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Wroclaw 44 | 5,387
17 Jun 2009 #211
No Yanowitz in Poland. Only 40 Janowitz.

Sorry to say... Janowitz and Janowiak come from different areas of Poland.
LAGirl 9 | 496
19 Jun 2009 #212
Janowitz was in Poland but its prenounced like Yanowitz your j is sound like Y so when my ex husbands family came from Poland some changed it to Janowitz sounding like Ganowitz and some changed it to Yanowitz.
kostusia - | 1
20 Jun 2009 #213
Kaszuba, Kasuba or Kasubinski or Maslanka (buttermilk?)
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
20 Jun 2009 #214
English or other* respelling of Janowiak (Johnson). Jan has generated a whole slew of patronymic nicknames-turned-surnames inlcuding: Jankowicz, Janiewicz, Janiak, Janda, Jasiek, Jasiak, Jasiewicz, Janota and at least a dozen or so more...

* In any country (France, Hispanic lands, etc.) where tej "j" does not have the English "y" sound in yard, yet, etc.
armybrat 1 | 6
20 Jun 2009 #215
Here's a good one...can anyone tell me about the name Mocny ??
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
21 Jun 2009 #216
Adjective meaning strong, powerful, mighty, formidable, potent, etc. It was the nickname of one of two Saxon kings that ruled Poland in the 18th century. August Mocny reputedly could bend horseshoes with his bare hands!

what does Dobrzycki mean?
i have always wondered what my last name ment.

Dobrzycki = topopnymic nickname for the bloke from Dobrzyca (Goodville, Goodington, etc.)

Posuniak, Posyniak

Posyniak - probably from the now obsolete verb posynąć (to induce a sharp muscle pain in the back) as in: Posynęło mnie w lesie. Posyniak could have been the way villagers nicknamed someone prone to such attacks. Posuniak would have been a dialectic variant.
25 Jun 2009 #217
MY great grandfather's last name was Szejwa. I have just recently started tracing my family tree. We were always told that the family was Catholic, but are now finding that it may have been Jewish. I would love to find more info on Szejwa. Was it common?
yehudi 1 | 432
25 Jun 2009 #218
Doing a simple google of the name I see a lot of instances where its a woman's first name. So my guess is that the name Szejwa (pronounced "Sheiva"?) is a shortened version of the name Bas-sheiva which is the Ashkenazi pronunciation of the biblical name Bathsheba. I never heard of it as a Jewish family name. But many family names come from first names.
basimara 1 | 30
26 Jun 2009 #219
My grandfather's last name was Szejwa. We are Roman Catholic as well. I too came across the first name Szejwa as Jewish. Where was your great-grandfather born?
naval2 - | 1
26 Jun 2009 #220
is there any way to find where wisniewski cane from
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
26 Jun 2009 #221
Yes, from one of several different localities in Poland called Wiśniew or Wiśniewo (Cherryville, Cherrywood, Cherrytown, etc.).
27 Jun 2009 #222
The surname Beć
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
27 Jun 2009 #223
DMUCHOWSKI: Probably originated as a toponymic nickname from localities called Dmuchów or Dmuchowo (Blowton, Gustville, etc.). Also spelt Dmóchowski.

WIDER: a neighbourhood of the town of Otwock in the Warsaw area; possibly a misspelling of Świder (??????)

BEĆ: Possibly short form of berbeć (endearing term for a cute little baby, toddler, tyke???)

SZCZERBACKI: A szczerba is a crack, crevice or fissure. Szczerbaty means gap-toothed. Could have arisen for those reasons or as a toponymic nickname from some locality such as Szczerbaków or Szczerbakowo (Gapville, Crackton).

My last name is Wasik. I would love to know what it means.

WĄSIK = little moustache.
27 Jun 2009 #224
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
28 Jun 2009 #226
Both probably originated as toponymic nicknames (the guy from.....):

BUKOWSKI: from Buków or Bukowo (Beechton, Beechville, Beechwood)

JASIŃSKI: from the village of Jasin.
cjoldstuff - | 1
29 Jun 2009 #227
Interested in the meaning of Jozwiak, when may dad was in the service they made the z into an s so have been going by Joswiak for many years
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
29 Jun 2009 #228
Modzelewski or Konieczko? Not sure how common they are now-a-days...

