100 Polish Last Names Or Surnames With Meanings

100 Polish Last Names Or Surnames With Meanings

Ever wondered about how Poland got its name? It originated from the word ‘Polanie’ referring to ‘people living in open fields.’ Just like the origin of the word Poland, Polish surnames also have some deep meanings. Polish surnames are majorly derived either from nicknames that later evolved as last names or they are toponymic. A toponymic name means it is derived from the name of a place or region.

Polish toponymic surnames have the influence of ‘ski’ ‘cki’ or ‘dzki’ meaning ‘of’ or ‘belong to.’ The usage of ‘ski’ or ‘cki’ is the most identifiable pattern of Polish family names.

In this post, MomJunction shares a compilation of 100 Polish last names with their meanings, variants, and origin.

List Of Popular Polish Last Names Or Family Names:

1. Adamik

Adamik is very common Polish surname which refers to ‘a man’ in Hebrew.

2. Andrysiak

This patronymic polish surname refers to ‘Son of Andrzej.’ Here, Andrzej is the Polish form of Andrew, which means ‘manly’ or ‘masculine.’

3. Bartosz

Bartosz is the Polish form of Bartholomew, which refers to ‘Son of Talmai’ or ‘Son of Furrows.’ Bartholomew was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. Furrows are grooves made in the soil with a plow before planting the seeds.

4. Bosko

Derived from the Slavic word bosu, Bosko means ‘barefoot.’

5. Broz

This Polish surname is derived from ‘Ambrozy,’ ‘Ambrosius’ or ‘Ambrose’ that means ‘immortal.’

6. Brzezinski

It is derived from the Polish word ‘brzezina’ referring to ‘birch forest.’

7. Budny

Budny is a Polish last name derived from the word ‘buda’ that means ‘hut’ or ‘cabin.’

8. Bukoski

Bukoski is a spelling variant of ‘Bukowski’ and a toponymic last name denoting someone who belonged to a town called ‘Bukowo’ or ‘Bukowiec.’

9. Bukowski

This Polish surname is derived from the word called ‘buk’ referring to ‘beech.’ Another reference suggests that it is a variant of Bukoski, a locational surname referring to ‘someone who came from ‘Bukowo’ or ‘Bukowiec.’

10. Chlebek

Chlebek is an occupational Polish last name derived from the word ‘chleb’ that means ‘bread.’

11. Chmiel

Another occupational last name, Chmiel is derived from the word ‘chmel’ referring to ‘hops.’ Chmiel is someone who engaged in growing ‘hops’ which is a plant used in brewing beer.

12. Czajka

This interesting family name refers to a ‘lapwing bird’ in Polish.

13. Czajkowski

It is a locational or toponymic last name referring to people who belong to the village of ‘Czajkow’ or any other place with a name starting with the word ‘Czajk’. The word ‘Czajk’ itself is derived from the Polish word ‘Czajka’ which means a ‘lapwing bird.’

14. Dubanowski

Derived from the name of a town called ‘Dubinowo,’ Dubanowski is a toponymic Polish last name often of those who were the original inhabitants of the town.

15. Dubicki

Another toponymic last name Dubicki is derived from the name of a town called Dubica located in Poland.

16. Dunajski

This Polish surname is derived from the name of a river called the Danube. ‘Dunaj’ is the Polish name for the river Danube.

17. Dziedzic

Dziedzic refers to ‘landowner’ in Polish.

18. Fabian

Fabian is derived from the word ‘faba,’ which means a ‘bean’ in Latin. Fabian was also the name of a popular 3rd century Pope.

19. Filipiak

It is derived from ‘Filip’ or ‘Philip,’ which means ‘a friend of horses’ or ‘horse lover’ in Greek.

20. Filipowski

This is a toponymic Polish surname derived from the name of a Polish town ‘Filipow.’

21. Gajus

Gajus is a Polish last name derived from the word ‘gaj’ which means ‘grove’ or ‘thicket.’

22. Gniewek

This last name is derived from the word ‘gniew’ which means ‘anger’ in Polish.

23. Gomolka

A unique Polish surname derived from Gomolka, which is a type of ‘round cheese.’

24. Gorecki

Gorecki is derived from a Polish word ‘gora’ that means ‘a mountain’. Gorka is also the name of many towns in Poland, thus making ‘Gorecki’ a toponymic last name.

25. Gorka

Gorka is a variant of ‘Gorecki’ and a toponymic Polish surname which is derived from the name of several towns in Poland.

26. Gorski

Gorski is derived from the Polish word ‘gora’ which means ‘a mountain.’

27. Grzeskowiak

This Polish last name is derived from the word ‘Grzegorz’, which itself is derived from the Latin word ‘Gregorius’. A variation of Gregorius is ‘Gregory,’ which in Greek means ‘someone who is watchful.’

