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Cziko (surname)

Discussion in 'Magyar (Hungarian)' started by perpend, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. perpend Senior Member

    American English
    I'm a little embarrassed to post this, but here goes nothing.

    A friend of mine is interested in genealogy and is researching the Hungarian name "Cziko".

    Cut to the chase, could that name be from Jewish Hungarians? I know the question is odd, but he doesn't really have any way to research it, and neither of us speak Hungarian, so I promised to post this to maybe get a bit further. :(

    Thanks for tips and/or info about sites to research this.
  2. francisgranada Senior Member

    I've found a New York passenger list with this surname, maybe you could start here ... Many of them have Hungarian given names as István, László, János, Teréz etc ... so these families seem to originate in the Kingdom of Hungary (including today's Slovakia, Transylvania, etc ...).

    However, the proper word cikó (with modern orthography) doesn't mean anything in Hungarian (as far as I know).
  3. NagyKiss Senior Member

    Isn't "cz" from Czech language and it is pronounced as "cs", so then it means csikó = foal?
  4. francisgranada Senior Member

    Everything is possible, of course ... It's true that in the very past cz was occasionally used also in Hungarian to represent cs (probably independently on Czech or Polish) but I personally don't know any surname of Hungarian origin where cz has to be pronounced cs (like ch in Czech). So the "csikó version" seems to me improbable (though not impossible).
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
  5. NagyKiss Senior Member

    I like sports and I see a lot of Hungarian athletes with "cz" in their surnames, and since I'm only learning Hungarian, I actually thought "cz" in Hungarian is also pronounced "cs".
  6. francisgranada Senior Member

    "Cz" was generally used in a certain period of the history (instead of a simple "c") probably to distinguish it's pronounciation from "c" in Latin words (pronounced [k]). As many family names maintain the old orthography, we have surnames like Czeglédy, Czető, Cziráky, Rákóczi, Czinege ... (in all these examples the pronounciation is [ts] or Russian "ц" ).

    I do not a priori exclude surnames where there is cz instead of the today's cs, so if you have some surname to discuss, let us know about it :) ....
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
  7. perpend Senior Member

    American English
    Thanks, everyone. I am very thankful for all of the contributions. I've been to all three: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.

    Most of my time was spent in Hungary. I understand that Hungarian is a completely different (non-Slavic) language, thus my query, and ... to be honest, I'm still wondering if it could have been a Jewish name. That's the nature of my friend's question.

    But, regardless, this will help him.

    I do always forget that names and boundaries have changes a lot, over the centuries, so my query may be too off-base.
  8. gorilla Junior Member

    Hungarian - Hungary
    There is a village called "Cikó", which was historically populated by Germans (there were lot of Germans in Hungary in earlier centuries). Maybe the name is related to it. In that case it could indicate that they descend from the German community in Hungary (Donauschwaben).
    Why does he think that it's from Jewish origin?
    Jews usually have German surnames (those who didn't change it later) because Joseph II ordered in 1787 that all Jews must have German surnames in the Habsburg Monarchy.
    It is generally not easy for non-experts to say whether a name is German because they are Donauschwaben or Jewish because they had to choose German names. But if the name comes from the historically German populated village of Cikó, then I think it is more probable that they were Germans in Hungary and not Jews. Not sure though.
  9. perpend Senior Member

    American English
    I apologize. I should have talked about that in my original post.

    The person with this name left Hungary right around
    the time when Jews were leaving Europe to escape persecution.

    Your info is extremely helpful, gorilla. I appreciate it!
  10. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungarian - Hungary
    I think both Cikó and Csikó are possible (even if I don't remember having heard any of them as family names) but if it is the first, I don't think the person had to be of German origin (Swabian?) just because the settlement was populated by them.
    A lot of people have (some by personal choice) Hungarian village/town (or other geographical) family names (even today) without actually coming from the place themselves.
    And if the name was chosen, it is likely that a Jewish person chose it because they had to "change identity" by force of history (and people - especially at the time perpend refers to) - although it largely depended on what era we are considering.
    People changed their names also when they got higher up in society (Hungarian description here) or when it became a patriotic act to have a Hungarian sounding name (by the end of the 19th C).
    So there were different trends at different times.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
  11. OEDS-KZ Junior Member

    Russian - Northern Kazakhstan
    Igazad van. Például a beregszászi barátnőmben van a vezetéknév Koshynska (magyarul Kosinczky). Cz itt is hangzik, hogy a vezetéknévben Rákóczi (Rákóczy).
  12. francisgranada Senior Member

    1. The purpose of the law (order/patent) of Joseph II was first of all to "germanize" the surnames of Hebraic origin, so I suppose Jewish people with non-Hebraic surnames were not forced to change their names.

    2. The Jewish surnames of German, Hungarian etc... origin are rarely (or not at all) exclusively surnames of Jewish people. So not all the Schwarz, Blau, Grün (German surnames) ... Rákosi, Fekete, Kún (Hung. surnames) ... are necessarily Jews. However, there are also "typical" Jewish surnames, as Rotschild, Rosenblüt, Pollack, Kabos, Komlós, Vértes, etc...

    3. Some Jewish (not only, of course) surnames derive from city/town/village names directly or as adjectives (e.g. Bologna, Bolognese).

    4. However, whether a surname belongs to a Jewish family or not, other informations have to be taken in consideration, as well. For example, in the New York passenger list (post #2) we find also given names ("christian names") like Eize, Elise, Benjamin ... that could suggest the Jewish origin of the mentioned people.

    So my personal opinion (I'm not an expert in surnames) is that Czikó could be also a Jewish-Hungarian surname.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
  13. Akitlosz Senior Member

    No. Cz is pronounced c. Cz is the old writing form of the c. The old Hungarian writing form of the cs is ts.

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