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Kapelski
Created by Administrator Account in 5/12/2010 2:09:56 PM

 


... Can you tell me if this is a German or Polish name: Kapelski.

Germans don't use the suffix -ski to end their names, that's completely foreign to them; -ski is a Slavic suffix, so the name is most likely of Polish origin -- it might also be Czech, but Czechs tend to spell it -sky rather than -ski. The surname probably derives from the Latin word capella, "chapel," perhaps by way of German, in which it is spelled Kapelle and can also mean a musical band. Large numbers of ethnic Germans have lived in Poland over the centuries, and from about 1772 to 1918 Germany ruled what is now the western half of Poland. So what with one thing and another, it is very common to find ethnic Poles living in "Germany," and ethnic Germans living in Poland. But as far as the linguistic origin is concerned, the -ski definitely indicates Slavic, and probably Polish, origin... As of 1990 there were 198 Polish citizens named Kapelski, scattered all over the country but with particularly large numbers living in the provinces of which the capitals are Poznan (104), which the Germans called Posen, and Bydgoszcz (35), which the Germans called Bromberg.

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

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