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SKI...SKY...ZKI...Polish surname endings

jasinski 10 | 62
15 Oct 2010 #1
Is there a method to the ski's?
ZIMMY 6 | 1,601
15 Oct 2010 #2
You forgot 'cki'
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
15 Oct 2010 #3
Yes, -ski and its variants -cki and -dzki are adjectival endings. A blacksmith is a kowal so kowalski would mean something like smithly -- of about, descended from or otherwise associated with the village smith. Hence Józio Kowalski probably originated to mean 'Joe the blacksmith's kid'.

Amongst the szlachta (gentry) those were the most common endings as they indicated the estate or village someone owned.
Originally, a nobleman would have been referred to as Andrzej z Janowa or Michał z Brzezin (Andrew of Johnston or Michael of Birchville). In time those names got adjectivalised into Andrzej Janowski and Michał Brzeziński.

In English a somewhat similar process occurred whereby the 'of' got dropped to become simply Andrew Johnston and Michael Birchville respectively.
It is strictly phonetics that determines whether the -ski, -cki or -dzki are to be used. If the root ends in a -k (Marek) or -t (Drobot) then it becomes Marecki and Drobocki respectively. If it ends in a -d (Zawada) or -g (Wałęga) it becomes Zawadzki and Wałędzki. All other cases generally use the -ski: Radkowski, Młynarski, Jaworski, Szymański, Kamiński, Dąbrowski, Zalewski, Witkowski, Wiśniewksi, etc.

For more information on the above-mentioned or other Polish surnames please contact me
Teffle 22 | 1,321
15 Oct 2010 #4
So basically the 'ski' is like the "O" or "Mac/Mc" in Scottish and Irish names?

Never knew that.
OP jasinski 10 | 62
15 Oct 2010 #5
is ski only polish? sky maybe russian and then zki german? or is it not that uniform. thanks.
Polskiej_Dumy 18 | 66
15 Oct 2010 #6
Ski is not only polish. There are many Ukrainian names ending in ski
15 Oct 2010 #8
sky maybe russian

sky is americanized spelling of ski. There is no such think like sky in polish language.

sky/tzky in russian surnames is only english translation of cyrilic alphabet.

....and many germans! :)

like you?
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
15 Oct 2010 #9
Yes and no. In some cases the -ski ending can serve as a patornymic indciator, eg, Nowak the newcomer, Nowacki - the newcomer's son, but more oftrn than not it is a toponymic tag.

More typical patronymic endings include: -ak, -siak, -czak, -czuk, -czyk, -wicz and -ic. The latter would be more like the O', Mc, Mac and Fitz of the Celtic world.

The -sky ending is used in Czech and Slovak as well as in transliterated Cyrillic surnames and Jewish ones as well, but never in Polish ones.
OP jasinski 10 | 62
15 Oct 2010 #11
okay. thanks. anyone know about the zki like in tulowitzki?
PennBoy 76 | 2,436
15 Oct 2010 #12
ski, sky, skij, zki 4 forms there might be one more not sure, in the Balkans they spell it either ski or sky, zki in Germany. Bratwurst Boy is Dirk Nowitzki of partial Polish ancestry, or he didn't say ?
OP jasinski 10 | 62
15 Oct 2010 #13
i didnt understand most of what he was saying to me. i think he was projecting himself onto me or something. anyways if one of you dont mind (while we are at it) jasinski means son of john right?
15 Oct 2010 #14
anyone know about the zki like in tulowitzki?

It's not Polish spelling. tzki = cki/dzki. In polish Trotzky should be spelled Trocki. Many Russian Jewish have such spelling.
Ironside 51 | 11,510
15 Oct 2010 #15
Hence Józio Kowalski probably originated to mean 'Joe the blacksmith's kid'.

joe the blacksmith's kid would be rather kowal-czyk, but your version is possible to some extend

There are many Ukrainian names ending in ski

so what? jewish names too but its rather due to people emulating polish names or of polish origin!

jasinski means son of john right

yeah ! most likely - Johnson :) on the other hand it could be someone from Jasin :)
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
16 Oct 2010 #16
JASIŃSKI: probabaly a topo nick from places such as Jasin, Jasień, Jasieniec and similar.
caprice49 4 | 224
19 Oct 2010 #17
....and many germans! :)

In denial of their ethnicity perhaps?
JK_TX - | 23
19 Oct 2010 #18
I thought Jasiński might have to do with ash trees?

