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Jacy - | 5
27 Jan 2009 #91
Hirshkovitz or Hershkovitz (several other spellings - not sure which is correct). It could possibly be Russian and not Polish. My family lived in Poland, but near the border of Belarus or Ukraine.
Sasha 2 | 1,083
27 Jan 2009 #92
Hirshkovitz or Hershkovitz (several other spellings - not sure which is correct).

Sounds like (Belo)russian for me. The most famous I know[
i_love_detroit 1 | 69
28 Jan 2009 #93
My last name is Ponczek. I means doughnat but the spelling is wrong therefore maybe the orgin is not Polish?
Sasha 2 | 1,083
28 Jan 2009 #94
In Russian doughnut is "ponczik" ("i" is like in "ditto"). I think it might be Polish or Jewish (PonczAk). Really few info about that last name in runet (it's not very popular in Russia). So Polish people should provide you with the better picture. :)
OP Polonius3 994 | 12,367
28 Jan 2009 #95
This is a patronymic form derived from the Jewish first name Hirsz, Hersz, Girsz, Gersz, Herszel, Herszko, etc. (from German/Yiddish Hirsch = stag). There is no one correct form, only variants. The famous compsoer Gershwin traces his surname to the same root. Naturally, it can be spelt the English (Hirsh, Hersh, Gersh, etc.) or German (Hirsch, Hersch, Gersch) way. The famous composer Gershwin traces his surname to the same root.

Pączek is the original spelling and Ponczek and was a typcial example of how many Polish immigrants phonetically respelt their surnames in America to retain something close to the original.

Without that change the person would have to go through life being called PAY-zack.
You know how little kids in school would taunt someone like that: "Don't pay Zack, pay Bill or Tom!"
The primary meaning of pączek is a flower bud, the doughnut is a secondary meaning.
Sasha 2 | 1,083
28 Jan 2009 #96
The primary meaning of pączek is a flower bud, the doughnut is a secondary meaning

Interesting. :) In Russian bud is "pochka" and the second meaning of "pochka" is a kidney.
i_love_detroit 1 | 69
30 Jan 2009 #97
Pączek is the original spelling and Ponczek and was a typcial example of how many Polish immigrants phonetically respelt their surnames in America to retain something close to the original.
Without that change the person would have to go through life being called PAY-zack.

You are actually wrong because I am not an emigrant (even though my nick). My last name is particularily popular in the eastern pomerania area. Ma father is from region called "kociewie".

Maybe Sasha is right and it is Jewiesh.
OP Polonius3 994 | 12,367
30 Jan 2009 #98
More than 2,000 people in Poland use the Pączek surname, whilst fewer than 300 spell it Ponczek. Names have been subject to all kinds of inadvertent misspellings and deliberate respelligns as well as numerous otehr modifciatons. There are some people in Poland named Dembek but that does nto change teh fact that the original seżplling had been Dębek. One msut remember that most people were illiterate centuries ago, and even many village scribes and parish preists were semi-literate at best. Then the clerks of the partitioning powers took over... After Poland regained her freedom (1918) and literacy had improved considerably, some Poels restored the original spelling of their names, but others did not.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,379
1 Feb 2009 #99
OP Polonius3 994 | 12,367
1 Feb 2009 #100
Dudek -- Hoopoe, Old World bird species; colloquially a fool; also possible toponymic sources such as Dudki.

Working on a family tree for my 10 year old. Trying to find the meaning of the last name Brcik. Has it ever been changed?

Brcik looks Czech. They love such words. Smrt is Czech for death (Polish: śmierć).
The Brcik name has been recorded in Poland but no-one bears it at present. There is one person named Bercik living in the Katowice area (which borders on Bohemia) and 2 Burciks living in the Warsaw area. It is not inconceivable that some Brcik added a vowel to make his name sound less strange in Poland.
McCoy 27 | 1,269
3 Feb 2009 #101

Bercik in silesia is diminutive form from the name albert
OP Polonius3 994 | 12,367
4 Feb 2009 #102
Bercik could also be the diminutive or Berthold. But someone who came from Bohemia and was called Brcik migth have inserted a vowel to avoid snide comments and ridicule in a Polish-speaking area. Only a hypothesis!
Sasha 2 | 1,083
11 Feb 2009 #103

That's a lovely way to say "cabbage" in Russian (the regular way is "kapusta"). I think it has the same meaning in Polish but there's always a room for "false-friends". I'm afraid I can't say anything else on your name.

Perhaps she is ethnically from Ukraine, but became Polish with the border changes? I don't know, but I figure anywhere around the Carpathian Mountains also means Southeast Poland, which may increase the probability of a Russian last name?

