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3 Jan 2010 #1
Does anyone know anything about this last name? It's my own, and I can't seem to find anything about it online. I've heard from other people it was a last name a lot of Polish Jews had and also that it has something to do with a Polish verb that means to ignite or to set on fire...
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
3 Jan 2010 #2
ZAPALSKI: root appears to be pal/pał which has generated such terms as palić (to burn), zapalić (to ignite), zapałkla (match) and zapał (enthusiasm, ardour). It might have originated as a patronymic nick for someone whose dad was nicknamed Zapał or Zapała (either an arsonist or gung-ho enthusaist) or who hailed from a locality incorporating the zapał root.

Nearly 1,000 Poles now use this surname, its largest single connentration (about 20%) being in eastern Poland's Lublin area.

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