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.
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.
This paper discusses selected types of native, appellative-form surnames of the inhabitants of 19th-century Cieszyn Silesia and its surrounding areas. Such appellative-form surnames (without derivative indicators) reflect the regional culture and values characteristic to, and cultivated by, the inhabitants of the region. An overview of them confirms that Cieszyn Silesia, as an ethnic-cultural borderland, stands out with its sub-regional distinctness in onymic stock. The described surnames not only reflect the values acknowledged by the inhabitants of 19th-century Cieszyn Silesia, showing the immanence of this set in the regional context, but they also depict the material and spiritual culture of the inhabitants of this region. The researcher used the semantic field method to analyse the anthroponymic material, and the sociolinguistic aspect of naming was considered when describing the collected set of appellative-based surnames, with references made to statistical research.
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.