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Łuc
Created by Administrator Account in 5/8/2012 9:43:49 AM

 


… I am looking for information on my last name. Father grew up in Detroit, Michigan near Hamtramck(sp.); my grandparents (Stanislaw and Anna Łuc) were from Poland/Austria died when I was very small and never learned to speak English, but the whole family used Luc as their last name. My father did not speak English until he was 9. The history of my last name that I had been told was that it was really spelled Łuc and pronounced Wootz.

Yes, Łuc would indeed be pronounced "wootz."

… I spoke to someone online once who told me that my last name was not Polish, nor was my name located in any surname books. I am aware that there are many surnames, but since my father's death and my inability to locate any of my relatives, I am feeling a little detached. I always felt I knew where I came from, etc. Now, I'm not so sure. Maybe I should embrace my other ethnic background, Irish. I definitely have been able to trace back that heritage.


I'm starting to get a little angry -- I hear fairly often from people whom some "expert" has misled with information that is completely wrong. I don't who these experts are, but they should shut the hell up!

To start with, as of 1990 there were 1,030 Polish citizens named Łuc -- I'd like to see these experts go tell those 1,030 folks they're not Poles! The largest concentration by far was in the province of Przemyśl (349) in southeastern Poland, but there were much smaller numbers scattered all over the country -- the more significant numbers were in the provinces of Katowice (66), Legnica (73), Poznań (48), Wrocław (57), all the rest were much smaller numbers.

As for Łuc not being in any surname book, that's also a load of crap -- the book Nazwiska Polaków [The Surnames of Poles] by Kazimierz Rymut, who's probably the foremost Polish name expert, lists it. While I can't blame someone for not knowing of this book, anyone not familiar with Rymut's work has no business pretending he/she knows anything about Polish names! It's like pretending to be an expert on physics without ever having bothered to read Einstein.

According to Rymut, Łuc could have come from several different roots. Probably the most likely derivation is as a short form of such popular first names as Łukasz (Luke, Lucas), Łucja (Lucy), and Łucjan (Lucian); it might also, in some cases, derive from the root łuk, "bow, arch," seen also in the verb łuczyć, "to aim at." I would also mention the German name Lutz, which derives from the first name Ludwig (Louis); Poles might turn that into Łuc.

All in all, I'd expect the name Łuc would usually have started as a shortened form of a first name; we see this all the time in surname origins, and it seems likely here. If the family was pretty much Polish in ethnic origin, the most likely name involved would be Łukasz; Łucjan is less common, but is a viable candidate; surnames were less often formed from women's names, so I think Łucja is a bit of a long-shot. If the family had some German blood or lived in areas where German had some influence, it might be a Polonized form of Lutz from Ludwig. But derivation from a first name seems more likely than from the root for "bow, arch."

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

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