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Owna and Owa name suffix


Anderid
28 Nov 2014 #1
Hi all,

I have a question I think goes here. I did put it in a suffix thread but I think that died. I know a woman who is called by a matronymic, not a patronymic (which I know is strange for someone from Eastern Europe). Her mother is Janina, and her middle name is Janinowna. I understand that this is a matronymic version of Janowna, meaning unmarried daughter of Jan, and that the Owna suffix is archaic but still in use just about. Yet someone else has told me that that can't be her name because it is a) a matronymic and b) uses a suffix no longer really accepted and that the correct form would be Janowska or Janinska.

Can anyone help me with this? Am I calling her the wrong thing?
Looker - | 1,134
28 Nov 2014 #2
I did put it in a suffix thread but I think that died.

I did told you once that you should register. But you still don't care.. You can't even follow your own posts (and the mentioned thread still exist)
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
28 Nov 2014 #3
I understand that this is a matronymic version of Janowna, meaning unmarried daughter of Jan,

You seem to be mixing up Russian-style patronymics en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patronymic#Russian with actual surnames. That's the main problem here.
If the lady's mother's given name is Janina, and the father's given name is unknown, I could imagine that maybe she (the lady) would be given a matronymic instead of the usual patronymic, i.e., [given name] [matronymic created using her mother's given name, in this case Janina -> Janinowna] [surname].

BTW, in Russian you do not differentiate between a married woman / unmarried daughter via surname as you would in older Polish. Thus, both the wife and the daughter of Mr Ivanov would be called Ivanova.
OP Anderid
28 Nov 2014 #4
You can't even follow your own posts (and the mentioned thread still exist)

I am following and replying to those posts of mine (a whopping 6 in total) that show new activity, as anyone regularly checking a forum would. The regional suffix thread has no new activity and I'm quite keen to find out the answer to this enquiry. I will register, but have kept track of all my threads quite happily, thank you.

Thank you, Magdalena.

BTW, in Russian you do not differentiate between a married woman / unmarried daughter via surname as you would in older Polish. Thus, both the wife and the daughter of Mr Ivanov would be called Ivanova.

In Poland, though, I have seen surnames with the unmarried daughter Owna suffix. But presumably they were attached to the father's surname rather than the mother's first name and that's the difference. Thanks for explaining!

kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/suchostaw/polish_patronymics_and_surname_suffixes.htm
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
28 Nov 2014 #5
But presumably they were attached to the father's surname rather than the mother's first name and that's the difference.

Exactly. Polish does not use patronymics, while Russian does not have the -owa/ówna difference.
OP Anderid
28 Nov 2014 #6
Except that by law a Russian name *must* include the Patronymic middle name (usually -Ovna or -Anka if you are female. Ex, Ekaterina Ivanovna Romanova). So they do have the suffix Ovna as 'daughter of', just not in the surname.

It's all Greek to me :)
Anderid 1 | 7
28 Nov 2014 #7
I understand that owa/ówna in Polish names are considered pretty outdated now though.
Ziemowit 14 | 4,278
28 Nov 2014 #8
But presumably they were attached to the father's surname ...

I understand that owa/ówna in Polish names are considered pretty outdated now though.

Yes. If the father's surname was JEDLIGA, his wife would be referred to as JEDLIGOWA, whereas his daughter would be referred to as JEDLIGÓWNA.

A joke on a similar note: Back in the communst time in Central and Eastern Europe three Swedish men whose surnames were LARS, LARSEN and LARSODEN wanted to escape from their oppresive country, so one day they fled to Czechoslovakia. When they arrived in Prague, a Czechoslovakian official tells them:

- Gentelmen, if you don't want to live in Sweden any more, but you want to live in our peace-loving country and become Czech people, you must change your names to such that will sound purely Czech.

- What names shall we choose then? - asks one of the Swedes. I really don't know.
- I know! - suddenly exclaims one of the others - let everyone of us read his name from the end to the begining and we shall obtain the names that sound Czech!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Since Magdalena is half-Czech, I'm sure she will be able to explain to you the point of this joke!
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
28 Nov 2014 #9
If the father's surname is JEDLIGA, his wife used to be referred to as JEDLIGOWA, whereas his daughter used to be referred to as JEDLIGÓWNA.

This, of course, is a rather scatological joke involving the incorrect use of feminine surname endings ;-)
In a case such as this, the wife would be Jedliżyna and the daughter Jedliżanka.

The other joke is equally scatological, though the surnames thus obtained would, in fact, sound Czech.
Looker - | 1,134
28 Nov 2014 #10
I understand that owa/ówna in Polish names are considered pretty outdated now though.

Yes, indeed. It is now used mostly among older generation, and in smaller towns sometimes.
Anderid 1 | 7
28 Nov 2014 #11
Ah, they are from a small rural area, so I guess that would explain it :) Thank you both.

This, of course, is a rather scatological joke involving the incorrect use of feminine surname endings ;-)

I must admit to needing the scatalogical jokes explained to me, though!
Ziemowit 14 | 4,278
28 Nov 2014 #12
I must admit to needing the scatalogical jokes explained to me, though!

I wil not, maybe Magdalena would.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
28 Nov 2014 #13
used mostly among older generation, and in smaller towns sometimes.

Pretty much not in use for at least the last 40 years. People might say "Kowalikowa" or "Nowakówna" informally (often also with a touch of condescension or hostility) to refer to the people they know, but that's about it.

I must admit to needing the scatalogical jokes explained to me, though!

Well, the forms of the surnames in the jokes make the surnames sound sh*tty, if you know what I mean. That's as much as I want to say! ;-)
W van der Wal
16 Jun 2023 #14
Still many folk use -owna (daughter of) and -owa (ex-/ maried wife of), and "who is counting" (almost nobody).., only you remarkt tendency after fall of iron wall in 1989 that much lesser want the 'formal' "daughter of (-owna)" and "wife of (actual/former~)(-ow)" .. A thing of big cities, alike Pan(a) mens Lord or lower-baron and now he and she, where older polish had 'on' and 'ona' and might be "ono" for the doling 'eneuch'.. If you are a Lord or lowbaron in Poland it is hard to say.. "pán" will confuse as it is "he" too, what it never was, old poles will turn in their grave ..

But this tendency only in big cities with femi-nist working mothers and other sexual built ones..

There's a counter tendency too of nostalgia, unmeasured growing.. also.
Some names are still in style of 600 years ago of the Polans and others shortnames to shorts as kto and tam, what ever their funfeels.. Just what one feels well. A personal right. Just as i saw "archaïc" it does not mean the english word "obsolete" or "disappearing"; just 'very old", which says nothing about still existing or even hidden growth. Like old english "werald" is actual english "world" - some prefer stil the old style name to carry forrh as honour.

Janik age 4, Janek age 12, Jan age 16, Janow/v age 24 and married,. Janika age 2, Janka age 11, Jania age 17,
Janowa age 21 married or age 51 divorced or widow idem.
Ages are not to base on but about ages & situation explain. In a more sensitive time a tendency swings up to more neutral ones, as Jan /-k Janine/-ka.

As a jew with family -& genealogy work- in Poland (Polska) I know the styles are often chosen by to mood and time midd of some big towns.
jon357 74 | 22,054
16 Jun 2023 #15
Still many folk use -owna (daughter of) and -owa

I've only ever heard it used ironically and with a smile.


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