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Chmiel
Created by Administrator Account in 1/1/2010 6:25:01 AM

 


Hello, my name is Carly and I was wondering if you had any information on the name of Chmiel or Chmill. I would really appreciate.

In Polish this name is usually spelled Chmiel, pronounced roughly "h'm'yell." The first sound isn't quite like English H, it's more like the guttural "ch" in German "Bach." But if you can manage to make an h- sound followed by an -m- sound followed by "yell," you'll be very close. Chmill doesn't look Polish, and I'd have to guess it's a misreading or misspelling of the original name.

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 13,030 Polish citizens named Chmiel. They lived all over the country, with no particular concentration in any one area.

Polish name expert Prof. Kazimierz Rymut mentions this name in his book Nazwiska Polakow [The Surnames of Poles]. He says it appeared in records as early as 1369, and it comes from the noun chmiel, "hops." So it simply began as a name for an ancestor whom people associated with hops. Perhaps he grew them, or sold them, or lived in an area where they grew in profusion -- or he may have been a maltster. All the name tells us is that there was something about him that made "Hops" seem like an appropriate name, and it stuck, being applied to his descendants.

Copyright © 2002 W.F. Hoffman. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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