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Latocha
Created by Administrator Account in 5/11/2010 2:14:48 PM

 


...I was wondering if you had any clue how Latocha came to be a Polish surname, what it would mean, etc. It is often mistaken for a Spanish surname, but I have been assured, by my relatives here and in Poland that it is infact a Polish name. I know it has also been spelled Latocja. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Many Polish words and names sound as if they could come from Spanish or Italian, it's not surprising people are sometimes misled. Sometimes the exact same words or names develop independently in different languages, purely by coincidence. Latocha may be a Spanish name too, but it definitely can be a Polish surname; it appears in Polish records as far back as 1319. Surname experts say it derives from the term latocha, "year-old calf" (from the root lat, meaning "summer" or "year," thus a latocha was an animal that had already seen one summer). This was apparently used as a nickname for people sometimes, and eventually became established as a surname -- and not a rare one, either, since in 1990 there were 1,485 Polish citizens named Latocha. They lived all over the country, with larger numbers in the provinces of Bielsko-Biala (62), Katowice (466), Piotrków (92), and Tarnów (440); these provinces are in southcentral Poland, but that's the only pattern I can see to their distribution -- there's no concentration in one small area that would let us say "Here is where this surname started."

Copyright © 2000 W.F. Hoffman. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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