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Górski - Gurski
Created by Administrator Account in 2/8/2010 9:40:47 AM

 


I have been told many things over my life about my heritage, it just seems that I can't tell what is true. My surname is Gorski, and yes I state it with pride. I am wondering if you can tell me what it means, and approximately how old it is.

In Polish the name Gorski is spelled with an accent over the O, Górski, pronounced roughly "GOOR-skee" -- the accent over the O causes it to be pronounced like Polish U, and that's why you also see it spelled Gurski sometimes, but Górski is the standard spelling. As of 1990 there were 41,790 Polish citizens by this name. They lived all over Poland, with no significant concentration in any one area; a Górski family could come from practically anywhere.

Polish name expert Prof. Kazimierz Rymut mentions this name in his book Nazwiska Polakow [The Surnames of Poles]. He says it appears in records as early as 1386. The root of the name is góra, "mountain, hill." So górski is just an adjectival form meaning "of, from, pertaining to, connected with the mountain or hill." Sometimes the name just means "hill-guy, the guy who lives on the hill," and sometimes it refers to any of the jillion villages with names formed from that root góra, thus "one from Góra, Góry, Górka, Górsko, etc." Or in other words, this name developed among Poles much the same way the surname Hill developed among English-speakers.

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

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