28. Gwozdz

Derived from the Polish word ‘gwozdz’, which refers to a nail’ (metal nail).

29. Jagoda

This Polish surname refers to ‘berries.’

30. Janda

Janda is derived from ‘Jan’, ‘Johannes’ or ‘John,’ which mean ‘Yahweh is gracious’ in Hebrew.

31. Jankowski

A spelling variant of Janowski, this Polish surname is a toponymic last name derived from the name of  a town called ‘Jankowo’ or ‘Jankow’.

32. Jaskolski

This is a variant of Jaskulski, derived from the name of Polish villages and towns named Jaskolki. Jaskolki is itself derived from the word ‘Jaskolka,’ which means the bird swallow in Polish.

33. Jedynak

This last name means the ‘only child’ in Polish.

34. Jelen

Jelen originated in the Czech Republic, and the surname refers to ‘a stag.’

35.  Jez

This Polish surname refers to ‘a hedgehog’ in Polish.

36. Kaczka

This Polish family name refers to ‘a duck’ in Polish.

37. Kaluza

Kaluza means ‘puddle’ in the Polish language.

38. Kaminski

It is derived from the word ‘kamien’ referring to ‘a stone.’ The surname likely refers to someone from any of the several villages and towns named Kamien in Poland.

39. Kasprzak

It originates from the name Kasper/Kacper, which originates from an ancient Persian word ‘Gizbar.’ Gizbar means a ‘treasurer.’

40. Kawa

This last name is derived from the word ‘kawka’ meaning the bird ‘jackdaw’ in Polish.

41. Kedzierski

Kedzierski is derived from ‘kedzior,’ which in Polish means a ‘lock of hair.’ Kedzierski is a nickname often given to ‘curly-haired’ people, and the word eventually evolved into a Polish surname.

42. Kijek

This last name is derived from the word ‘kij’ which means ‘stick’ or ‘small stick’ in Polish.

43. Klimek

It is derived from Klemens or Clement, and. ‘Clement’ means ‘merciful’ in Latin.

44. Kosmatka

This Polish surname is derived from the Polish word ‘kosmaty’ referring to ‘shaggy’ or ‘hairy.’

45. Kowalczyk

It is derived from the Polish word ‘kowal’ that means ‘a blacksmith.’ Thus, it is an occupational surname.

46. Koziel

Koziel is a variant of Koziol referring to ‘a male goat’ in Polish.

47. Kozlowski

This is toponymic Polish surname derived from the name of towns called ‘Kozlow’ or ‘Kozlowo’ located in Poland.

48. Krakowski

This is a toponymic Polish surname referring to the name of the city called Krakow in Poland.

49. Krol

This surname is derived from the word ‘Krol,’ which in Polish means king. It was often used as an occupational surname for those who worked in the king’s household.

50. Kumiega

The name is derived from the Polish word ‘Kum,’ which means ‘godfather’ or a ‘crony.’ The word crony means a close pal.

51. Laska

Laska refers to ‘grace’ or ‘mercy’ in the Polish language.

52. Lawniczak

This Polish surname is derived from the word ‘lawnik’ referring to ‘alderman,’ which means a municipal councillor.

53. Lis

It originated from a nickname for a sly person since Lis refers to the animal ‘fox’ in Polish.

54. Majewski

It is derived from the Polish word ‘maj,’ meaning the month of May. The surname could also refer to someone from any of the various villages and towns named Majewo in Poland.

55. Malinowski

This Polish surname is derived from the word ‘malina’ which means ‘raspberry.’ Malinowski could also be the toponymic family name of the people belonging to places whose name starts with ‘Malinów,’ which means ‘missing.’

56. Maly

Maly originated as a last name from the Polish word for ‘small.’

57. Marek

Marek was derived from ‘Mark,’ which was taken from the name of Saint Mark. In the New Testament, Saint Mark was the author of the second gospel.

58. Marszalek

This Polish surname means ‘Marshall,’ which could refer to a court, military or government official of high rank.

59. Maslanka

This surname means ‘buttermilk’ in Polish. It likely suggests an occupational origin of the surname for those who worked in dairy or production of buttermilk.

60. Mencher

Mencher is an occupational Polish surname derived from the word ‘maczarz,’ also spelled mlynarz, which refers to ‘a miller’ or a ‘flour dealer.’

61. Miazga

This Polish last name means ‘pulp’ or ‘crush.’

62. Mozdzierz

It means ‘mortar’ in Polish, referring to someone who worked with mortar or sold mortar.

63. Musial

It is derived from the word ‘must.’ Musial is an interesting Polish last name meaning ‘one who has to’ or ‘one who had to.’

64. Niemec

Niemec means ‘German’ in Polish which could mean that this surname migrated to Poland and refers to people who came from Germany.

65. Nosek

This last name means a ‘small nose’ in both Polish and Czech languages.

