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"Czarny" vs. "Czerny", vs. "Charni" vs. "Cherni", etc.


Nickidewbear
31 Oct 2016 #1
What are the differences, or are they just variant spellings of the same Polish word in the end?

e.g., "Czarniecki" vs. "Czerniecki" (although it was originally "Chernetski", "Chernetzky", "Zernetzky", etc. in our case. Still, we changed it to "Czerniecki" when we Polonized it, and then changed the "e" to an "a" when we tried to pose as Poles).
Chemikiem
31 Oct 2016 #2
Czerny is a Polish surname which along with it's variants, is also common in other Slavic languages. As with Czarny, it means black.
Chani and Cherni appear to me to be attempts at spelling Czarny and Czerny to someone unfamiliar with Polish/Slavic languages.
Names were commonly butchered when Polish immigrants arrived in the US as I'm sure you know.
OP Nickidewbear
31 Oct 2016 #3
Thank you so much for your answer. By the way, as I said, our case was that it was originally "Chernetski", "Chernetzky", "Zernetzky", etc.. Still, we changed it to "Czerniecki" when we Polonized it, and then changed the "e" to an "a" when we tried to pose as Poles. Also, as Dr. Dara Horn notes, immigrants generated their own name identifications:

True, European Jewish immigrants did have to render their names into Latin or Cyrillic letters..., and yes, passports were sometimes forged-but those...changes would have been generated by the immigrants themselves. It is also true that many immigrants chose new names for themselves..., whether for expediency or to avoid discrimination.

PS Why do both "Czarny" and "Czerny" exist for "Black" in Polish?
Lyzko
31 Oct 2016 #4
"Czerny" as in the once famous composer of piano exercises Karl Czerny, known to untold generations of music students, is listed in Groves' Dictionary of Music as an Austrian pianist and teacher of Hungarian extraction:-)

Perhaps his forebearers were originally Polish?
OP Nickidewbear
31 Oct 2016 #5
Apparently (as someone else posted on here), they were Czech. Mine were and are Jewish.
Lyzko
31 Oct 2016 #6
Possibly, although there has never been reason so assert that Karl Czerny was Jewish:-)

Just consulted Groves' Dictionary on line and sure enough, I must have misread the site (either that or it was previously in error, both more than likely), but it clearly states "Austrian pianist and musician of Czech origin."

))
OP Nickidewbear
31 Oct 2016 #7
As far as I know, I'm not related to related to Karl Czerny. Meanwhile, the OP in another thread did say that he or she is a distant cousin of Karl Czerny.
Lyzko
31 Oct 2016 #8
Unless the family name might have been changed to "Czerny" from something else, the family name "Czerny" itself, is NOT Jewish:-) "CzernOWITZ" for instance, might well indeed be of Jewish lineage, though once more, even "-OWITZ" is not always an indication of Jewish origin. To be sure, "-WITZ" is in fact often of German/Prussian origin!
Ironside
31 Oct 2016 #9
Why do both "Czarny" and "Czerny" exist for "Black" in Polish?

They don't. Czarny means Black in Polish. Czerny sounds like an archaic version of the same world. It could be still in use in few neighbouring languages

, the family name "Czerny" itself, is NOT Jewish

Right! I think you're wasting your typing power on Nicki.
Lyzko
31 Oct 2016 #10
"Chiyerni" could sound Russian, actually, or Ukrainian with it's drawled "yiie-sound". Standard Polish vowels are always shorter and more clipped.
Chemikiem
31 Oct 2016 #11
Czerny means black in other Slavic languages including Czech, although the spelling differs. I am guessing that at some point the name was incorporated into Polish language, but as Ironside pointed out, Czarny is Polish for black.
OP Nickidewbear
31 Oct 2016 #12
To be sure, "-WITZ" is in fact often of German/Prussian origin!

I know that; and actually, on another note, my "Daniłowicz" and "Andrulewicz" ancestors were Jewish (Actually, as I am related to Kirk Douglas :-(. I feel bad that another side of that family wreaked havoc on Natalie Wood and Jean Spangler.)
Lyzko
31 Oct 2016 #13
Was that last line some sort of pun on the last name "Havoc" aka the well-known actress "June HaVOC" (nee "Hovick")?

:-))
OP Nickidewbear
1 Nov 2016 #14
I don't think so. Did I spell "havoc" wrong? You made the pun, though. I missed the pun.
Lyzko
1 Nov 2016 #15
Stuff and nonsense, don't give it a second thought!

You wrought havoc on my word playLOL
MTLCzerny
2 Mar 2021 #16
I recently discovered my biological family were Czerny -- originally from Bohemia and Jewish. They (the 8 brothers Czerny) immigrated to the US in the 1880s, and mostly settled in Iowa.
OP Nickidewbear
4 Sep 2022 #17
@MTLCzerny, in Cedar Rapids? One Andrulewicz side tried to pass themselves off as Bohemians on one census. They were Litvishe Yidn from Orlinek (My Andrulewicz side was from Bosse, and my Czerniecki side were Suvalkishe Yidn-Jews from Suwałki Gubernia).
jon357
4 Sep 2022 #18
One Andrulewicz side tried to pass themselves off as Bohemians on one census.

Perhaps they were.
OP Nickidewbear
4 Sep 2022 #19
@jon357, they weren't. Also, one of their sons used English forms of their Hebrew names on his Social Security application (per the Ancestry index)-and he knew their secular names (Ignacy and Feliksa). I never would have known their Hebrew names (Yosef and Chanah, which he gave as "Joe") without his courage to give them.
jon357
4 Sep 2022 #20
English forms

So English names.

I had a relative called Joe. He was English..
charn
11 Apr 2023 #21
Named after my great grandma Charny which is in essence the word czerni meaning black in slavic langauges, where she was from this was a name given to pretty babies as a sign against a bad omen on the child. she was from Czekaslovakia and jewish. the name survived till now without butchering=)


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