The authors discuss the main premises of the project “The most popular surnames in Poland — past and present. E-dictionary” which has been in development since July 2014 in IJP PAN in Krakow. They also present its basic aims and functions, progress already made and they compare it with other dictionaries of surnames. The authors describe several aspects of the dictionary related to IT and computers but also those concerned with onomastics and lexicography. Additionally, they pay particular attention to the information contained in specific parts of each entry.
The article presents the most frequent surname in Lithuania — Kazlauskas. Referring to the article “Mysterious Lewandowski” by K. Skowronek (2000), an attempt has been made to account for this frequency in three various ways. First, the principles behind the quantitative structure of anthroponomasticons (Zipf’s law) and the loss of surnames (genetic drift) are discussed. Then the Slavic origin of the surname under consideration has been highlighted as a typical trait of the majority of surnames in Lithuania. In connection with this fact, it has been stressed that caution must be exercised in proposing a thesis on its origin as a translation from Lithuanian on a mass scale, since this thesis requires plentiful empirical evidence. Finally, the etymology of the name is analyzed. Morphologically it is a typical surname derived from a toponym. This supposition is additionally supported by the existence in Poland of numerous localities called Kozłów, Kozłowo or similar name; these in turn are most likely to have been derived from appellative-based personal names of their owners or inhabitants, such as Kozieł.
The paper presents the long-term project “Online Dictionary of Surnames in Germany” (“Digitales Familiennamenwörterbuch, DFD”), its conception, main objectives, and its technical realisation. By means of representative examples, the paper depicts how the project works along the categories of conflation, validation, specification or revision of etymologies so far proposed in standard references and the development of new ones. Exploiting new digital resources — especially with the help of new findings in surname geography, the surname stock can be captured and analysed all-encompassing and systematically. Surnames of foreign origin like English, French, Italian, Slavic, Baltic or Turkish are also considered. The importance of Slavic roots in German surnames is exemplified by the name Novak (‛new settler’) which ranks position 156 in the total frequency of German surnames. The article’s outlook discusses the importance and possibilities for future cooperation with surname projects in other countries like Poland, with a long-term perspective for a European network of surname dictionaries.
This paper is devoted to the surname changes performed through administrative channels in the interwar period. The research is based on the announcements of the “Official Gazette of the Republic of Poland” in 1929. The author describes main reasons for the decisions of surname changes taking into account characteristics of avoided surnames and chosen demographic tendencies, especially those connected with the age and profession of applicants. People of Jewish origin, Poles and representatives of other nationalities showed different motives for surname changes. Jews most frequently changed their surnames due to legal reasons — they wanted to legalize the unlawful use of a surname of the so-called ritual father. The changes carried out under the motive of assimilation occurred definitely less often. Non-Jewish applicants changed mainly appellative names, especially those derived from words related to animals. After comparing tendencies occurring before and after World War II one concludes that besides legal and assimilation factors which are particular to the pre-war decades (connected with the ethnic, legal and religious situation of the time), the remaining reasons for the surname changes are universal and do not distinguish the pre-war period from that of the post-war.
The subjects of my examination are samples of Silesian surnames derived from the dialectal words determining objects of an animate and inanimate nature. The names of animals were more often used as a base to create the surnames derived from nicknames (derived from appellatives). They were more expressive due to their metaphoric meaning reflecting specific features of people and their evaluations. The signification of botanic (inanimate) nouns used within names was less transparent, however they are thought to refer to an anthropomorphic view of plant behaviour, e.g. dialectal woska/osika [aspen] — trembling. The belief that specific phenomena in nature have supernatural, magic or demonic powers, as well as other difficult to grasp factors, played a very important role in the creation of nicknames and later surnames for the Silesian population. The dialectal “nature” appellatives, which were the source for surnames derived from nicknames, also show that the same dialectal lexeme can have a different meaning in different Polish regions. On the other hand, dialectal lexemes which sound identical in specific Polish regions but differ semantically determine the cultural identity of the micro-speaking country. The same phenomenon can be observed within surnames.
This article deals with a group of Polish surnames motivated by lexis from the field of salt mining. The analysed surnames are excerpted from “Słownik nazwisk współcześnie w Polsce używanych”, edited by Kazimierz Rymut, as well as from other onomastic compilations. These anthroponyms vary in terms of their origins and linguistic construction. We can distinguish from among these anthroponyms: 1) surnames motivated by impersonal nouns: solanka, solnica, sól, tołpa, żupa; 2) surnames motivated by adjectives: słony, solny; 3) surnames motivated by personal nouns: prasoł, solarz, solnik, warzyc, warzysz, żupnik. The description of particular ‛salt’ surnames, apart from their frequency, includes their geographical distribution, which only in some cases is connected with the location of old salt mines, found mainly in the Lesser Poland (Małopolska).
The topic of the article is a description of European urbonyms which fulfilled both political and commemorative roles in the past. The city names are presented in chronological order starting from ancient times to the 20th century. The ancient toponyms are related to the expansion of the Roman Empire, and the names of Roman emperors are used as a foundation for these toponyms. Such urbonyms created on the outskirts of the Roman Empire made reference to their new political allegiance and confirmed it. These naming practices therefore played an important role in the process of territorial expansion and the consolidation of political control. This naming model was also present in Byzantium, and became popular on the outskirts of medieval Ruthenia under the influence of the Byzantine Empire. The tradition of commemorating political rulers through toponyms stayed constant in the Eastern Slavic regions, and was continued by the Russian monarchy as well as the USSR. Such naming practices were initially used as a tool for the structural organisation of Kievan Rus’, and later to erase foreign names from these regions of Tsarist Russia. In Communist times, this tradition reaffirmed the new political reality through the use of surnames of political figures in toponyms. In the 20th century there was an increase in surnames featured in urbanonyms (the names of streets, squares, housing estates). This increase was meant to preserve the memory of remarkable individuals in society.
This investigation focuses on the modern Ukrainian surnames derived from a person’s appearance. The author analyzed different approaches to the systematization of such surnames that were applied in onomastic research, finding some differences in these classifications. For example, there is some controversy as to the scope (content) of this group. For example, some investigators do not include surnames derived from proper names of persons on the basis of their strength, health, clothing and so on as a part of this group surnames. On the other hand, some other researchers believe that it is necessary. Doubts have also been expressed as to the appropriacy of including some surnames which are derived from the names that described the gait of the person or their gender. Developing our approach to the classification of surnames derived from the proper names of persons on the basis of appearance, the author used the achievements of gabitology that uses characteristics of human appearance for the identification of the person. Fixed surnames were distributed according to the semantics of lexemes in the following subgroups: general physical (they can characterize the appearance of the person in general), anatomical (they can characterize body type, organs of the human body) and functional (characteristics of human appearance that are seen in motion). Surnames were also differentiated within each subgroup. For example, the author identified the surnames derived from the proper names whose meaning are connected with the features of human growth, body type (skinny build, slim build, chunky, fat), unusual shape, size, and color of organs of the human body. The important thing to note is that the namegivers focused on those characteristics of human appearance that were original, relatively constant, and helped to identify a person.