66. Nowak

A variant of ‘Novak,’ this last name is derived from the word ‘nowy’ meaning ‘new.’

67. Ostrowski

Derived from the Polish word ‘ostrow,’ this last name refers to ‘water island’ or a ‘water meadow.’

68. Pakulski

This is a toponymic Polish last name referring to people who belonged to a town called ‘Pakuly’, located in Poland.

69. Pasternak

This last name refers to ‘parsnip,’ a root vegetable similar to carrot.

70. Paszek

This Polish surname is derived from the Latin word ‘Paulus,’ referring to ‘small’ or ‘little.’

71. Piatek

It is derived from the word ‘piaty’ referring to ‘fifth.’ The name could also be taken from ‘Piatek,’ which means ‘Friday’ in Polish.

72. Piotrowski

The toponymic surname refers to someone from any of the Polish towns with names beginning with ‘Piotrow,’ for example ‘Piotrow,’ ‘Piotrowo’ or ‘Piotrowice.’

73. Pokorny

Pokorny possibly originated in the Czech Republic and means ‘humble.’

74. Poplawski

It is a toponymic surname for a person from any of the various places named Poplawy in Poland. This surname is derived from the word ‘poplaw’, which means ‘flowing water’ or ‘flood.’

75. Rog

This Polish surname means ‘animal horn.’ It could also refer to someone whose occupation was to blow the horn.

76. Rudaski

It is a variant of Rudawski, a locational surname referring to people who lived near the river Rudawa in Poland.

77.  Rusnak

It is an ethnic name for ‘Russian’ and refers to people who migrated from Russia to Poland.

78. Rutkowski

This is a toponymic Polish family name referring to people belonging to any of the various places called Rutki in Poland.

79. Ryba

The occupational surname means ‘fish,’ and refers to fisherman or sellers of fish.

80. Sadowski

Sadowski is a toponymic Polish surname referring to someone who belonged to ‘Sadowo’ or ‘Sadowice’ in Poland. Another reference is derived from the Polish word ‘sad’ meaning ‘garden’ or ‘orchard.’

81. Serafin

This last name is derived from the Biblical word ‘serafim’ that originated in Hebrew. It translates to the ‘fiery ones.’

82. Sikora

Sikora refers to a small bird called ‘titmouse.’ The surname is derived from a nickname for a small and dark person.

83. Sitko

It refers to ‘a fine sieve’ and is derived from the word ‘sito’ which means ‘sieve.’

84. Skala

This last name refers to a ‘rock’ and denotes that the first bearer of this surname likely lived around a prominent rock.

85. Slusarski

This is an occupational surname derived from ‘slusarz’, which means a ‘locksmith.’

86. Smolak

Smolak is derived from the word ‘smola’ referring to ‘pitch.’ Thus, it is an occupational Polish last name which refers to a ‘distiller of a pitch’ where ‘pitch’ is a liquid resembling coal tar.

87. Sniegowski

It is derived from the word ‘Snieg’ which means ‘snow’ thus likely referring to someone who lives around snow.

88. Sobol

This name is derived from the word ‘sobol,’ which is a type of marten – a wild animal. It is an occupational last name for a ‘fur trader.’

89. Sokolowski

A toponymic last name for someone who belongs to any of the various places called Sokolow in Poland. Sokolow itself is derived from the word Sokol, which refers to a falcon.

90. Sowka

It is derived from the Polish word ‘sowa’ referring to an ‘owl.’

91. Starek

Starek is derived from the word ‘stary’ meaning ‘old.’ This name originated as a nickname and later evolved into a surname.

92. Starosta

It means ‘foreman’ or a ‘leader’ in Polish.

93. Szewczyk

This Polish occupational last name refers to ‘a shoemaker’.

94. Szweda

It is derived from ‘Szwed,’ which itself means ‘Swede,’ that is, a person from Sweden.

95. Warszawski

Another toponymic last name, Warszawaski refers to someone who belonged to the city of Warsaw situated in Poland.

96. Wrona

This Polish surname is derived from the name of ‘crow.’

97. Wyrzykowski

It is a toponymic name deriving from various places named Wyrzyki in Poland.

98. Zdunowski

This Polish toponymic last name is derived from the name of several towns named Zduny. Another reference also suggests Zdunowski could be an occupational surname, derived from ‘zdun’ referring to ‘a potter.’

99. Zima

It is derived from the word ‘zimowy’ meaning ‘winter.’ Zima was the nickname of people with a chilly or frosty personality. It later evolved as a Polish last name.

100. Zuraw

It means ‘crane.’ It is a nickname for a tall person. Eventually, the nickname evolved into a Polish surname.

Whether you are a Game of Thrones fan or just want to explore more about Poland, learning about Polish surnames is a good starting step. Interestingly, Polish last names were officially inherited only 200 years ago.

What are some unique Polish surnames that you are aware of? Share them in the comment section below.

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