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Gadek

Discussion in 'Polski (Polish)' started by gadabout, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. gadabout New Member

    American English
    Hello!

    I was wondering if there are any native Polish speakers out here who could settle an old family debate. My family name is "Gadek," which is a really unusual last name here in the US. My dad/aunts/uncles always translate it as "little snake" or "little prince" but they're third generation so none of them actually speaks Polish. A Polish curator at the Polish-American Museum in Chicago once told me it meant "gossip." Is any of the above true, or is it simply a family name? Thanks for any help!
     
  2. ChipMacShmon

    ChipMacShmon Senior Member

    j. polski
    My first guess was that it could mean: a little reptile (gad = reptile).
    It is similar to "gadka" = little talk --> but I don't think that it's the right track.

    On the other hand there is a surname: Gądek --> more popular in Poland (you can check it here and here). As explained on this site in the past it could mean more or less: musician, a person who plays musical instruments --> not necessarily for money.
     
  3. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    Gadek is an affectionate diminutive of 'gad' - 'a reptile'. Snakes do qualify as reptiles, so it makes some sense to translate it as 'a little snake', but not so much as 'a little prince'. I don't know why the curator you mention suggested that it be translated as 'gossip', because 'gadek' means no such thing.

    This site says that there are 181 people in Poland bearing the surname 'gadek'.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
  4. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Lithuanian
    I would be inclined to agree with Chip. It probably comes from the name suggested by him. I doubt anyone would really have a name -- Reptile, in Polish especially.
     
  5. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    I don't know about names, but there are 1414 people in Poland who bear the surname 'gad' - 'a reptile'.
     
  6. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    I have never heard the diminutive „gadek”. I think that this is an unlikely explanation.
     
  7. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    Then offer a better one.
     
  8. BezierCurve Senior Member

    Może gadzik?

    EDIT: Właśnie przyszło mi do głowy, że w grę może też wchodzić jakaś forma od "gadzia" (nie-Roma).
     
  9. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    See the second part of #2.
     
  10. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    This doesn't ring true to me. Gadek and Gądek are two distinct surnames, if that's what you're referring to.
     
  11. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    You forget that the family lives in the US, and the diacritics have been lost a long time ago.
     
  12. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    Yes, that's true, but 'Gadek' can very well be just 'Gadek', no lost diacritics.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
  13. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    An expected form of a diminutive of "Gad" should be "gadzik", not "gadek". The origin of this name may be very obscure. By the way, there are about 4500 persons named Gądek in Poland, but only 180 Gadeks.
    The diacritics could also be lost by the German speaking administration of the Prussian or Austrian partition.
     
  14. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    What makes you think that the only correct diminutive of 'gad' is 'gadzik', not 'gadek'? I could easily use both, and the latter sounds far better to my ears. To the best of my knowledge, there arent't any rigid rules governing the formation of diminutive forms in Polish.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
  15. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    I didn't write about "only correct diminutive" but about "expected" form. Please, don't distort my texts.
    Some endings fit better to some words, and other endings to other words. We speak today about "gadzina", and not "*gadyna". Not all endings fit all words, you don't have a free choice.
     
  16. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Lithuanian
    Yes, I agree with you. It would be definitely "gadzik".
     
  17. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    How do we go about deciding what's an expected form, then? To me, an expected diminutive form of 'gad' is 'gadek'. I can easily imagine a person saying affectionately 'Ty mój gadku mały'. I wish I could say the same about 'Ty mój gadziku mały', but I can't. This sounds off to me.
     
  18. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    'gądek' muzyk (wg Lindego)
    Jest to ta sama rodzina, co 'gędźba' (muzyka) i 'gędzić' (grać na instrumencie).
     
  19. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    It means that you have lost the contact with the roots of the word. Do you associate gadzina with gad?
     
  20. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    That's a good point. I take back what I said.
     
  21. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    I highly appreciate this.
     

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