Jasiński- do you know where your family is from? My G-Grandmother was Jasiński.
OP jasinski 10 | 62
22 Oct 2010 #19
they were from warsaw i know that dont help very much.
iDream23 - | 1
12 Mar 2012 #20
Merged: Origin of "~ski" part of surname?

I joined this forum cause I had a question, what's the origin of the ~ski part of Polish surname's?.. I'm Polish btw but never learned, just recently dug up what seems to be the meaning of the first part of my surname. Could it mean "of the" as in "of the (insert first part of surname here)"?
gumishu 11 | 5,857
12 Mar 2012 #21
it's an adjectival suffix that mostly denotes area or place of origin of something (or showing some other connection with the place area) - it can be translated as 'of a place'

Kraków - krakowski = (of Kraków)
Kowalewo - kowalewski - (of Kowalewo)
Kowale - Kowalski - (of Kowale)
Warszawa - warszawski - (of Warszawa)

however -ski (-ska, -skie) adjectives can be created not only of place names - with a meaning of '-like' it is added to various nouns and you've got - przyjacielski (friendly), męski (manly or gents'), żeński (feminine), ludzki (human or humane)

in even broader class of man related names (like names of professions) -ski means belonging to the profession/art - młot kowalski - blacksmith's hammer, zestaw malarski - painting (painter's) set, kadź barwierska - dyer's vat, pieśń żołnierska - soldierly (soldiers') song,

the suffix has a quite defined history in Slavic languages (all Slavic languages share it) - and it is cognate (the developement of the same origin) to English -ish, -sh suffix (as in Polish, English, Welsh) - in English it developed from -isk, -sk suffix which is still present in Scandinavian languages (in Danish you;ve got Dansk=Danish, Engelsk=English, Norsk=Norwegian, Swensk=Swedish, Polsk=Polish, Tysk=German (Deutsch), Jysk= Jutlandish (of Jutland), Rysk = Russian

the most probable occurence is that -sk suffix originated in Germanic languages suffix originally used for nations and lands and was borrowed from Germanic Gothic language into Slavic when the two languages were in contact in late antiquity to very early middle ages (sharing the fate of many other borrowings from Gothic to Slavic which are still present in most Slavic languages)
ReservoirDog - | 132
12 Mar 2012 #22
If you speak polish then try to find : "Polskie nazwiska" on wikipedia. You can read there about polish surnames a lot more (
boletus 30 | 1,366
12 Mar 2012 #23
My two cents:

In Finnish language the word "koski" means rapids, white water. Koski is quite a popular Finnish surname. Names of many Finnish towns and villages end with the -koski suffix. Some examples: Kirveskoski, Loffkoski, Saakoski, Kaartilankoski, Kuusankoski, Enonkoski, Kannonkoski, Äänekoski.

“KOSKI” refutes the popular notion that all names ending in SKI are Polish.
11 Dec 2013 #24
Hi hoping someone could maybe give me some insight that I can you use in researching my direct paternal line. What I know my great grandfather immigrated to America on 1909. I have not been able to track down the immigration records or any records in Europe. I was told we are Lithuanian, Polish, with some Mongolian ancestry. Never told Jewish, but DNA testing has revealed Jewish roots, along with a very unique Asian haplogroup. In the United States since I was born anyway we always went by the Polish version of the last name. It is Krakoski. I find it odd that the ending is never -owski, but -oski. I was told that the last name was really Lithuanian. So on my great grandparents gravestone the name is Krakaukas. Notice here the spelling ends -aukas, and not -auskas as seems to be the typical Lithuanian ending. I did find in the 1940 US census my family had the name end with the typical -auSkas spelling. Sometimes these census or marriage records lists Poland as the place of birth, sometimes Lithuania. Never will I find the actual town name. I do understand the changing borders within the old Commonwealth. I am just wondering can I assume my family was really from Krakow? But then what does it mean to have the Lithuanian ending with Krak beginning? It would seem then one is more Polish than Lithuanian? Other family lore was that the family had money and a large farm in Lithuania. I am also wondering if my family could be nobility and have a coat of arms. If they did which COA could be affiliated with this family name? I understand that not everyone is to be assumed of nobility, but Poland had one of the largest classes of nobles in Europe. So perhaps not too far fetched if one hails from this region. Thanks in advance for any insights.

10 Jan 2021 #25
Meaning of Kaczkofsky sur name

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