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boletus 30 | 1,367    
12 Sep 2012  #2,822

KOSZTOWNIAK: from "koszt" ("wartość, wydatek") - cost (value, expenditure); from "kosztowny" - costly, expensive, valuable. The suffix -AK is one of the forms signifying an offspring of somebody. In this case: Kosztowny => Kosztowniak. But it could be also a means of converting an adjective "kosztowny" to a noun "kosztowniak".
OP Polonius3 1,020 | 12,550    
12 Sep 2012  #2,823

Kosztowny is the Polish adjective meaning valuable, costly, pricey, etc.. When someone known by that nickname (for whatever reason) fathered a son, fellow-villagers would have started calling the offspring Kosztowniak, a patronymic tag meaning 'Kosztowny's kid' ot 'the Kosztowny boy'.
accipiter 1 | 6    
12 Sep 2012  #2,824

Is there a possible relation to the municipality of Kosztowy ?
If so, would it be likely or not?

Kosztowny is the Polish adjective meaning valuable, costly, pricey, etc.. When someone known by that nickname (for whatever resason)

I accept that such a nickname could be made. I am curious: 1) does such a name make sense to become the dominant nickname in actual usage? I compare to English where "Mr. Expensive" could be a nickname, but it does not sound `right` such that the name is unlikely to stick or become `the`nickname a person is known for. 2) is it the kind of name that would be developed independently several times (like Nowak), or is there a strong likelihood that all Kosztowniaks come from one or two people who had such a name?

FYI, my ancestor came from the same region as the mayor. Would Polish politicians respond to an email, or would I be dismissed/ignored/neutralized by a secretary?

Thank you for your help.
13 Sep 2012  #2,825

Hi there,

How about the last names:

Thank you for any help!!!
OP Polonius3 1,020 | 12,550    
13 Sep 2012  #2,827

GRYMEL: possibly a toponymic tag; the only place in Poland I could find was Grymiączki, but there is a Grymov in the
Czech Republic andf a Grimeli in Norway. Other possible sources: grymasić (to sulk, whine. fuss) or the German noun Grimm (rage, anger).
boletus 30 | 1,367    
13 Sep 2012  #2,828 lists about 28 or so surnames derived from the root Grym- (including Grymel) : Grym, Gryma, Grymajło, Grymak, Grymal, Grymała, Gryman , Grymanowski, Grymański, Grymek, Grymel, Grymiel, Grymienko, Grymin, Grymiński, Grymis, Grymiuk, Grymko, Grymkowski, Grymla, Grymm, Grymmel, Grymula, Grymuliński, Grymulski, Grymuła, Grymułek, Grymuło.

According to author of that list, Ewa Szczodruch, a genealogist (she researches many sources), they all come from German personal name Grimm, and this is turn from Middle-High-German gminn, grimme - meaning grim, fierce, mad, raging, stubborn
OP Polonius3 1,020 | 12,550    
13 Sep 2012  #2,829

Maybe so, but with names one never knows for sure. If you were a peasant form a neighbouring village back in 1697 or 1740, what would you have humorously called someone from Grymiączki? Grymiączek, Grymik, Grymuk, Grymiąk, Grymiuk or maybe Grymasz, Grymak or Grymel? The illiterate peasants of yesteryear knew nothing about word-formation rules and blurted out whatever came to mind. Stankiewicz (Szczodruch) is generally good but not always complete, as I'm sure you have noticed.
boletus 30 | 1,367    
14 Sep 2012  #2,830

Correction: there is no village Grymiączki in Poland. But there is village Grymiaczki, Gmina Suchowola, Sokółka County, Podlasie Voivodship.
However the old village name was "Hrymiaczki" (in Belorussian). The Grymiaczki name looks like misunderstanding, misspelling during Belarussian-Polish translation. In a very old source from XVIII c. there is a form Grzymiaczki. Hrymiaczki comes from Belorussian "hrymieć" - "grzmieć" in Polish. If they decided to Polonize that name after WWII why did not they use the name "Grzmotki", "Grzymiaczki" or "Grzmiaczki"?

Please note: The Polish-Belorussian spelling difference comes from Belorussian pronunciation shift: G => H, RZ => R. The spelling change follows the pronunciation change if the Belorussian words are transliterated back from Cyrillic to Latin. Apparently, the county authorities consider now changing back the village name to Hrymiaczki.

Etymology: It seems that the names of both villages are formed from the GRZYM / HRYM root; this in turn from the verb "grzmieć" (to thunder) and the noun "grom" (a thunderclap).

"Grzmieć" has its equivalent in Old Prussian "grumins" (dark vocalization) and "grimikas" (light vocalization), a ditty. In Lithuanian there are words "grume"=>to beat, "grumen, grumenti"=>to growl, "griausti, griausmas" => to thunder. In the old Czech the equivalent word is "hřmí". There is Russian "griemit'", and German "grimm, grimmig" => grim, fury.

