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Król - Śnieżek
Created by Administrator Account in 5/2/2012 12:53:55 PM

 


… I am trying to find the orgins of two surnames listed as Austria/Pol on documents. Krol and Sniezek.

Król comes from the Polish word for "king," which is król (the Polish ó is pronounced like the "oo" in "good"). It could have started as a nickname, perhaps calling somebody the king of a little group; it also sometimes was applied to someone who was a servant of the king. It's a very common surname, as of 1990 there were 46,458 Poles named Król, living all over the country in huge numbers.

Śnieżek would be spelled in Polish with an accent over the S and a dot over the Z, pronounced something like "SHNYEH-zek." That doesn't sound very pretty to our ears, yet it's actually kind of a pretty name, because it comes from śnieg, "snow." The -ek is a diminutive, so śnieżek means something like "little snow." As of 1990 there were 1,315 Poles with this name; it is found all over the country, but the largest numbers are in the provinces of Katowice (136), Kraków (94), Krosno (282), Opole (110), Rzeszów (86), and Wrocław (91) -- all in southcentral to southeastern Poland, and therefore mainly in Galicia, that part of Poland ruled by Austria from the late 1700's till after World War I.

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

 

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