Created by Administrator Account in 1/1/2010 7:09:36 AM


… I just came across your web page on Polish Surnames. Thought I would toss my father's name your way to see what you might know or have it in your notes. The closest surname on your list was Kochowski; was wondering if ours had a different origin. Seems to me that I once heard that the original spelling had a "mark" (needless to say I don't know any Polish to speak of) under the "n" but I'm not really sure. I do know that my father never knew where his father came from (Russia he thought), nor whether he had any aunts or uncles.

The Polish form of the name would be Kochański; the name is pronounced something like "ko-HINE-skee." It comes from a Polish word kochany, meaning "beloved." I believe the name Kochan was used in ancient times, kind of a way of saying a child was especially dear to this parents and others, and the surname would derive from that name or some similar usage. For instance, it might refer to a person who came from a place with a similar name, although offhand I can't find any place with a name likely to produce Kochański (there are a number of places that could produce the similar name Kochanowski, but less likely to produce Kochański). About the most we can say is that it means "of, from, pertaining to the beloved one," perhaps with Kochan used as a first name, thus "kin of Kochan," or even "one from the place of Kochan."

It's a pretty common name in Poland; as of 1990 there were 5,266 Poles by this name, living all over the country, so we can't really pin one area down and say "That's where they came from." I'm afraid that's true of most Polish surnames, I'd estimate only 5% or so offer any kind of helpful lead as to where a family by that name originated. Since Russia at one time ruled most of central and eastern Poland, the "Russia" clue isn't a whole lot of help either. About the most I can say is that this probably is a Polish name rather than Russian, because Russian doesn't use the root koch- to mean "love, dear," that's more a Polish usage.

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