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Chrobak - Robak
Created by Administrator Account in 12/23/2009 8:51:10 AM

 


 

 

...I am requesting information on the surname of Chrobak. This is my husbands grandmothers maiden name. She is deceased and no one in the family knows what it means or where she came from. Any light on the matter would be greatly appreciated...

 

According to Polish surname expert Kazimierz Rymut, the name Chrobak is the same as the name Robak -- sometimes the ch was added, sometimes it wasn't. I'm afraid it's not a particularly flattering name, the root is the word robak, which means "small worm or insect." However, I don't think this was meant in a cruel way; we often see Poles and other Slavs use some rather imaginative terms as endearments, and although "little worm" doesn't sound flattering in English, I have seen similar usages in German ("liebes Wuermchen") and Polish that were clearly meant affectionately. I really think that's how we should regard this.

 

This is a common name in Poland, as of 1990 there were 4,110 Polish citizens named Chrobak (and another 6,788 named Robak). I'm afraid there is no pattern to its distribution that will help you much: Chrobaks live all over Poland, with the largest numbers in the provinces of Bielsko-Biala (629), Katowice (359), Nowy Sacz and (418). These provinces are in southcentral Poland, so there is at least some concentration in that region; but in terms of area that is still the equivalent of several counties in the U. S.

 

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

 

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