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Polish names derived from peasant animal names / from tools

Polonius3 994 | 12,380
11 Feb 2011 #1
The names of different species of livestock and wildlife often functioned as nicknames given to commoners, esp. peasants. They were usually associated with those creatures, but in some cases may have been though to resemble them in some way. In time, they evolved into normal surnames passed down from father to son. Some typical examples:

BARAN ram, KOZA goat, BYK bull, KUR cock, KOBY£A mare, KOZIO£ billy goat, WRÓBEL sparrow, KRUK raven, WRONA crow, KAWA jackdaw, SKOWRON, skylark, CZAPLA heron, DZIĘCIO£ woodpecker, PRZEPIÓRA quail, RUDZIK robin, GAWRON rook, SROKA magpie, DUDEK hoopoe, SIKORA coaltit, JARZĄBEK grouse, KACZOR drake, GĄSIOR gander, LABĘD- swan, ZAJĄC hare, WIEWIÓRA squirrel, ŻABA frog, RYBA fish, KARAŚ crucean, KARP carp, LESZCZ bream, SZCZUKA pike, MUCHA fly, BĄK horsefly, PAJĄK spider, ROBAK worm, KOMAR mosquito, MRÓWKA ant, PSZCZO£A bee, TRZMIEL bumblebee, SZERSZEŃ hornet, MYSZKA mouse, SZCZUR rat, KRET mole, JEŻ hedgehog, LIS fox, WILK wolf, BORSUK badger, KUNA marten, TCHÓRZ polecat and many, many more......

For more info on the above and other Polish surnames contact me
plk123 8 | 4,142
12 Feb 2011 #2
as always, i dunno which arse cheek you pull this stuff out of but...

the tit is sikorka not sikora,
mouse is mysz,
and the worm is glizda, robak acually means bug,
bąk is really a bumblebee,
kur? lol

nunczka 8 | 458
12 Feb 2011 #3
I thought Poloniuses post was very informative. I know at least 80% of the names that are familiar to me.. Good show, Polonius.
emha - | 92
12 Feb 2011 #4

jonni 16 | 2,482
12 Feb 2011 #5
Looks like he was trying to prove he can do it without cutting and pasting from online surname guides. But proved he couldn't.
OP Polonius3 994 | 12,380
12 Feb 2011 #6
As surnames the non-diminutive Sikora is more common, whilst with mysz it is the diminutive Myszka that is more typical. Not my fault, that's just the way the language devleoped, so don't kill the messenger.

Never went fishing in Polnd? If you had,you'd have dug up robaki.
Bąk can be a top (spinning toy), a horsefly, bumblebee (aka trzmiel), a small tot and a fart. I only gave one equivalent per name. Koza also means a gaol and a snot. And kur may be archaic, but names tend to be archaic because most of them evolved centuries ago.
landora - | 197
12 Feb 2011 #7
sikora is perfectly correct.
Worm - robak, there is no such animal as "glizda", it's glista, like "glista ludzka", belonging to "robaki obłe".

Earthworm, however, is "dżdżownica".
Bug is more like "owad".
Kur - an oldfashioned name for a cock.
Bumblebee is trzmiel, bąk is a gadfly.

you're right when it comes to "mysz", also "wiewióra" should be "wiewiórka".
Ironside 53 | 12,421
12 Feb 2011 #8
BĄK horsefly,


KAWA jackdaw,


you're right when it comes to "mysz", also "wiewióra" should be "wiewiórka".



same goes for you!

as always, i dunno which arse cheek you pull this stuff out of but...

gee, plk123, have some restrain when you are proven again and again that you are not the brighten star on the firmament.
What 1,2,3 stands for ? :D
OP Polonius3 994 | 12,380
12 Feb 2011 #9
The topic was Polish srunames, not zoology or word definitions.
Szczuka is the older (and current eastern) form but, as surnames go, there are more Szczukas in today's Poland than Szczupaks.
Wiewióra 2,000 Wiewiórka 600; 15 people surnamed Mysz, 3,900 Myszka.
Let's see what clever riposte Dupadomine comes up with thsi time?!

I know...typos!

there is a preview button as well as an edit button. you might like to try them.

Too lazy!

Merged: Tool-derived Polish last names

Tools, utensils and common household objects were often used as nicknames for peasants and other commoners. Eventually they evolved into normal last names. These include:

MOTYKA (hoe), £OPATA (spade), GWO-DZIK (nail), ĆWIEK (peg), TYKA (bean- or hop-pole), NOŻYK (knife), KOSA (scythe), SITO (sieve), ŚWIDER (drill), M£OTEK (hammer), GARNEK (pot), BECZKA (barrel), SZYNA (rail), BELKA (beam), MUREK (wall), OBORA (cowshed), SZPILKA (pin), HACZYK (hook), WIADRO (bucket), RYGIEL (bolt), ZAMEK (lock), SIERP (sickle), MISKA (bowl), WARZĘCHA (dipper), TARKA (grater, washboard), £YŻKA (spoon)....

For more information on the origin of the above or other Polish surnames please contact me

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