Example: Rzeka grzmi na progach => Raka hrymoty na parohi => River thunders on cataracts
So I guess the name "hrymiaczki" would derive from small cataracts, which make the river to thunder - "hrymieć", "grzmieć".

Similar names:
In "Geographical Dictionary of Kingdom of Poland and other ..." (Filip Sulimierski, Bronisław Chlebowski) three other Hrymiacz-like names are mentioned:
Hrymiacze - a village, Ostróg County, used to belong to princes Ostrogskis, then to Great Chancellor Małachowski
Hrymiaczka (Hremiaczka) - a big village on Hrymiaczka river
Hrymiaczka - a river, left tributary of Uszyca

It seems that there are many words in Belarusian that have been formed from the base HRYM, and corresponding Polish words formed from GRZYM. Stankiewicze list the following two such groups of surnames.

Hrym => Hryma, Hrymajłło, Hrymajło, Hrymak, Hrymaluk, Hrymasz, Hrymaszewicz, Hrymcyszyn, Hrymczak, Hrymczyszyn, Hrymek, Hrymiewicz, Hrymik, Hrymnak, Hrymniak, Hrymnok, Hrymoć, Hrymowicz, Hrymów.

Grzym => Grzyma, Grzymacz, Grzymaczewski, Grzymajłko, Grzymajło, Grzymaka, Grzymakowski, Grzymala, Grzymalla, Grzymalski, Grzymała, Grzymałkiewicz, Grzymałła, Grzymałło, Grzymało, Grzymałowski, Grzymały, Grzymaszewski, Grzymek, Grzymel, Grzymka, Grzymkiewicz, Grzymoła, Grzymowicz, Grzymowski, Grzymski, Grzymulski, Grzymuza

In both cases, the probability that those names have been derived from the village name Hrymiaczki/Grzymiaczki is very unlikely. What is more probable is quite the reverse:

Grzym ==> Grzymiaczki
Hrym ==> Hrymiaczki

Original group of surnames:
But let us contrast it with the first group of names, which supposedly stems from German Grimm, Grym:
Grym => Gryma, Grymajło, Grymak, Grymal, Grymała, Gryman , Grymanowski, Grymański, Grymek, Grymel, Grymiel, Grymienko, Grymin, Grymiński, Grymis, Grymiuk, Grymko, Grymkowski, Grymla, Grymm, Grymmel, Grymula, Grymuliński, Grymulski, Grymuła, Grymułek, Grymuło.

Distribution of some selected Grym-like surnames:
Grym: total 72. Most in Wodzisław Śląski (25) and Jastrzębie-Zdrój (7)
Gryma: 89. Most Sosnowiec (17), Będzin (13)
Grymel: 237. Most Ruda Śląska (89), Mikołów (26), Bytom (24), Katowice (16), Chorzów (14), Tarnowskie Góry (10), m. Gliwice (8), Zabrze (8), Wodzisław Śląski (7), Żory (6). That's all Silesia

Grymm: 47. Most in so-called "recovered territories"

It seems that none of those surnames has anything to do with "Grymiaczki", Sokółka County.
OP Polonius3 1,020 | 12,550    
14 Sep 2012  #2,831

Indeed, it's Grymiaczki, no 'ą'.
Metrotek - | 1    
16 Sep 2012  #2,832

Merged: MY NAME

What does my name mean?
19 Sep 2012  #2,833

I am from the USA and can find lil meaning on my last name. it is Makuszewski. can anyone help?
OP Polonius3 1,020 | 12,550    
19 Sep 2012  #2,834

MAKUSZEWSKI: The root-word appears to be 'mak' (poppy). Since. however, nearly all Polish surnames ending in -ewski or
-owski are of toponymic (place-name) origin, hence most likely this originated to identify an inhabitant of a village called Makuszew (Poppyville).
19 Sep 2012  #2,835

Merged: Polish Adoptee, Wanting to understand Past

I recently was reconnected with my past in the fact that I was shown my birth certificate (actual one) and I found out what my birth last name was. I have never not known I was adopted, but I wanted to know what my last name MEANT and the possibly history or past associated with it. Any help anyone could give me?

My last name is: Blaszkiewicz

I may never be able to find my family, but it makes me happier to know something about them.

OP Polonius3 1,020 | 12,550    
19 Sep 2012  #2,836

B£ASZKEIWICZ: probably orignated as a patronymic tag to identify the son of Błażej (Blaise).
According to a 1990s census the surname was shared by over 4,700 people in Poland. The break-down accoridng to the old small 49 voivodships into which Poland was divided back then was as follows:

Wa:240, Bs:10, BB:26, By:231, Ch:16, Ci:260, Cz:47, El:124, Gd:96, Go:63, JG:55, Kl:30, Ka:387, Ki:373, Kn:41, Ko:61, Kr:108, Ks:4, Lg:66, Ls:22, Lu:33, £o:18, £d:124, NS:3, Ol:124, Op:49, Pl:96, Pt:3, Pł:124, Po:83, Pr:13, Ra:35, Rz:19, Sd:45, Sr:21, Sk:37, Sł:85, Su:19, Sz:119, Tb:48, Ta:80, To:704, Wb:116, Wł:330, Wr:123, Za:7, ZG:58

