Welcome to the World (Polish Birth Announcements)

Here are this weeks Polish Birth Announcements. Its the same analysis from last week, some of the names may be different.

I got this from a website where parents from all over Poland submit their Birth Announcements.

 

Wdyt? Do you find your country’s classics and trendy names different or the same?

Classics

These are names that have always been common in Poland

Boys

  • Adam (AH-dahm)
  • Aleksander x 6
  • Aleksander Tymoteusz (AH-lek-SAHN-dare, TIM-aw-TAY-oosh)
  • Artur x 2 (AR-toor)
  • Bartek (full name, Bartłomiej or Bartosz. English form: Bart)
  • Bartosz x 3 (BAR-toshe, originally a diminutive form of Bartłomiej, it has been used as an independent given name for a long time. An English Equivalent could either be Bart or Barton)
  • Bartosz Kazimierz (BAR-toshe, kah-ZHEE-myesh)
  • Bartosz Mateusz (BAR-toshe, mah-TAY-oosh)
  • Błażej (BWAH-zhay. English form: Blaise)
  • Błażej Krzysztof (BWAH-zhay, KZHISH-tofe. English form: Blaise Christopher)
  • Dawid x 3 (DAH-veed. English form, David)
  • Filip x 9 (FEE-leep)
  • Filip Krzysztof (FEE-leep, KZHISH-tofe)
  • Filip Piotr
  • Jakub x 11 (YAH-koob. English Equivalent: Jacob and James. In the past, this was a popular name among all religions represented in Poland)
  • Jan x 2 (YAHN. English Equivalent: John)
  • Jan Dawid (YAHN, DAH-veed)
  • Jasiek [Full name, Jan, (YAH-shek); English form: Johnny)
  • Jaś (Full name, Jan (YAHSH). English Equivalent: Jack)
  • Karol x 3 (KAH-role. English Equivalent: Charles)
  • Konrad (KONE-rot. English form: Conrad)
  • Krystian (KRIS-tyahn. English form: Christian)
  • Krzysztof x 3 (KZHISH-tofe. English Equivalent: Christopher)
  • Łukasz x 3 (WOO-kahsh. English form: Luke or Lucas)
  • Łukasz Piotr (WOO-kahsh, PYOTR. English form: Lucas Peter or Luke Peter)
  • Maciej (MOT-chay. English form: Matthias)
  • Maciej Piotr (MOT-chay, PYOTR. English form: Matthias Peter)
  • Mateusz x 4 (mah-TAY-oosh. English form: Matthew)
  • Michał x 3 (MEE-how, English Equivalent: Michael)
  • Mikołaj x 3 (mee-KAW-why. English form: Nicholas)
  • Oskar x 4 (OSE-kar. English form: Oscar)
  • Oskar Robert (OSE-kar, ROH-bairt)
  • Paweł x 2 (PAH-veu. English Equivalent: Paul)
  • Paweł Piotr
  • Radosław (rah-DOH-swahf, or RAH-doh-swahf. No English equivalent. Often anglicized to Rod, Rodney, Roderick or Roger by Polish-Americans)
  • Roman (ROH-mahn)
  • Stanisław x 2 (stah-NEE-swahf, or STAH-nee-SWAHF)
  • Stanisław Radosław 
  • Tomasz x 2 (TOH-mahsz. English form: Thomas)
  • Wojciech (VOY-chyehk. There is no English equivalent. Polish-Americans would occasionally anglicize this to Adalbert).

Girls

  • Agata x 2 (English form Agatha)
  • Alicja x 2 (ah-LEET-syah. English form: Alicia or Alice)
  • Anna x 3 (AHN-neh-nah)
  • Anna Natalia (AHN-neh-nah, nah-TAHL-yah)
  • Basia [full name, Barbara, (BAH-shah; bar-BAH-rah); English form, Barbie]
  • Dorota Monika (daw-RAW-tah, maw-NEE-kah. English form: Dorothy Monica)
  • Karolina (KAH-roh-LEE-nah; English form, Caroline)
  • Karolina Anna 
  • Karolina Maria (KAH-roh-LEE-nah, MAR-yah)
  • Katarzyna (KAH-tah-ZHIH-nah. English form: Catherine or Katherine)
  • Kinga (KEEN-gah; English form, Cunigonde)
  • Magdalena x 3 (MAHG-dah-LEH-nah. English form: Madeline, Madelyn or Madeleine)
  • Małgorzata (mow-goh-ZHAH-tah. English form: Margaret)
  • Maria x 2 (MAHR-yah; English form, Mary)
  • Marta x 3 (English form, Martha)
  • Marysia x 1 [full name, Maria, (mah-RIH-shah); English form, Molly]
  • Olga Paulina (AWL-gah, pow-LEE-nah)
  • Sylwia (SIL-vyah)
  • Urszula (oor-SHOO-lah. English form: Ursula)
  • Weronika x 2 (veh-ROH-nee-kah)

