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Created by Administrator Account in 12/24/2009 4:18:28 AM


From reading Hoffman's Polish Surnames, I thought Lepucka would indicate a woman married to a man named Lepucki. My grandmother's father was named Lepucki and I believe that she was unmarried when she came into the US. How about something like Lepuckowna?

As a rule we would expect the feminine form of Lepucki to be Lepucka (pronounced roughly "lay-POOT-ska"). LEPUCKOWNA would be an unusual form, because normally that suffix -owna is added only to names derived from nouns; it's used for unmarried females, so that we would expect Lepuckowna to mean "Miss Lepuck." In most cases names ending with -ski or -cki or -zka -- in other words, adjectival surnames -- don't have a separate form for unmarried females: Lepucka could be "Mrs. Lepucki" or "Miss Lepucki."

But there are always exceptions, and we often see in the records regional dialect tendencies. In other words, we usually talk about what is done in mainstream, standard Polish. But in specific regions they often have their own little tendencies, using endings or forms in a way that differs from standard Polish. You can't really say they're "wrong," but they are non-standard and found only in isolated instances. But I have seen many times that an unmarried Kowalska -- which is the only form you'd expect to see in standard Polish -- may be recorded as Kowalszczanka. Normally that -anka ending is added only to noun-derived surnames. If -anka can be added to adjectival surnames, why not -owna as well?

So with LEPUCKOWNA we have two basic possibilities. 1) The name was originally LEPUK or LEPUCK, which is noun-derived, and in that case LEPUCKOWNA would be a normal form indicating an unmarried woman with the maiden name Lepuk or Lepuck. 2) The name was originally LEPUCKI, and the feminine form would normally be LEPUCKA, whether married or not; but in some areas they may have gone ahead and added -owna to form Lepuckowna as a way of referring to an unmarried Lepucka.

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 127 Polish citizens named LEPUCKI, and none named LEPUK or LEPUCK. The largest numbers of Lepuckis lived in the following provinces: Kielce 15, Krosno 41, and Legnica 20; the rest were scattered in tiny numbers all over Poland. 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.

On the basis of this data, it seems likely the original name was Lepucki, and Lepuckowna would be an unusual form meaning "Miss Lepucka." We wouldn't see Lepuckowna in standard Polish, but in dialect it is plausible, since we know other endings meaning "Miss" normally added to noun-derived surnames sometimes are added to adjectival names as well.

I can't say more without a lot of detailed info on the forms of the names as they appear in the records, and on the specific region of Poland where this data is found. But based on general principles, that's what I'd conclude -- Lepuckowna is not a standard way of saying "Miss Lepucki," but it is a form one may see in some instances. If so, it's just a regional variation from the norm.

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



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