In the article the author discusses the practice associated with name-giving among the residents of Łódź (only Catholics of Polish origin) during the period from the beginning of the seventeenth century to the first half of the nineteenth century. The material was collected from official documents. Habits associated with the first names were treated as a kind of linguistic behaviour that implements a specific communication need of the given community. Observations of these habits show that they oscillate — like any linguistic behaviour — between automatism (and convention) and spontaneity. Conventional measures that should be considered: the use of a limited collection of names that indicate a high degree of stability in subsequent periods and against the background of habits of name-giving in the region and other territories of the former Poland (especially the most popular names of women, e.g. Marianna, Katarzyna, Agnieszka and names of men, e.g. Józef, Jan, Franciszek) and inheritance of names. In contrast, a large number of rare names (names of women, e.g. Idalia, Jokasta, Kasylda, and of men, e.g. Bonawentura, Wit, Witalis) and a visible preference in some families for the usage of rare names, e.g. Damazy, Feliks, Lubomira (including Slavic first names, e.g. Bolesław, Władysław, Bronisław) were included as spontaneous factors. Analysis of the material reveals a tendency to differentiate names depending on the social status of the inhabitants (the representatives of the noble families often used rare names). The author also draws attention to the problem of the diversity of names in Łódź (both in the context of different collections of names and different practices) depending on parameters such as the religion (Catholics, Protestants, Jews) and nationality (Poles, Germans, Czechs) of residents of the city.
The following article is devoted to the process of adapting loanwords into the Russian language in the first half of 17th century. The material which was subject to analysis was extracted from the first, handwritten editions of Russian opinion journalism, written from 1600 to 1650. The purpose of the article is to present the process of absorbing loanwords on the phonetic and morphological level, and to record changes in word genders and resonance variants in the words internalized into Russian either originating directly from another language or passed on through one from other languages
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.
Marta Hirschprung (born in Cracow in 1903, died 1942?) was a journalist, translator, editor of the children’s magazine Okienko na Świat (A Little Window on the World) and author of countless articles for the press. This article is an attempt at finding out the forgotten facts from her life and reconstructing her biography. While analyzing her contributions to the Gazeta Żydowska (The Jewish Newspaper) in 1940–1942, special attention is paid to her editorial work on its children’s supplements Nasza Gazetka/Gazetka dla Dzieci i Młodzieży (Our Little Paper/The Little Paper for Children and the Young People, 1940–1941).
This article contains a bilingual, Latin-Polish, edition of a letter written by Erasmus to John Sixtin (Ioannes Sixtinus), a Frisian student he met in England. In it Erasmus describes a dinner party at Oxford to which he was invited as an acclaimed poet. In the presence of John Colet, leader of English humanists, table talk turned into learned conversation. Erasmus’s contribution to the debate was an improvised fable (fabula) about Cain who, in order to become farmer, persuades the angel guarding Paradise to bring him some seeds from the Garden of Eden. His speech, a showpiece of rhetorical artfulness disguising a string of lies and spurious argument, is so effective that the angel decides to steal the seeds and thus betray God’s trust. Seen in the context of contemporary surge of interest in the art of rhetoric, Erasmus’ apocryphal spoof is an eloquent demonstration of the heuristic value of mythopoeia and the irresistible power of rhetoric.