a nobiliary particle in Poland

Discussion in 'Polski (Polish)' started by Jeki, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. Jeki Senior Member

    This question is maybe more cultural than linguistic one, but I am interested to know if you had in Poland a nobiliary particle in family names like it existed in France (for example, Marie de Rabutin-Chantal).

    I hope my question is clear enough.
    Thanks in advance.
  2. Karton Realista

    Karton Realista Senior Member

    Polish - Poland
    I'd say no.
  3. jasio Senior Member

    Well... yes and no.

    As far as I am aware, "de" actually means the same as "da", "von", "van", or "of" - depending on the language, right? In Polish the respective particle linking the person to his (and perhaps her) original settlement used to be "z" (like "Jan z Czarnolasu", "Zbyszko z Bogdańca"), however as far as I am aware, it has never been considered 'nobiliary', and was used by people from all social groups - if only it was useful. The names in this form disappeared later anyway.

    On the other hand, there was a Polish "nobiliary" equivalent of "de", and it was a suffix "-ski/cki" added to the name of the settlement. So for example "Zbyszko z Bogdańca" could be called "Zbyszko Bogdaniecki" - and this form of the name used to be considered nobiliary, indeed. However as far as I am aware, it has never been the only way to create names of the gentry, and the names in this form seized to be exclusively noble a long time ago. To complete the story, this suffix could be attached to various stems, not only the original inhabitance, but also a profession (Kowalski, Młynarski), some characteristics (Nowacki), father's name (Janowski), etc.

    You may find some more detailed information on Wikipedia: Polish name - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
  4. marco_2 Senior Member

    You can also add that some people, whose ancestors were bearers of a coat of arms, put its name (nomen gentile) before their surnames (cognomen), e.g. Bór-Komorowski, Ostoja-Zagórski, Korwin-Mikke, but there are not particles of course.
  5. jasio Senior Member

    Yes, indeed. Having said that, I would add that not all double-barelled names fall into this category.

    To add to the confusion, many Jewish families living in Russia assumed names with this suffix. Some of them, coming the former Eastern parts of the former Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania were adopted by the Polish gentry to give them some level of protection from Russian administration during and after partitioning of Poland. The others probably followed a fashion. Either way, although successors of Poles living in Russia can still bear such names, this suffix sounds more Jewish than noble there.
  6. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    The only thing that you can say about -ski/-cki endings i that the tendency was that nobles used toponimic adjectival surnames more often than commoners, and that the commoners more often used surnames that originated in nicknames, but that was NEVER a RULE. Consequently claiming that names ending in -ski/-cki mark a noble status or descent is positively FALSE. Such a marker has never existed.

    See the list of Polish noble families: KABAT

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