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Created by Administrator Account in 12/23/2009 8:48:46 AM




...Could you give me any clue to the origin of my name, Bulkiewicz? Though I speak Polish (and my native language is Ukrainian), I have no idea what it could be, except most trivial speculations around the root "bul" or "bulk"... It seems we originated from Volyn'. May be, some toponym there? I could not find out...


The suffix -iewicz, whether spelled in Polish fashion or in Cyrillic, is used by Polish, Russian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian, and means "son of." So the name means "son of Bulek" or "son of Bulko." This is a name that could be Polish or Ukrainian in origin, but since your family appears to have come from Volyn', we should look mainly for Ukrainian connections, if we wish to understand what that first part Bulk- means.


There are names that Polish experts say derive from Polish bułka, "bread roll" (I'm using ł to stand for the Polish slashed l, which in Russian and Ukr. is usually l without the soft sign, thus not softened or palatalized), and I see that that same term exists in Ukrainian. It is possible that an ancestor was given this as a nickname, perhaps because he loved to eat such rolls, or was very good at making them, or was shaped like one -- after so many centuries, who can say for sure how such nicknames started?


There is another possibility, however. Bulek or Bulko could very easily have started as a nickname or by-name for Boleslav, Polish Bolesław. Polish name experts verify that the short forms "Bolek" and "Bolko" developed from that first name, and that sometimes the o was modified to the sound of u in some areas. So instead of "son of bread roll," Bulkiewicz could very well have started as meaning "son of Bolek/Bolko." Actually, this is the derivation that seems more likely to me. We cannot rule out the chance that this name derived from bułka, but the connection with "Boleslav" seems much more convincing.


There is an organization with a website <> that features much information on Ukrainian history, culture, etc. You might wish to visit it and see if there is any information that will help you -- perhaps you will even find others with this name who can tell you more about it, or can share information with you. You might also wish to write to Laurence Krupnak <>, a gentleman with a great deal of interest in Ukrainian names; tell him you've talked to me, I gave my ideas, and perhaps he'll have something useful to add.


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