Even though there're lots of "Kapusta" and "Kapustka" in Russia I would look for the origins in Ukraine or Belarus or Krasnodarskij Kraj of Russia. Historically those are places where people have liked traditionally to pick as a last name some nouns, especially related to animals like "Volk" (wolf), Zajac (hare) etc. Considering the place you mentioned (Carpathian mountains) there's also an opportunity that your forefather might be Ruthenians (Rusini).
OP Polonius3 994 | 12,367
13 Feb 2009 #104
What does Preusser mean?

Preusser or Preußer = Prussian

Gęślicki from gęśla -- an ancient zither-like 3-stringed instrument

Meaning of last name Rychcik

Rychcik -- toponymic nickname from Rychcik or Rychciki; possibly from rychtować (dialectic to repair, set right, settle, mend) -- possible nickname of a Mr Fix-it


Skibicki-- toponymic nickname from Skibice (Furrowville)
PolskaDoll 28 | 2,099
15 Feb 2009 #105
Also searching for meaning and origin of grandmother's maiden name, "Oleksiak". Thank you.

This thread might have some useful information.
OP Polonius3 994 | 12,367
22 Feb 2009 #106
The absence of diacritical marks makes it impossible to even begin researching this surname. The names Zaleński as well as Załęski both exist in Poland. Also Zalenski wouldd be the way an immigrant might phoneticlaly respell Zalęski, Załęski and Żałęski. All these versions have different roots. If possibnle, check the immigrant's Odl World vital documents.
Sasha 2 | 1,083
27 Feb 2009 #107
of the surname rybicki

Sounds like it's related to the word "fish" which is more or less similar in all Slavic languages - "ryba". "Fischer" would be in German. "Fisher" in English. "Rybakov" or "Rybkin" in Russian. That's a very popular last name in all the countries.
OP Polonius3 994 | 12,367
27 Feb 2009 #108
Rybicki is the adjectivał form of rybik -- silverfish, small insects founds in bathrooms, shower stalls, etc. Also possibly toponymic from places like Rybice or Rybiczyzna.
Alanna - | 7
28 Feb 2009 #109
anybody know what Bukowski means in polish

go to to find out the meanings. I found out that "Piascik" means "to nurse" and
"Bukowski" means that your family came from a place called "Bukow". There is a link where you can buy a book from called "The Bukowski Name in History"
OP Polonius3 994 | 12,367
1 Mar 2009 #110
Does anyone know about "Piascik"

Piast was the name of Poland's founding dynasty. The term Piast was used to mean any native Polish candidate to the throne as opposed to a foreigner.

Piaścik is the diminutive form which possibly meant princeling. Or a toponymic nickname for someone from Piastów or Piastowo.
There are probbaly more nobles with -ski ending surnames, but that does not mean that all -skis were well-born.

Babicz - metronymic (son of an unwed mother)

Frankiewicz - patronymic (Frank's boy)

Bąk - horsefly, top (child's spinning toy), little tyke

Razkowski - probably Raszkowski (toponymic from Raszków)

Does anyone have information about the last name Borczyk

bór~bor is a coniferous forest, someone living in or near oen or from a locality called Bory or Borki (Forestville, Forestwood, etc.) might have been nicknamed Borek. When he fathered a son, neighbours could well have dubbed the offspring Borczak, Borkiewicz, Borewicz or Borczyk (patronymic nicknames can be quite prolific in Polish).

my last name is Rucinski. is there any one else with this surname

Dunno if there's anyone on this forum with your sunrmae, but in Poland more than 7,600 people answer to Ruciński. Root is ruta~rucina (myrtle -- a herb associated with marriage and spinsterhood); possibly arose as toponymic nicname from the locality of Ruciany (Myrtleville?)


Seidowsky is not a Polish spelling. Could it have originally been Sajdowski?

Skłodowski? Ordon? £ącka?

Skłodowski -- toponymic from a place called Skłody (dialectic for sk$ady -- storage sheds)
Ordon -- probably from orda (horde); the Złota Orda was a Tatar-Mongolian state set up in the 13th century; name well-known in Polish culture thanks ia to Mickiewicz's poem Reduta Ordona (Ordon's Redoubt)

£ącka -- dialectic (mazurianised pronunciation) for łączka (meadow)


Most liklely a toponymic nickname for an inhabitant of Skórzew or Skórzewo (probably derived from skóra -- leather, hide, skin, hence Hideville, Leatherton, etc.)

If anyone has info on Korab that would be awesome. Thanks.

