POLISH NAME BOOK

(A small extract from the book)

By Katheryne of Krings Keep (Katrina Maeder)

Jeszcze Polska nie Zginela,
poki my zyjemy

Poland is not yet lost as long as we are alive!
(first line of the Polish National Anthem)

Since there are letters in Polish that are not on a standard keyboard I am using these substitutes for those letters
Polish letter Typed as
a,
c'
e,
l~
n'
o'
s'
z'
z.


In Polish the stress (emphasis or accent) almost always falls on the second to last syllable of a word.

This is a VERY condensed version of the rules and gramatical 'logistics' regarding the way Polish names are presented.

VOWELS
a as in father
a nasalized vowel, like "own" without quite finishing the n, before b or p the sounds more like "om" in "home"
e as in "led"
generally like "en" in "men" without quite finishing the n, before b or p it sounds like "em" in "member" at the end of a word "eh" sound like "leather"
i as in "machine"
o somewhat like the "o" on "moth" "soft"
Polish u, like "oo" in English "goose"
u like "ui" in English "suit"
y like the "i" in English "bin "pin"
 
** There is no Q, V, or X in the Polish Language
 
CONSONANTS
b more or less as in English at the end of a word "p" sound
c (when not followed by -i) like "ts" as in "fits"
c followed by i or accented as c' is pronounced like "ch" in "church "
ch sounds like the "ch" in "loch" as pronounced like a Scot
c is silent when words begin with "ch"
= ci - somewhat like English "ch" in "screech"
cz more or less like "ch" in "chair"
d more or less as in English at the end of a word "t" sound
dz like "ds" in "words" sometimes like "ts" at the end of words
d = dzi - like j as in "jail" at the end of words "ch" sound
d Like "g" as in "hinge" or "dg" as in "bridge"
f more or less as in English
g always as in "give" never as in "geometry"; at the end of words like k
h or ch like the "ch" German "ach" but a bit less guttural
j like "y" in "yield" But aj sounds like "i", ej like "ay" in "hay" , oj like "oy" in "boy", and uj or j sounds a little like "uey" in "Huey"
k more or less as in English
l lighter than in English, more as in "million" than in "hill"
like the "wl" in "howl" with a pronounced w sound
li like the "l" in "value"
m more or less as in English
n more or less as in English
like "ni" in English "onion"
p more or less as in English
r like the trilled r in German or Scottish
rz like "s" in English "pleasure"
s more or less as in English
like si ­ somewhat like English "sh" but softer, almost hissing
like the "shch" in "freshcheese"
sz as in the "sh" of "sheep"
szcz like the "shch" in "freshcheese"
t more or less as in English
w like English "v" in "vat"
z more or less as in English, at end of word sounds like an "s" sound
= zi ­ a voiced , like "s" in English "pleasure" but softer
= Polish rz, like "s" in English "pleasure"

Polish surnames consist of a root plus suffixes.

There are 12 sources of Polish surnames: animal names, objects, coat of arms, occupations or positions, prominent feature (hair color, foot size, etc), personal names, food or drink (brewer, baker, etc), sounds, foreign words or names, toponyms (place names), growing things, verb roots

Broadly surnames derived from Slavonic personal names are of early origin, and tend to be borne by aristocratic families. An exception is the group of names derived from forms of the name of the Stanisaw, from Saint Stanisaw.

Particular families within a clan used a surname derived from the name of the village they owned. When a family moved it was usual to change the surname as well. Those surnames usually ended with ­ski or ­chi, which gave birth to the common statement that these suffixes "prove" a noble origin. The -czuk comes from eastern Poland and Ukraine. The -czok is from Silesia. The -czak and -czyk are standard Polish - they mean "son of." The ­ak suffix is typical for Western Poland, whereas ­uk is chiefly found in the East. A masculine name ending in ­ ski changes to ­ska in the feminine. If names end in ­owski / -ewski or -iski / -yski they are probably toponymic, if they end in ­owicz / -ewicz or -czak / -czyk they are probably patronymic.

Names with z, as in Jan z Grabowa, "Jan from Grabowo". That formula was common until the 15th century; but then adjectival names, formed typically by adding the suffix -ski to the name of a noble's primary estate, became popular. Jan Grabowski means the same thing as Jan z Grabowa, but people seemed to like the flow of Jan Grabowski better.