The biggest concentration was in northern Poland's Kujawy region around Bydgoszcz, Toruń and Włocławek. In Mazwosze the most were living in Greater Warsaw and the surrounding Płock and Ciechanów areas and there was also a small pocket in Central Poland's £ódź region. Down south their stronghold is in the Świętokrzyskie region, as well as in and around Katowice and Kraków, and there is a small concenttraiton in Central Poland's £ódź region. In the recovered terriroies most of the Błaszkiewiczes were resideing in and around Wrocław, Wałbrzych and Szczecin.

I realise this cultural/geographic FYI will not help you track down your family. Isn't there an organisation that helps trace Polish biolgical families?
ilmc 4 | 136    
20 Sep 2012  #2,837

my boyfriends last name is Ceglarz....
boletus 30 | 1,367    
20 Sep 2012  #2,838

Ceglarz => Brickmaker in English
(from Latin tegula, a brick => German Ziegel, a brick => German Ziegler, a brickmaker => Polish ceglarz)
ilmc 4 | 136    
20 Sep 2012  #2,839

hmmm so he is probably decended from brick layers ... odd he works in masonry lol
boletus 30 | 1,367    
20 Sep 2012  #2,840

No, I did not say bricklayer - that would be "murarz" in Polish.
I said "ceglarz" in Polish means a brickmaker, a man that makes bricks.
But after consulting the newest and the most authoritative Polish dictionary PWN,
here is a more precise definition:
1. Ceglarz or cegielnik => a brickmaker
2. Ceglarz or cegielnik => (archaic) somebody owning a brickyard
3. Ceglarz => (colloquially) a worker carrying bricks on a construction site
ilmc 4 | 136    
20 Sep 2012  #2,841

Ceglarz => (colloquially) a worker carrying bricks on a construction site

it still fits with someone working in masonry :) ...
21 Sep 2012  #2,842

My mom wants to know what the meaning of "Zemkoski" (her boyfriend's family's surname) is. Thank you in advance, sorry if it's already been asked. :)
boletus 30 | 1,367    
21 Sep 2012  #2,843

Zemkoski: Looks like a corrupted or deliberately simplified surname "Ziemkowski"
Ziemkowski: from ziemia (land), ziomek (compatriot, relative)
There are approximately 220 males Ziemkowski and 270 females Ziemkowska currently living in Poland.
pstolarz 3 | 8    
21 Sep 2012  #2,844

Merged: Surname HUNKO

Any information on Surname HUNKO from the region of Dobromil/Pietnice which is now in the Ukraine and/or Przemysl, Poland
OP Polonius3 1,020 | 12,550    
24 Sep 2012  #2,845

HUNKO: possibly from the German word Huhn (chicken, fowl). Interestingly, in a 1990s census only 1 person using this surname was found living in Wrocław (to which many people from Soviet-occupied pre-war Poland were transferred). At present there are 4 Hunkos in Wrocław, so they must have reproduced in the meantime.
25 Sep 2012  #2,846

Merged: Looking for origins and meaning of my last name Kosiecki

Does anyone have any info about last name Kosiecki? I know there are about a hundred people in Poland and probably some in Germany, do not know about USA. It appears i'm the only kosiecki here. Any help will be appreciated. thank you

Val Kosiecki
27 Sep 2012  #2,847

Hi. Could you please tell me the meanings of the last names: Kicinski and Gomulka?

Thank you very much for your help.
tygrys 2 | 293    
27 Sep 2012  #2,848

Here is what I found out about "Gomula". "Gomulka" could be a feminine form of "Gomula", a pet name or an endearing term.

The meaning of Gomula come may come from a trade, such as the name "Brewster" which refers to a female brewer. A lot of these profession-based family names might be a profession in some other language. Many names like Gomula originate from religious texts such as the Bhagavadgītā, the Quran, the Bible, etc. Often these surnames relate to a religious sentiment such as "Favored of God".

Kicinski could come from "kici, kici" meaning "here, kitty kitty"

My mom wants to know what the meaning of "Zemkoski" (her boyfriend's family's surname) is. Thank you in advance, sorry if it's already been asked. :)

It could also come from the word "Zamek", as in Zamkowski, which means "castle".
polonius 57 | 421    
27 Sep 2012  #2,849

KOSIECKI: probably a topo nick from the village of Koski in the Podlasie region. The toponym may have been dervied from kos (blackbird) or kosa (scythe).
28 Sep 2012  #2,850

My last name is Kobulnick (probably derived from Kobylniki). My g-grandfather Simkha-Leib Kobulnik emigrated from Pinsk, Belarus to the USA in 1907. I am trying to find proof that my paternal ancestors originated from Kobylniki. I have taken Y-DNA tests at and

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