Created by Administrator Account in 2/8/2010 10:08:34 AM


Do you have any idea what the name Kasprzycki means, if there is a meaning.

It's pronounced roughly "kosp-ZHIT-skee" (with the -a- in the first syllable sounding halfway between a short o and "ah"). It means more or less "son of little Casper" or "kin of Casper's son." In Polish Casper is either Kacper or Kasper. Add the diminutive suffix -yk to Kasper and it becomes Kasprzyk, "little Casper, son of Casper." Kasprzycki is literally an adjective meaning "of Kasprzyk," but in practical terms the name would usually mean what I indicated above.

Scholars are not positive what that name Kasper comes from, but they think it might be from Persian kansbar, "treasurer, keeper of the treasure." This name caught on among Christians because medieval tradition said it was the name of one of the three Wise Men or Magi who visited the infant Jesus, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (the other two were Melchior and Balthazar).

Kasprzycki could also conceivably mean "one from Kasprzyce" or some such place name, which in turn would have meant "[place] of Casper's son." But offhand I couldn't find any place with a name that fits, so I'm inclined to think it began as a reference to a person rather than a place. I should say, however, that there are many surnames derived from names of places that are too small to show up on most maps, or that have disappeared or been renamed. But even if the name does refer to a place called Kasprzyce or something similar, that name in turn started as a reference to a Casper or son of Casper who owned or founded the place at some point centuries ago. So one way or another, it all comes back to Casper.

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 2,949 Polish citizens by this name. They lived all over the country, with no particular concentration in any one area.

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