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Polish diminuitive names

j mateja 1 | 2
12 Feb 2011 #1
I would like a little help with this...I work with a lot of Polish men and some of us have been working together for some time. Several of the men were introduced to me with their diminuitive names (Jarek, Jurek, Wojtek). Others not... And there are a number of diminuitives that get thrown around aside from the ones used as introductions. I found this information in the archives:

But beware, different diminutives have different emotional connotations, from more neutrally friendly, to strong affection, to more rough and ready pals. Use a form with -cha with a girl you're interested in and she'll assume you aren't. Use a form ending with -uś with a guy (especially in the vocative) and he may think you are interested in him.

English pet names are nowhere near as interesting or expressive as Polish (or other Slavic) diminutives and English simply cannot express the emotional connotations a well chosen Polish diminutive. They are a linguistic marvel and always repay any interest you show in them.

I have a couple of questions/concerns:

1. One of the diminuitives I've used is a -uś (not knowing the above) with someone that should be shown respect because of his position.

2. I have, on occasion, been referred to as Julka. Not sure what, if any, connotation that may have. Particularly since I have a position that they all seem to have a great degree of respect for... But they all seem very pleased that my given name is Julia and have taken the time to tell me how Polish my name is and how they like it.

3. There are a couple of these men that I now consider friends and I would like to know if it is appropriate to express this feeling using a diminuitive (or another form of the diminuitive) or if it would be best to leave it alone.

Can anyone help me here?
jonni 16 | 2,485
12 Feb 2011 #2
1. 'uś' (e.g.Kubuś) is very informal, like speaking to a child. Very much a term of endearment. Unless the person is called Jacek in which case Jacuś is just about ok, though only just. I would ask before using an 'uś' diminutive.

2. You should be flattered by this. It means they like you. It isn't disrespectful.
3. No problem, but stick to the standard ones (Arek, Wojtek, Ola, Piotrek) and don't be too creative. Some exist but don't seem to be used quite as often, more intimate somehow, e.g. Rafałek. Ewunia (for Ewa) also.

And, remember that Polish has a vocative case. Meaning that a guy might be called Wojtek, but addressing him to his face, people might say Wojtku.
OP j mateja 1 | 2
12 Feb 2011 #3

1. I have used -uś with Robert - Robuś - this doesn't seem to be a name that has a diminuitive or many of them. Is there a better one? Robert is one that I would consider a friend, we have worked together fairly closely for 3 years now. He has been very kind to me and encouraged me to learn some Polish.

2. I am flattered. They all have been very respectful with me. True gentlemen in a way I cannot say that American men are.
3. What about a name like Jarek? Another one I would consider a friend - also someone I have worked with for 3 years, closely at times. He has been especially kind to me and protective (the work is on a construction site and it is sometimes dangerous).
12 Feb 2011 #4
1. I have used -uś with Robert - Robuś - this doesn't seem to be a name that has a diminuitive or many of them. Is there a better one?

Robert, unfortunately, doesn't have a good diminutive in Polish. Don't use Robuś unless it's your son.

3. What about a name like Jarek?

Stay with that one. Using Jaruś or Jareczek would be too personal.
jonni 16 | 2,485
12 Feb 2011 #5
Bzibzioh is right on both points. I would add, regarding Jarek, that his name is a diminutive anyway. Going further wouldn't be appropriate. When you speak to him and say "Cześć Jarku" (vocative case) this is intimate enough.
Mrs T 1 | 12
14 Aug 2017 #6

Diminutive of Bronislawa

Hi - can anyone tell me if the name Bronislava has a diminutive/nick name - thanks.
kaprys 3 | 2,439
14 Aug 2017 #7
It's Bronia.

Lyzko 25 | 7,009
14 Aug 2017 #8
I've also heard/read Bronka ( "Bronku!" in the Vocative).

Most of my Polish acquaintances with whom my wife and I are close ONLY refer to one another by their respective diminutives:-) If my wife or I were to greet our friend Janusz, "Janusz!", after knowing him now for at least ten years, instead of "Janku", he might think we were angry with himLOL
kaprys 3 | 2,439
15 Aug 2017 #9
Bronku is the vocative form of Bronek (short from Bronisław not Bronisława).

So you can use 'Bronku' if you want to suggest to Bronisława that she looks slightly masculine or unintentionally insult Bronisława because you took advice from someone who doesn't know Polish.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
15 Aug 2017 #10
Of course! Merely a typo:-)

Danuta < DankO, Bronislawa < BronkO etc... hard feminine stems nearly always "o" (exceptions "Eliza" < ElizO) cf, soft stems e.g. Basia < BasiU, (as well as masculine) Tadzio < TadziU etc...

Masculine hard stems Jaroslaw < JarkU, Dariusz < DarkU etc.. will typically become "u".

Just a glitch on my part, that's all. Comes with charactaristically quick posting without proofreading it first. Thank you once again.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
15 Aug 2017 #11
Let's see, while I'm still on a roll:

Malgorzata < Malgosia < Gosia (Voc. "Gosiu!") < Gocha/"Gochu!"
Jakub < Kubek < Kubus < Kubu..
Stanislaw < Staszek < "Stasio!"

Think we get the main idea....LOL

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