Anyone know the possible origin of the last name Romuzga? I am Polish, but I cannot find this name's connection to anything. I am thinking maybe related to Rome or the Roma in some way?
In the wake of messages of 2,829-2,832 of this thread, I submit here two alternative explanations of the origin of surname ROMUZGA:1. Misspelled ROMUNGRO, ROMUNGRI, ROMUNGRA names
ROM-UNGRO => ROM-UZGA
ROMUNGRO comes from the combination of the words ROM (a Gypsy man) + UNGRO (Hungarian), meaning: a Hungarian Gypsy.
Some 80% of the Roma in Hungary are Romungro. These are Hungarian Gypsies living in Hungary for over 650 years. The Romungo are monolingual and speak Hungarian since speaking of Romani was banned under Empress Maria Theresa. The Olah Roma, some of whom still speak the Romani language, only came to Hungary during the 19th century, following their release from some 500 years of slavery in Romania and where they had maintained the Romani language.
As a result of the Trianon Agreement, which split Hungary up in 1920, a large number of Roma in Slovakia and Romania are Romungro and still speak Hungarian and many have learned Romani in their dealings with other Roma there.
See also Name of Hungary
Romungro are also known as Carpathian Gypsies; Wyżynni Cyganie in Polish (Highland Gypsies), or Bergitka Gypsies. Of the four groups of Gypsies in Poland they are the only ones that settled down long ago and are partially assimilated. They are Roman Catholics. The other three groups of Roma in Poland, that used to travel until recent years, are:
- Polish Roma, Polish Lowland Gypsies, which migrated from Germany and Russia at the earliest time. The are Roman Catholics.
- Kelderash, Polish Kełderasze, Kałderasze, Romanian Kalderaša - Coppersmiths, Tinkers, came from Valachia and Moldova in 19th c. Orthodox Church.
- Lovari, Polish Lowarzy - Horse Handlers, came from Transylvania in 19th c. Orthodox Church.
The largest ROMUZGA name distribution in Poland is in Nowy Sącz County and Brzesko County - spilling into the surrounding counties: Nowy Targ, Zakopane, Tarnów and Bochnia. This roughly covers the Dunajec and Poprad river valleys, and this is where the Carpathian Gypsies originally settled down and are still present today. http://www.moikrewni.pl/mapa/kompletny/romuzga.html
Their largest concentration, numbering a few dozen families, are in Czarny Dunajec, Szaflary, Czarna Góra, Maszkowice, Szczawnica, Krośnica, Łososina Górna, Nowy Sącz. [Quite a few of Polish Roma were also resettled to Limanowa County, just NW of Nowy Sącz.]
However, it appears - by examination of some school records and other sources - that the ROMUZGA surnames are mostly concentrated in other villages and towns of this region: Łososina Dolna, Tropie, Brzesko and Nowy Sącz - so there is no direct connection between this surname and the biggest concentrations of Carpathian Gypsies in this area.2. Alternative:
This name could possibly come to Poland with Sephardic migrations from Spain
via Thessaloniki, Belgrad (17th century), Budapest (17th-18th century) to Cracow (18th and later) or via Italy to Cracow (16th -18th century). The ethnic origin of the people bearing this surname could be of Sephardic Jews or Gypsies.
This surname could be derived from the ancient Spanish verb REMUZGAR, not used in modern Spanish but appearing in old literature. It means:
+ rezongar => to grumble, growl, gripe
+ gruñir => to growl, grunt, snarl, oink
+ refunfuñar => to grumble, grouch
+ ejecutar de mala gana un mandado => to run an errand reluctantly
From this verb a male noun UN REMUZGO can be formed, according to standard Spanish grammar rules.
+ un rezongo => a grumbler, a reprimand
+ un refunfuño => a muble, a grumble
+ un gruño => a grunt. It is also a vulgar way of saying "Sweet fu.k all". (Gruño! - which also means "I grunt!" - is a favourite word of anglers when asked if they have caught anything!)
The first name REMUZGO is quite popular in Spain and in Americas. The surname REMUZGO is less popular: According to Spanish equivalent of database "Moi Krewni" (Mi parentela): In Spain there are 33 phone book entries with the surname Remuzgo and about 36 people with this name. It appears most often in these provinces: Sevilla (20) (in Andalucia), Cantabria (7), Madrid (6). http://www.miparentela.com/mapas/detalles/remuzgo.html
But then most Spaniards use two last names, and what appears to most of us as a second given name, is in fact the first surname - inherited from father (The last one is taken from mother's side).
[There are also one or two ROMUZGA surnames in Spain, as well as in France, but they appear coming from the post WWII migration.]
I have no rational explanation for REM => ROM transformation of the part of the surname. But it would seem quite obvious for anyone with Gypsy roots to do so. In the ROMANI language, ROM is a masculine noun, meaning "man, husband", with the plural ROMÁ. ROMANI is the feminine adjective, while ROMANO is the masculine adjective.
It is worth adding that the same areas of Carpathian Foothills are connected with the strong settlements of Sephardic Jews: Nowy Sącz, Brzesko, Tarnów, etc.