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Drażba
Created by Administrator Account in 5/1/2012 12:01:32 PM

 


… I am looking for information on the name Drazba. I would appreciate any information you could give me.

I've never run into this name before, but it's not all that rare: as of 1990 there were 386 Polish citizens named Drażba (the Polish z with a dot over it is pronounced like the "s" in "pleasure"). The vast majority, 267, lived in the province of Suwałki in northeastern Poland, with tiny numbers scattered in numerous other provinces. That makes me wonder if the name might be of either Lithuanian or Belarusian origin -- but I have a pretty good source on Lithuanian names, and while it says there are a few people by this name in Lithuania, it offers no meaning. So this suggests the name may be Belarusian, and unfortunately I have very little on names in that language.

A massive 8-volume Polish-language dictionary does mention drażba as a dialect variant of the word draszka, "threshing, payment for threshing" (ultimately from German dreschen, "to thresh"). So this probably started as a name for an agricultural laborer who did threshing for a living. I can't be positive, because none of my name sources specifically mentions this; but it does seem pretty likely, and it makes sense.

So I think we're on fairly safe ground if we say this name comes from northeastern Poland, possibly also Lithuania and what is now Belarus (all of which used to be part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth), and was an occupational name for a thresher.

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

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