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Możdżeń
Created by Administrator Account in 12/23/2009 1:16:19 PM

 


... Once again I write to you with a request, the surname I am searching is Mozdzien. I do not know if this is the correct spelling, but I hope you can help me.

Fortunately, this spelling is recognizable. In Polish this name is most often spelled Możdżeń with dots over both Z's and an accent over the N, pronounced roughly "MOZH-jane." But the sounds represented by the dotted Z and by ZI, while distinguishable to the Polish ear, are very similar and therefore easily confused. So it's not at all odd to find this name sometimes spelled Możdzień, because both spellings would be pronounced almost exactly the same. Thus Możdzień is a perfectly plausible variant spelling of Możdzień. This also suggests that in your research you should keep an eye open for Możdzień, as the name may often appear in that form.

This surname is thought to come from the możdżeń, a term for a kind of drill or a wooden tenon. Perhaps it began as a nickname for one who used such a tool, or one whose shape somehow reminded others of a drill(?). It's hard to say how nicknames get started -- sometimes they make no sense at all unless you were there when they originated, and then they make perfect sense. But it's pretty clear the name comes from that noun, so there must have been some association people noted between a person or family and this type of drill that made the name seem appropriate.

As of 1990, according to the best data available (the Slownik nazwisk wspolczesnie w Polsce uzywanych, "Directory of Surnames in Current Use in Poland," which covers about 94% of the population of Poland), there were 20 Polish citizens named Możdzień. They lived in the following provinces: Biala Podlaska 6, Czestochowa 1, Koszalin 1, Łomża 3, Opole 2, Płock 4, Poznan 2, and Radom 1. Unfortunately I don't have access to further details such as first names or addresses, so I can't tell you how to find that info.

Możdżeń is more common -- 1,758 Polish citizens spelled the name that way as of 1990. This form was found all over Poland, with no really significant concentration in any one area, although the name is somewhat more common in the south than in the north.

Copyright © 2000, 2001 W.F. Hoffman. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

 

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