Korab is an archaic Polish word for boat, ark, barge (still used in Russian and other Slavonic tongues). It is also the crest-name of a Polish coat of arms which depicts a boat with a tower at its center. Conflicitng legends place its origin in Germany, England or even ancient Rome. One version contends that the Roman Emperor Justinian (527-65) granted such emblems to his warriors who had successfully sailed such ships up the Danube into the lands of the Slavs and/or Huns.

The surname Szczerbacki is quite similar to Shcherbatsky - The names that appear in Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina".(ie. Prince Alexsander Dimitrevich Shcherbatsky, Princess Katherine Shcherbatsky) Is the Szczerbacki surname is variant of Shcherbatsky ?

Re Szczerbacki, it is the exact same name except that one if written in Cyrillic script: Щербацкий, the other the Polish way -- Szczerbacki.
BTW, note the efficiency and economy of Russian which compresses the szcz sound into a single letter: Щ
17 Mar 2009 #111
[Moved from]: Looking for DUDZIC (family) in Canada

Looking for family in Canada DUDZIC, children of Joseph who was born in the parish in 1890-4 (???), Debno Lake-town who went to Canada and married there to the Pole Agnieszka from the area of Krakow had three children 2 sons and a daughter Anna. Joseph died young Agnieszka married for Wladyslaw Siwon (???). I know of in Canada Dudzic tried to make contact with us but he was not sure the name of Joseph and the contact was broken. We ask for help. justyna.rycerska @
Sasha 2 | 1,083
18 Mar 2009 #112

Korabl' is still the main word used for "ship" in Russian.

Is the Szczerbacki surname is variant of Shcherbatsky ?

In Russian they would be spelt similar way. Like this


In Polish I guess the first variant is more proper.
krysia 23 | 3,058
20 Mar 2009 #113

"Dmuchać" means to blow, as in balloon or a candle or hot soup.
OP Polonius3 994 | 12,367
20 Mar 2009 #114
I've been trying to figure out the meaning of my last name: Dmuchowski

Dmuchowski, Dmóchowski and Dmochowski probably started as a toponymic nicknames from at least six localities called Dmochy (Blowton, Gustville).


Regional toponymic adjective Śląski (pronounced: SHLON-skee) from the southern region of Śląsk (Silesia). Others include the nouns Ślązak and Ślęzak

hey my last name is Firomski, i have looked everywhere but cant seem to find anything about it.

A stumper indeed! Not only is there no-one named Firomski in Poland, but I have also struck out with a number of hypothetical spelling variants such as: Fieromski, Piromski, Pieromski, Wiromski, Wieromski, Chwiromski, Chwieromski, Kwiromski, Kwieromski....

Please check your ancestor's Old World documents (preferably birth/baptismal or marriage certificates if possible for the original spelling which may have become deformed over the years.
Polson 5 | 1,768
3 Apr 2009 #115
Just checking to see about my last name of Yankowski

Originally Jankowski, could be Jan's son for example (Johnson).
That's just my opinion ;)
OP Polonius3 994 | 12,367
5 Apr 2009 #116
Jankowski might have arisen as a patronymic nickname meaningson fo Janek, but the majority of -wski surnames are toponymic in origin, so more likely than not it emerged to identify someone as a native of Janków, Jankowo or Janki.

Siedlarz is dialectic for siodlarz (saddle & harness maker)
wazzy1103 - | 1
7 Apr 2009 #117
[Moved from]: meaning of waszak?

My last name is waszak anyone know the roots or meaning of my name or any other interesting information?
OP Polonius3 994 | 12,367
7 Apr 2009 #118
Waszak and Wasiak are both patronymic nicknames from the Ruthenian first name Wasyl (Polish: Bazyli), ie "Basil's boy".
krysia 23 | 3,058
8 Apr 2009 #119
my name is Niemczura, and I've never had a satisfactory explanation of what it means. Sounds like you might be able to help me out?

Niemczura is a degrading name for a German woman.

Searching for Glowiaks in Poland

hi recently i have lost my grandfather Antonio Glowiak he was born in Poland 1917 and came from the same town as Pope John Paul and even went to the same school. I remember him telling me his father name was Janas and he was a cobbler, i would love to know more about his family or even just to let them know he has passed away.any help would be gratefully appreciated.

You could try a message board which serves the area you want. Look for message boards in the nearest big town. Pope John Paul came from Wadowice.
Bratwurst Boy 12 | 11,815
8 Apr 2009 #120
Hmmm....doubtfull...just google this name:

It seems to be an international quite wide spread surname...
A somewhat unlogical development if that would had be seen as a nick.
Family names are seldom derogatory nicknames given by enemies! :)

(Or they just forgot to tell them...)

Discussion is closed.