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What should I end my last name with?

karturn 9 | 20
7 Mar 2007 #1
Hello all,
OK, last year when my husband & I got married there was much discussion on if & when I took his last name (I'm going to hyphenate) how it would end. Our daughter's last name ends in CZNA, because she was born into it. So, when I finally get around to officially making the change (I'll do it by the end of this month as it would have been our 1 yr anniv, he passed away in sept) should it end in CZNY or CZNA? The INS has me listed with the CZNY spelling. I have discussed this with his friend & my daughter's Godfather & he said that in Poland it would be CZNA but in the US it is more common to go with the male version of the name.

Any insight would be helpful as I would need to change my passport before we travel to Poland this summer.
Tlum 11 | 181
8 Mar 2007 #2
If you are a female, the last name should end with -czna; for males it should be -czny; for the family -czni.
krysia 23 | 3,058
8 Mar 2007 #3
They don't have a clue in the US on whether it's female ending or male.
I know males ending with czna. It sounds funny to me, because I know it's for female, but they don't know that. They just walk around with czna and have no idea whatsoever.

So If you want czna, do it.
Patrycja19 63 | 2,699
8 Mar 2007 #4
They don't have a clue in the US on whether it's female ending or male.

I do :) mom ska, dad ski
krysia 23 | 3,058
8 Mar 2007 #5
We were all skis. Mom. Dad, brothers, sisters we all were skis because in the US they said ska it was a different name.
Patrycja19 63 | 2,699
8 Mar 2007 #6
yes, they just used the male last name in the U.S. but I found out long time ago
the two different meanings for last name female being ska and male ski

I was also told, that the Sky Meant that they were from Russia. <~? scratches
head, and this was a cousin of mine. I didnt think that had anything to do with
it, because during two different time periods my grandma was german pole and
then she was russian pole

but I learned alot thru genealogy searches.
OP karturn 9 | 20
8 Mar 2007 #7
Thank you. So not to add any more confusion I am going with the CZNA ending. It's going to be hard enough to get people to pronounce it right, I don't want to have to explain to people the difference, especially when my daughter starts school.

Marek 4 | 867
9 Mar 2007 #8
Just my two-cents worth, but I learned that male and females names, e.g. "Nowak, i.e. "Pan Nowak vs. "Pani Nowakowa" vary if the family name is of an unmarried woman, for example "Nowakowa" = "Mrs. Nowak", whereas "Nowakówna" would be then "Miss Nowak" (but not "Miss Nowakowa").

Is this correct? I ask because the above is not identical in every Slavic language, such as Czech or Russian.
glowa 1 | 291
9 Mar 2007 #9
Marek, what you mentioned is correct but applies to spoken language and is also a tad archaic. In a passport you'd write Nowak for both the Ms. and the Mrs.

Karturn, in the 'theory' you'd just go for CZNA indeed, and I say, do simply that .

Sometimes, however and it's only dependent on the history or habits rather of a given family, women use the male form of the last name. It's very rare nowadays. Used to be more common long long time ago.
Marek 4 | 867
9 Mar 2007 #10
Hi, "Head" :) !

A tad archaic, I suppose, much as "Panna" for "Pani", to indicate an unmarried woman.
I've never used "Panna" by the way, even though we learned it in school.
Henri DeToi
31 May 2010 #11
I was watching the French Open Tennis and I noticed that a lot of female players from Eastern Europe ended with "a" while men did not. I told that to my better half and she laughed at usual. I can't wait for her to come home from work to tell her that my observation actually made sense. If Sharapova was a man (Impossible…if you know what I mean, Llol), it would be Sharapov; Petrova, Petrov etc... Thanks, I learned something new today.
15 Jan 2012 #12
I don't know about all of you guys but when I immigrated from Poland my last name is now ending with a -ski. My Polish passport ends with a -ska. I wouldn't worry too much about this. If anything, when you go to Poland it can be a conversational piece (which is always the case for me). Now things are simplified that I am married, the only problem is that it seems that some people can't get my new last name out of their mouth,.
15 Jun 2012 #13
My surname is Gretka and because I'm male I was told that my name is a girls name.

Is this true?

I don't really understand the concept of it all.


jon357 71 | 20,789
15 Jun 2012 #14
Some 'masculine' surnames end in -a. And not all surnames change according to gender. Gretka is one of them.

There is a Polish footballer called Marek Gretka.
Jimmu 2 | 157
17 Jun 2012 #15
I worked with two Polish-American brothers who stood about 6'4" and were built like line-backers and their last name was Hyska. When I had learned enough about Polish names to think that was odd I asked one of them about it. He told me that when the family emigrated from Poland to Belgium the matriarch (his grandmother) had filled out all the paperwork. The Belgians took her last name to be the family name and put it down as such. Later when the family moved to the US Hyska was already a fait accompli.

For once it wasn't the fault of Ellis Island!
29 Jan 2013 #16
i am currently working in the UK on my Australian Passport with a 'ski' ending to my surname (as in Australia we are all Ski's as it would be considered a different surname to be a 'ska) and when my visa ends i plan to renew my polish passport (that ends my surname with a 'ska') but as it will be confusing to the UK system going from a ski to a ska with a new passport . So would anyone know if, when renewing my polish passport, they would put my surname with a 'ski' or would that require a name change?

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