Nizow
Created by Administrator Account in 1/23/2011 7:32:38 AM

 


… I read your website and would like to know if you have any information about the name Nizow.

Most likely the basic root of Nizow is niz-, "low, short" (although some names beginning with Niz- might also come from the first name Dionizy, from Greek "Dionysus," which became "Dennis" in English). Nizow would mean basically "of the low, of the lowland," or possibly "[son] of the short one." There is also a word Nizowiec (sometimes seen as Nizak and other variants) meaning "a Cossack from the lowland at the mouth of the Dniepr river." So we're dealing with a name meaning "short fellow" or one meaning "person from the lowland." It's pretty likely that's the basic meaning of the name, it's harder to say exactly what it meant, but must have been connected somehow with "low" or "short."

As of 1990 there was no one in Poland with the name Nizow, so it's possible the name was never all that common in Poland and has since died out; or it might have been a longer name that got shortened when your ancestors emigrated, although I can find no name beginning Nizow- that is common either. Another possibility is that the Nizow's never lived in large numbers in Poland proper (Polish surnames generally don't end in just -ow, usually it's -owski or -owicz or something like that), but could be found in Ukraine, especially near the mouth of the Dniepr -- for centuries Poland ruled that area, to where a person from there might well think of himself, or be thought of, as a Polish citizen, even if he was ethnically Ukrainian.

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

 






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