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Etymology of pan /pani

papagarth 3 | 20
11 Feb 2010 #1
Can anyone tell me why these words mean mr./mrs ? what are their origins ?
Sildar - | 34
11 Feb 2010 #2
The origin of the word "Pan/Pani" still remain unclear. Occurs only in the West Slavic languages and it is borrowed, but we do not know from where the word came: Greek? Hungarian? In Polish, from the fourteenth century is often performed in elaborate courtesy phrases that gradually, in daily formulas, underwent simplification and reduction.
marqoz - | 195
11 Feb 2010 #3
According to Aleksander Brueckner, polish etymologist, pan has its origin in old word żupan meaning a tribute gathering officer or administrator of some territory called żupania. The word was known in Czech, Croat and Hungarian (ispan). Later the word was shortened and simplified to pan.

In Kingdom of Poland pan was used as a short name for a kasztelan (castellan) ie. caretaker of one of main royal castles. This title was in most cases lower in precedence to the voivodes (with the exception of the Lord Castellan of Cracow who had precedence before voivode of Cracow). For example castellan of Cracow was called Pan Krakowski. In colloquialese pan was lately used to address any powerful person.

'Pan' is a root word for verb 'panować' - to rule, 'państwo' - estate, realm, state.

But due to both inflation of dignities and growing politeness now you should use it as common style to address any stranger by: pan, pani, państwo.

The same as in Spanish Usted (going back from Vuestra Merced = Your Mercy). By the way, the old style - now obsolete - to address stranger from noble class was Wasza Miłość (Your Mercy) shortened to Waszmość, or together with pan: Waszmość Pan > Waćpan > Acan.

And żupa is allegedly of Avarian (Avarian) origin as Slavic people were so peaceful and so classless that there had to be some warrior element adding some power distribution tools.

As most historians think Slavonic tribes invided Central and Southern Europe under Avarian command in VI-VIII centuries. Having in mind Avars ruled or have some influence on Slavs through 2-3 centuries, Avarian żupa could infiltrate Slavonic languages.
jeden - | 226
11 Feb 2010 #4
Pan Pani, They called themselves gentry (nobility). From this word descend "Państwo"

Państwo is few nobilities or State ( Country) becouse Republica was the thing belonging to nobility...
OP papagarth 3 | 20
12 Feb 2010 #5
Well, thanks to all who replied, that explains why the common Slavic form isn't used; alas, for my own purposes, that the essencial meaning dosn't change.
jeden - | 226
12 Feb 2010 #6
that explains why the common Slavic form isn't used

could you explain?
marqoz - | 195
14 Feb 2010 #7
that explains why the common Slavic form isn't used
could you explain?

Papagarth has thought about gospod, gospodzin, I suppose.
asik 2 | 220
15 Feb 2010 #8
that explains why the common Slavic form isn't used;

There is no such form as common Slavic .

Slavic people are linguistically classified as West (Poles, Czechs, Slovaks,Moravians and Sorbs), East and South Slavic .
Only West Slavic people use the form Pan/Pani/Państwo, means Mr/Mrs/Mr&Mrs.

More about the Slavic people:
Nathan 18 | 1,363
15 Feb 2010 #9
There was a poor guy Pantofel. He had a wife who was about to leave him because he was a hard-working man and came tired from work with little money. She yelled at him and laughed, told him that he is not even able to satisfy her at the piec, where they used to sleep in cold winter-time. He was repairing shoes for his neighbors. One day, when he jumped off the piec, he landed on a cat and completely crushed poor Misek (it was the name of the fallen cat on the battlefield of life). He wanted to step off, but fell incredibly comfortable. And then an idea struck him: to make comfortable shoes that you can wear around the house. This is how he started his little business of producing slippers. Cats started to disappear. His business grew and he became the richest guy in the neighborhood. He bought a lot of land and his wife persuaded by the riches stayed. He was still tired as he looked himself as slippers were made whole day, but it didn't bother her: she found some young stallion from the other village. One day Pantofel came unexpectedly home and saw his wife winning the race on an exhausted horse, beaten to death for at least an hour. He took his shotgun and shot both in cold blood sprinkling the walls with sparkling brain cells. He then burnt the house. Nobody knew what happened to his wife and a guy from the nearest village. People believed it was a witch that lived in the forest and who stole people to make soups and pierogies with meatballs. Pantofel ordered to kill the witch in order to cover-up his revangeful justice.