Another option was the patronymic, a name formed from one's father's name. In Slavic languages this is easily done by adding a suffix: -owic, for instance, means "son of", so Kazimierz syn Jana, "Kazimierz, Jan's Son", could also be rendered Kazimierz Janowic (Actually, at first Poles preferred using the suffix -ic in patronymics, but eventually, under Belarusian influence, they came to prefer -owicz and it became standard.) In time that suffix, along with others such as -czyk, became more common than the expressions with syn.

Sometimes you see Marianna Grabowski z domu Kwaniewska which means: her married name is Grabowska and her maiden name was Kwaniewska (z domu means literally "from the home of, from the house of"). More common would be Marianna z Kwaniewskich Grabowska, which means "Marianna (of the Kwaniewski's) Grabowska" The maiden name is given with the preposition z (from, of) with the genitive plural form.

Another way seen is adding the suffix ­wna to noun derived surnames. In proper Polish, an unmarried Mariana Grabowicz would appear as Marianna Grabowiczwna. The suffix ­wna denoted a married woman, so that Marianna's mother would be Pani (Mrs. -- "M'Lady") Grabowiczwa. It would be either Katradzyna Bochenekwna OR Panna (Miss) Bochenekwna but not Panna Katradzyna Bochenekwna. Since the Panna is the same as the (wna) ending.

This is only a small listing of important names: Administrator of the Royal Court marszaek, Chamberlain podkomorzy, Herald (court crier) wony, King krl, kingdom krlestwo, Knight szlachta, Mayor sotys, newbie / greenhorn fryc, Polish cavalryman uan, Prince ksi, Russian Rosyjski, Squire dziedzic, Standard-bearer chory.

FEMALE NAMES
Anastasia Anastazia, Anastazja
Bridget, Birgitta Brygida
Catherine see Katheryne
Eleanor Elenora
Elizabeth Elbieta
Genevieve, Guenivere Genowefa
Helen Helena
Isabella, Isabel Izabela
Jennifer see Genevieve
Katheryne (Catherine) Katarzyna
Margaret Magorzata
Martha Marta
Mary Marja, Marya
Sophia Zofia
MALE NAMES
Anthony Antoni, Antonin
Casimir Kazimierz
Henry Henryk
John Jan
Joseph Jzef
Matthew Mateusz, Maczysz, Maciej
Mark Marek
Michael Micha
Nicholas Miko aj
Paul Pawel
Peter Piotr, Piotyr, Piotr
Sigmund Zygmunt
Thomas Tomasz
Vladimir Wadimir

This is a very short description on Polish Heraldry ­ the full version would fill #many# large books.

Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings by William F. Hoffman, Chapter 5, Pg 60 ­ 61

There are several aspects of Polish nobility and heraldry that set them apart from similar institutions in Western Europe.

The names of the oldest coat of arms reach back to the earliest days of Polish history, and frequently arose from the clan's battle cry, devices on the coats of arms (fox; axe; swan), the place where the clan's members assembled, and so on. The coat of arms was an integral part of the noble's identity as warriors who fought in defense of the realm, and the usual occasion of the king's bestowing arms was when an individual distinguished himself in battle with some particularly manful deed or valued service. The device on the arms' shield often had some connection with the deed.

Further Reading:
Collection of Articles on Polish Heraldry. By Edward A. Peckwas, Chicago: Polish Genealogical Society, 1978
Herbarz Polski (Polish Heraldry) by Kasper, S.J Niesiecki, Lipsk edition: Nak adem i Drukiem Breitkopfa i Haertela, 1842
Imiona chrzecijaskie w redniowiecznej Polsce [Christian Names in Medieval Poland] Polska Akademia Nauk, Instytur Je'zyka Polskiego, Krakw 1994.
Polish Genealogy and Heraldry: and introduction to Research by Janina Hoskins, Washington Library of Congress, 1987.
Nazwiska Polskie [Polish Surnames] by Jan Stanis aw Bystro
S ownik Staropolskich Nazw Osobowych, [Dictionary of Old Polish Personal Names], 7 vols. Wroclaw: Zaklad Norodowy Imienia - Ossoliskich Wydawnictwo Polskeij Akademii Nauk, 1965-1982. Taszychiego, Witolda
Ubir narodowy w dawnej rzeczypospolitj by Irena Turnau, Instytut Histori i Kultury Materialnej Polska Akademia Nauk. Warsaw 1991 by Irena Turnau, Instytut Histori i Kultury Materialnej Polska Akademia Nauk. Warsaw 1991

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Reprinted from the Fall, 2005, issue of Arts and Sciences, a special issue of the Pikestaff,
the official newsletter of the Kingdom of the East. Used by permission.