Modern Classics

These names may feel like classics, but they actually only became more common or popular within the last 30 years and some are even starting to wane in popularity.

Boys

  • Arkadiusz (ar-KAH-dyoosh. English form: Arcade or Cade)
  • Dominik x 1 (DOME-mee-neek)
  • Sebastian Wojciech (seh-BAHST-yahn, VOY-chehk)

Girls

  • Aleksandra x 7
  • Dominika x 2 (doh-mee-NEE-kah)
  • Klaudia x 1 (KLOWD-yah)
  • Monika x 1 (moh-NEE-kah)
  • Natalia x 3 (nah-TAHL-yah)
  • Natalia Mariola (nah-TAHL-yah, mar-YOLE-lah)
  • Natalia Julia (nah-TAHL-yah, YOOL-yah)
  • Oliwia x 2 (aw-LEEV-yah)
  • Oliwia Julia (aw-LEEV-yah, YOOL-yah)
  • Oliwia Natalia (aw-LEEV-yah, nah-TAHL-yah)
  • Oliwia Róża (aw-LEEV-yah, ROO-zhah)
  • Patrycja x 2 (pah-TRITS-yah)
  • Paulina (pow-LEE-nah)
  • Wiktoria x 2 (veek-TOR-yah)

Well, Hello! I haven’t seen you in 100 years!

Like in the United States and the U.K., many vintage names have made a comeback. What is interesting about Polish vintage names is that they reflect a time and culture that  no longer exists in Poland. In 1912, Poland was an extremely diverse country, hosting several different ethnic groups and religions. It was the home of one of the largest Jewish communities in the world, and many Polish citizens were of German, Ukrainian and Lithuanian ancestry, among others. After the devastation of World War II and the movement of borders, Poland became a 99.9 % Roman Catholic country and an ethnically homogenous one at that. By the end of the 1940s and all the way until the 1990s, German-ness was considered taboo and due to the oppression of the Soviet Union, so was anything associated with Russian culture. As a result, many names that were common pre-World War II, such as Hubert, Greta, Lena, Igor and Nikodem, went out of fashion.

Though Poland is considered one of the most homogenous countries in Europe, many Poles claim a mixed heritage. It is not uncommon to meet Poles who may have had a Jewish, German or Ukrainian grandparent. In recent years, many young Polish parents have looked to their family tree for unusual names. No longer are Ukrainian and German names hands-off, and Jewish names are being rediscovered and revived. Here is a list of names found in this weeks birth announcements which reflect these recent trends:

Vintage

These were names that were popular among Poles regardless of ethnicity 100 years ago, which have fallen out of usage and have now experienced a new surge in popularity

Boys

  • Antoni x 5 (AHN-toh-nee; English equivalent, Anthony)
  • Cezary (tseh-ZAH-rih. English form: Caesar)
  • Florian (FLOR-yahn)
  • Franciszek (frahn-TSEE-shek. English form: Francis)
  • Ireneusz (EE-reh-NAY-oosh)
  • Kacper x 7 (KOT-spare. The Polish form of Casper)
  • Kacper Robert
  • Kasper x 2 (KAHS-pare. Another form of Casper)
  • Kornel (KORE-nel. English form: Cornelius)
  • Wiktor (VEEK-tore)
  • Wincenty (veen-TSEN-tih. English form: Vincent)

