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Kaszubik - Kaszubowski
Created by Administrator Account in 10/18/2009 8:08:56 AM


I think I have learned enough about Slavic linguistics and onomastics to say this much, however. I don't think it's exactly right to call -ik the Czech counterpart of Polish -ek. I think it's closer to the truth to say both -ik and -ek are suffixes used in many Slavic languages, including Polish and Czech. I think -ek, -ik, -ka, etc. all started as diminutives, often used in names to mean "son of ...," and I have some reason to think that's true in Czech as well as Polish. Regional preferences may -- I stress may -- have made -ik more common in Czech than -ek; I just did a quick scan of some Czech names, and it seemed -ik appears more often in Czech than does -ek.

KK> For What It's Worth (Buffalo Springfield 1967), my ancestral surname of Kaszubik and its origins may be of interest to the subject of this discussion.

KK> At the beginning of my research, the surname Kaszubowski appeared to me to be obviously connected somehow with the Kashubians in Northern Poland. Kaszubowski appeared to mean, "from Kashubia" or "from the Kashubians." (Which came first, Kashubia or the Kashubians? - the chicken or the egg...). The original surname of Kaszubik (before 1857) appeared to be a patronym: "son of a Kashub" or a diminutive: "little Kashub." In fact its origins in my family are in the village of Kaszuba in the southern Kaszuby region (also recorded as Koszuba). A small village in the parish of Lesno in Bydgoszcz province where the surname Kaszubik is recorded as early as the year 1666. In the late 17th century the spelling of the surname of those "from" that village alternated back and forth between Kaszuba (rarely) and Kaszubik. In the 18th century and into the beginning of the 19th century, the surname alternated back and forth between Kaszubik and Kaszubowski. Kaszubowski became the more standard version of the name. There are only two Kaszubiks in Poland today, but there are thousands of Kaszubowskis. At any rate, I believe that the suffix -ik, as applied to my family name before 1857, is in this case a more archaic suffix used to indicate someone who was "from" the village of Kaszuba. Parish records in the surrounding area show this same evolution of the surname of those families who left the village in the past. Another interesting aspect to be considered is that: In the northern Kaszuby region there are fewer surnames which end with the suffix -ski (e.g. Bialk instead of Bialkowski, Konkol - Konkolewski). Father Rekowski - a Kashubian scholar of note - writes that the Kashubians love to make their surnames as short as possible with lots of consonants. I believe that the suffix -ski may have some connections due to the influence of the Polonization of the Kashubian region to the south.

Another factor in which to consider is that priests of higher education than the masses recorded the surname more properly in Polish. It is also possible that the suffix -ik in my ancestral surname could mean "son of someone from the village of Kaszuba." Kaszubik and Kaszubowski are certainly toponyms in this case. This gives another view to Professor Rymut's explanation for surnames which begin with the root Kaszub-. Not all surnames with the root Kaszub- have their origins in the Kaszuby region. Kaszub+ek versus Kaszub+ik is almost certainly an influence of Germanization in my family. Today in Germany, those Kaszubiks who emigrated there before the surname was Polonized to Kaszubowski (1880's-1890's), are now known by the name of Kaschube[c]k.

Standard Disclaimer: No generalization is worth a damn including this one.

Keith A. Kaszubowski

Note: for more information on the Kashubs, see the Website of the Kashubian Association of North America (KANA) at: -- Fred Hoffman

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




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