Modzelewski: toponymic nickname from locality of Modzele

Konieczko: toponymic nickname from locality of Konieczki or Konieczków

Jóźwiak: patronymic nickname = Josephson.

Myśliwy: mroe than 200 users in Poland

ok this might be a good one my last name is Fiutek what do you have to make of that.

The word fiut and derivatives predate the current slang usage. Mainly fiut was an interjection implying something lightning swift like the Polish word myk or the English zip or whiz. hence the verb "fiutnąć" (to pinch,swipe). Fiut was also the name of a small silvery fish, the bleak, aka uklejka in Polish.

So there's no reason to be ashamed of the name Fiut or Fiutek. I recently ran across somone ashamed to admit his grandfather had been surnamed Dupla (he confused it with dupa), whereas this is nothing more than the Ukrainian word for tree hollow (Polish dziupla).
wally - | 1
30 Jun 2009 #229
Any information you can give me on the surname Tatara would be beneficial.Thanks
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
1 Jul 2009 #230
Both the Tatara and Tatar surnames in Poland are linked to the Tatars, the Asiatic horsemen warriors that served in Poland's royal army. Check out:


Kulczyk -- another name for the szczygieł (goldfinch, a small bird species)
Sasha 2 | 1,083
1 Jul 2009 #231

The word along with its primary meaning of bird in Russian is also used for males who dress fashionable and show off. Just FYI :)
LAUBAJ - | 1
1 Jul 2009 #232
Any information on meaning and origin of my grandparents' surnames: Bajkowski and Oleksiak?
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
1 Jul 2009 #233
BAJKOWSKI: toponymic nickname from Bajków or Bajkowo (Storyville, Taleton)

OLESKIAK: patronymic nickname from Olek (short for Aleksander); Eng. equivalent Alecson.
2 Jul 2009 #234
Does anyone know anything about the name Wadysławaand Wnek? Wadysława is like my middle name and Wnek is my kast but when i tried to look up people, the computer came up with Wnuk also. Is that a derivative of the other?
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
2 Jul 2009 #235
Archaic forms of wnuk (grandson) included wnęk and, believe it or not, gnuk.
Is it indeed Wadysława? Władysława is the common version: (English: Ladislava).

what the heck does my last name mean its Jackowicz

JACKOWSKI = son of Hyacinth
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
5 Jul 2009 #237
SKIBNIEWSKI: toponymic nickname from localities such as Skibniew or SKbniewo. Derived from skiba (originally from German Scheibe) meaning a furrow (the line of soil turned over by a plough), hence Furrowville. In the Poznań dialect skiba also means a slice (of bread).

I've read many of your posts and see that Zdanowski would mean Of the "town of" Zdanow, Poland. Would that be accurate. Is that place no longer. What was the history of the town. Are Brown haired Polish People Jewish? I found the name amongst Jewish names on a website

Żdanowski/Zdanowski = toponymic nickname from Polish Żdanów or Zdanowo and/or similarly named localities Ждaново or Ждaнов in Russia and Ukraine. Probably derived from the Russian verb ждать (to wait).

Wypior: Any ideas?

The word wypiór means a fledgling, a baby bird covered with its first feathers. It some dialects it was used as a synonym for upiór (ghost, phantom).
Sasha 2 | 1,083
6 Jul 2009 #238
my last name is Tokarz coould you tell me the meaning

The Russian meaning is "turner", "lathe operator". There're lots of people with this last name in Russia and Ukraine.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
7 Jul 2009 #240
No-one named Panczko in Poland but there are a few Panczkowskis.
Pączko exists with a few Ponczkos thrown in. Primary meaning of pączek is a flower bud, the doughnut was a later spin-off.
Probably emerged as a toponymic nickname from Pączkowo (Budville).
But we cannot rule out spelling confusioon with pęczek (bunch) and pęczak/pęcak (large-grain barley groats).

No c-o-a for Tokarz but Tokarski has got 7: Korab, Lewart, Ogończyk, Roch, Ryś, Sas and Trąby. Tokarski means (patronymically) lathe-operator's son or apprentice or (toponymically) the bloke from Tokary.

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