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Created by Administrator Account in 12/25/2009 9:30:52 AM


... Hello fellow Genpoler, I hope that this is not to much of an imposition, but could you inform me if the names Nieurzyla or Nieuzyla are in your book. This is not possible to check out in the United Kingdom. If they are in then I will purchase the book via the internet.

I'm glad you asked -- these names are not in my book, and it would have been a shame if you'd gone to the trouble to order it only to come up empty!

The reason these names are not in the book is that I have never come across them before. Looking in the Directory of Surnames In Current Use in Poland, I see that Nieurzyła (the Ł is pronounced like English W) was a name borne by only 4 Poles as of 1990--3 in Bielsko-Biala province, 1 in Katowice province. Nieuzyła was borne by 5 Poles, one in Gdansk province, 2 in Katowice prov., 2 in Opole prov. The real jackpot is the spelling Nieużyła (the Z with a dot over it is pronounced like 'zh' in 'Zhivago)-- there were 347 Poles by that name, in the following provinces: Gdansk 1, Katowice 238 (!), Lodz 1, Nowy Sacz 2, Opole 94, Płock 1, Poznan 1, Torun 2, Walbrzuch 1, Wroclaw 6. From an onomastic point of view all these names are variants of the same name, spelled slightly differently due to error, dialect differences, different pronunciations, etc.; but as often happens, one particular spelling is by far the most popular, and in this instance that spelling is Nieużyła.

The Directory does not have further data such as first names or addresses, and I know of no way to get hold of such data, except perhaps by consulting Polish telephone books; the latter is a long shot, as phones in private homes are not so common in Poland as in the U.S. and the U.K. But a look at the directory for Katowice province, and perhaps also Opole province, would presumably yield addresses of at least a few Poles by this name.

Without further data it's tricky trying to analyze the derivation of this name. It appears to come from nie-, "not," + a form of użyć, to use; Nieużyła would seem to mean something like "not used" or "useless." None of my sources mention it, however, so I want to make it clear that I am only making an educated guess.

There is a soure that might be able to give you a firmer derivation: the Anthroponymic Workshop of the Polish Language Institute.

I'm sorry I could not help you directly, but I hope this information may prove useful to you. I wish you the best of luck with your research!

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


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