ArcticPaul Threads: 40 / Posts: 241
Joined: Apr 7, 2008
Apr 15, 2008, 07:41am #1
Polish Surnames: Do they all mean something?
I met someone called Gruszka (sp?) and, in my dictionary's definition, it meant 'Peartree'.
Also Wałęsa (possibly the worlds most famous Polish surname) means 'wanderer' or something similar....I don't have it with me as I write this.
British surnames usually stem from a persons occupation or place of origin.
Example. Spittle (my surname) has a dictionary definition of 'Saliva' (I know! Lovely name!) But the origin is Spittler. Or a type of Inn keeper a few centuries ago.
Hospitality is a derivative.
My surname is most often seen spelt 'Spittal'. It's exactly the same root but English spelling was only standardised around 120 years ago. It's just luck that I was in a part of the family that chose the same spelling as the bodily fluid.
It's even worse when one considers my initial is 'P'.
Often a persons surname will be a place. John Wakefield, James Newcastle, Jennifer York....
Do Polish surnames follow a similar history?