Girls

  • Amelia x 6 (ah-MEL-yah)
  • Amelia Sara (ah-MEL-yah, SAH-rah)
  • Aniela (ah-NYEH-lah. Literally means, “angel”, but has been used as a cognate for Angela for centuries)
  • Antonina x 2 (ahn-toh-NEE-nah)
  • Gabriela (gahb-RYEL-ah)
  • Izabela (ee-zah-BEH-lah. English form: Isabel or Isabella)
  • Konstancja Karolina (kone-STAHNS-yah, KAH-roh-LEE-nah. English form: Constance Caroline)
  • Kornelia x 3 (kore-NEL-yah. English form: Cornelia)
  • Laura x 2 (LOW-rah)
  • Liliana x 3 (leel-YAH-nah; English form, Lillian)
  • Tosia [full name, Antonina, (TOH-shah). English form: Toni]
  • Zofia x 3 (ZOFE-yah. English form: Sophia)
  • Zosia [Full name: Zofia. (ZOH-shah) English form: Sophie)

German Revival

Boys

  • Armin (ARE-meen)
  • Emil (EH-meel)
  • Hubert x 2 (HOO-bairt)
  • Iwo Jasiu (EE-voh, YAH-shoo)
  • Ludwik (LOOT-veek)
  • Maksymilian x 4 (mock-sih-MEEL-yahn)
  • Martin (MAR-teen)
  • Olaf (AW-lahf)

Girls

  • Lena x 9 (LEH-nah)
  • Nela (NEH-lah)

Judaica

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, there has been a renewed interest in the legacy that the Jews of Poland have left. Though the Jewish community was not what it once was, many Poles have dug through their family trees to find, unbeknownst to them, that their family was actually Jewish. Due to the oppression and anti-Semitism of the Soviet regime, many Polish Jews who had survived the Holocaust changed their names, assimilated into Polish society, keeping their origins a secret even from their own children. Since Poland’s independence in 1989, especially in large cities, many Poles have taken up an interests in Jewish culture, some even re-converting back to Judaism. This can be reflected in recent naming trends. Below are some names that have not been used since pre-WW II, many of them used exclusively among the Jewish community of Poland but are now experiencing a trend among young Polish parents of today

Boys

  • Daniel (DAH-nyel)
  • Gabriel x 2 (GAH-bryel)
  • Nataniel Waldemar (nah-TAHN-yel, VAHL-deh-MAR)
  • Samuel (sah-MOO-el)
  • Szymon x 9 (SHIH-mone. English Equivalent: Simon)
  • Tobiasz (toh-BYAHSH; this one was rather interesting. It was also used in the past among Christians, but usually only taken as a religious name by clergy. As a given-name, it was almost always exclusively used among Polish-Jews).

Girls

  • Hanna x 2 (HAHN-neh-nah. Also occasionally used among Christians in the past, the name was always far more common among Jews until recently)
  • Hanna Natalia (HAHN-neh-nah, nah-TAHL-yah)
  • Hania x 1 [full name, Hanna, (HAHN-yah)]
  • Sara (SAH-rah)
  • Zuzanna x 5 (zoo-ZAHN-neh-nah. Also occasionally used among Christians in the past, the name was always far more common among Jews until recently)
  • Zuzanna Hanna (zoo-ZAHN-neh-nah, HAHN-neh-nah)
  • Zuzanna Stanisława (zoo-ZAHN-neh-nah, STAH-nee-SWAH-vah)

I would just like to point out that prior to WWII, Jews and Poles shared many names. I don’t want to make it look like that they were a completely separate group. There was a lot of sharing. Though, yes, Yiddish names were only found in Shtetles as well as the more obscure Biblical names, it should also be noted that Slavic names enjoyed much usage among Jews as well. German names were also very much in favor among both the Polish and Jewish aristocracy and elite. Here are some names that were used interchangeably by the two religious groups:

Girls: Ada, Anna, Basia (as a Polish form of Bathsheba among Jews and as a Polish form of Barbara among Christians), Berta, Bogdana, Bogna, Bogumiła, Bogusława, Bolesława, Bronisława, Czesława, Eleonora, Eliza, Elżbieta, Ewa, Gabriela, Gertruda, Grażyna (as a cognate for Szejna or Shayna), Hanna, Henryka, Kazimiera, Klara, Lena, Ludwika, Maria, Matylda, Olga, Otylia, Salomea, Stanisława, Sylwia, Urszula, Wanda, Wera, Wiesława, Wisława, Władisława, Zofia (Zosia), Zuzanna

