sturgeon family.
Among toponyms within today's truncated Poland the only thing that even comes close is Czyczkowy. Unless it was originally Czyżyny which would have produced the Czyżyn surname and it got misspelled somewhere along the line
im half Polish and i know marut is Polish what does it mean
Possibly from the marud- root which has generated such words as marudzić (to dawdle, grumble, pester) and maruda (a dawdler, grumbler, ne'er-do-well). In final position voiced consonants are devoiced so Marud and Marut would be pronounced identically. If someone's name had been Marud, he would pronounce if MAH-root and the semi-literate village scribe would write it down as Marut.
Does anyone know the meaning/ethic origin, or geographic origin of the name
Probably it was Truszczyński. Possibly from truś/trusz - rabbit, coward, scaredy cat
or truszczelina - a tree species (eolutea).
Ideal toponymic source: Truszczyny in Masuria.
my last name is Wadowski, and my mothers' maiden name is Mirowski.
The vast majority of -owski surnames arose as toponymic nicknames, in this case probably from Wadów or Wadowo (Faultville, Flawton?) and Mirów or Mirowo (Peaceboro?) respectively.
My Last name is Krajewski
Krajewo --at least a dozen such places in Poland, hence Krajewski = the bloke from Krajewo.
AS to what Krajewo means...well, the root "kraj" may mean country as in foreign country or edge, rim, border. So if we were to hazard a guess it could have meant something like Counryville, but even more likely Edgerton, Edgeville, Rimburg, etc