Well, he became secluded and lonely, angry and more rich. When he died people didn't call him "Pantofel", but simply "Pan", which came to be associated with being rich landowner and eventually to anyone who had a hat on his head. This is how it all came about.
OP papagarth 3 | 20
17 Feb 2010 #10
there are words, from the Indo -European roots, mostly, which are common in all slavic languages; there are of course regional varients, partly because of the three ancient branches - venedi, sclaveni and antes - which can not be proven to be all Slavic per se; Gothic and Scyhtian seem to have universal enfluence on the slvavs, but, as an example, the Bulgar Slavs had Bulgar/Hun enfluence, Khazar enfluence, probably Cuman - then, Thracian, Vlach, Greek, Macedonian, Illyrian , Latin, more Turkish, et c. - while the Poles, Sorbians, Czechs, Slovaks, Kasubians, and ? Selesians - fell under different enfluences, having moved into former Germanic regions, and being in contact with the Franks and others.
marqoz - | 195
20 Feb 2010 #11
There is no such form as common Slavic .

But it used to be... Some 1000 years ago.

There was a poor guy Pantofel.

Nice story. Send a script to Hollywood and they call you.

Pantofel < Germ. Pantoffel < Fr. pantoufle < It. Pantofola < Lingua franca < medieval Greek meaning. whole made of cork.

Nice journey and not be made in pantoffles.
Nathan 18 | 1,363
25 Feb 2010 #12
Send a script to Hollywood and they call you

Names? ;) (but thanks for advice)
29 Jul 2011 #13
Not true. Pan/pani/panna is used in Ukrainian which is considered East Slavic (so much for labels). As in Polish, in addition to being a regular noun, it is used as a honorific, with last names, as Mr. in English (more formal), e.g. pan Shevchenko/pani Koval's'ka, with other titles, e.g. pan profesor/doktor, and with first names as don in Spanish (more familiar), e.g. pan Ivan/pani Oksana. I believe all of this is exactly the same as in Polish. Panna is used for (young) unmarried woman, simialarly to Miss in English, e.g. panna Marijka. All of this is probably borrowed from Polish. But the usage of panna in Polish is now largely obsolete. Pani is typicallyused for all women.

29 Jul 2011 #14
In Russian, "pan" for instance is used to indicate any Polish man, e.g. a Polish "pan", a Spanish "senor" or a French "monsieur".

Furthermore, in Czech "pan"/"pani" is used as well, only the final "i" for the female has a softening accent above it, although the stress is on the first syllable, just as in Polish-:)
boletus 30 | 1,366
29 Jul 2011 #15
I like your explanation. The entry "żupan" to Zygmunt Gloger's "Encyklopedia staropolska (tom IV)",Żupan , contains the following relevant fragments:

Żupan, a very old word, had two separate meanings in Old Polish language. Naruszewicz says that Czechs, Poles and other Slavs called the country lords "żupans". A Czech chronicle of the 1109 attests that such name was given to officials in Czechia. Some say that in very ancient times the nobility in Poland was called żupans. (...). In a word - żupan meant a wealthy man, a dignitary, and today's "pan" is only a shortening of "żupan". But this shortening is not just a product of recent centuries, because in a document from 1257 we find: "Thomas qui dicitur Staripan." In other Slavic tribes żupan was used to describe: judges, mayors, governors, and the like superiors.
A dignitary name żupan was once widespread in Poland. Żupan's wife was called "żupani" and this word has been adopted from Poles, by Prussians, to whom it meant the lady of the house. The word "żupani" in Prussia and Lithuania - as says Brückner - was adopted from Polish when inhabitants of towns and castles still bowed down to żupanis.

The importance of a county as "ziemica" and żupan as its supervisor, a mayor, is changing in nature to a kind of tribute (tax) and an official collecting it. Besides the latin word "zupanus" there also appears "zuparius". When later żupy and żupniks (says Brückner) are becoming limited to benefices and salt mine offices, "zuparius" (żupca in Polish) becomes a low clerk of a court, as we can see in the Mazovian Act of 1406. Czechs stopped using the words żupan in the sense of high dignitary at the end of thirteenth century.

In today's Croatian the word "Żupan" corresponds to Polish Voivod.
24 Mar 2022 #16
Maybe "PaN" is a short form of "GosPodiN"
jon357 71 | 20,421
16 Apr 2022 #17
a short form of "GosPodiN"

No. A verb panał existed in Polish in the Gniezno Sermons, a fourteenth century text.
8 Jun 2022 #18
The word "pan" is known also in Ukrainian and in Belorussian. In Ukrainian, it is used with the same meaning as in Polish, but undergoes different Grammar rules. In Ukrainian, there isn't the word "gospodin", but - "hospo`dar"= Pol. "gospodarz". In Relifgion, they do not use "Pan", but - "Hospod' ".

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