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Cieslak - Gacek
Created by Administrator Account in 12/22/2009 9:18:31 AM

 


...Please provide any info on the Gacek surname. I understand that the name means "bat" so will the name be interpreted as a bat keeper? Also, do you have any background on the name Cieslak?

None of my sources state definitively what Gacek comes from, but it seems highly likely to derive from the word gacek, meaning "bat" (the animal). It might have originated as a nickname because someone somehow reminded people of a bat, or lived in an area where there were bats, or, as you say, kept bats; at this point it is difficult to analyze backwards and determine precisely how the name arose, but we can reasonably assume it came from the term for bat, and we can make reasonable assumptions on how the name might have gotten started. It is a very common name in Poland, as of 1990 there were 4,749 Polish citizens named Gacek, living all over the country. In fact, I have a letter on my desk right now from a lady in England named Gacek. I'm afraid the name offers no clues that help suggest where a family by that name might have originated.

Cieślak is one of many names deriving from the term cieśla, "carpenter." Most likely this originally started as meaning "carpenter's son." This is an extremely common name in Polish -- as of 1990 there were 26,889 Poles by this name. Since this name could arise anywhere Polish was spoken and carpenters had sons, it is not surprising that the name appears in large numbers all over the country, with no apparent pattern to the distribution.

Copyright © 1998 W.F. Hoffman. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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