Boys: Adam, Albert, Aleksander, Alfred, Artur, Bogdan, Bogumił, Bogusław, Bolesław, Borys, Bożydar, Bronisław, Bruno, Czesław, Dariusz, Dawid, Edmund, Edward, Edwin, Emil, Ernest, Filip, Gustaw, Henryk, Herbert, Hubert, Igor, Iwan, Iwo, Izydor, Jakub, Jan, Józef, Julian, Juliusz, Karol, Kazimierz, Konrad, Lech, Leon, Leonard, Leopold, Leszek, Ludwik, Maciej, Manfred, Marek, Mateusz, Michał, Miron, Norbert, Olaf, Olek, Oskar, Rajmund, Robert, Roland, Roman, Rudolf, Rupert, Ryszard, Sławomir, Stanisław, Teodor,  Wacław, Walter, Wiesław, Wiktor, Wisław, Witold, Władysław, Włodzimierz, Zbigniew, Zenon, Zygfryd, Zygmunt.

Russian/Ukrainian Imports

During the Soviet era, Poles resented the Russian occupation and more likely than not, would never give their child a Russian or “Eastern Polish” name. Before World War II, these names were especially common among inhabitants in former regions of Poland that are now in the Ukraine or border cities, where many people were uncertain of their ethnic identity. These people even spoke a dialect that was a complete admixture of Belarusian, Polish, Russian and Ukrainian. They were called, the Tutajzia (literally meaning, “from right here”).

In recent years, these names have experienced a steady revival and are no longer considered taboo or too “Russian” or “Eastern”.

Boys

  • Igor x 2 (EE-gore)
  • Tymek [full name, Tymon, (TIM-ek)]

Girls

  • Anastazja x 1 (AH-nah-STAHZ-yah)
  • Anastazja Eugenia (AH-nah-STAHZ-yah, ew-GAY-nyah)
  • Milena x 5 (mee-LEH-nah)
  • Nadia x 6 (NOD-yah, although, like Olga, this one has always been somewhat common in Poland)
  • Nadia Julia (NOD-yah, YOOL-yah)
  • Nadia Maria
  • Natasza x 2 (pronounced just like Natasha)
  • Nina

New Names, Foreign Imports and Rare Gems

Roman Patricians

Each generation seems to have a name from outside of Poland that becomes exceedingly popular. It becomes so popular that it is forgotten that it is not even Polish at all and joins the category of “Modern Classics.” What is interesting about these imports is that they are almost always “Polonized.” Hence, Brian becomes, BrajanAnnette becomes, Anetaand Jeannette is Żaneta.

By the end of the 19th-century, Poland started to explore French names. In the 20th-century, Polish parents, for whatever reason, looked to Spanish or Italian names if they wanted something unique and different, but one source has never changed since Medieval Times. That is the nomenclature of Ancient Rome. In the 18th-century, names such as Wespazjan, Westyna and Oktawian were introduced. In the 19th, it was Klaudiusz, Kamil and Klaudia among others, and today it is Adrian, Adrianna and Marcelina. Below is an example of some Roman nobles and ladies found in this weeks birth announcements.

Boys

  • Damian (DAHM-yahn)
  • Gracjan (GRAHT-syan. Proper English form would be Gratian, but in the United States, it is often anglicized as Greyson/Grayson)
  • Juliusz (YOOL-yoosh. English form: Julius)
  • Kasjan (KAHS-yan. English Equivalent: Cassian)
  • Maksym (MOCK-sim. English form: Maxim or Maximus)
  • Marcel x 4 (MART-sel)
  • Oktawian (oke-TAH-vyahn. English form: Octavian)
  • Patryk (PAH-trick. English form: Patrick)

Girls

  • Adriana (ah-dree-YAH-nah)
  • Gracja (GRAHT-syah. English form: Grace)
  • Julia x 8 (YOOL-yah)
  • Julia Gracja (YOOL-yah, GRATS-yah)
  • Julia Anna (YOOL-yah, AHN-neh-nah)
  • Justyna Elżbieta (yoo-STIH-nah, elsh-BYEH-tah. English form: Justine Elizabeth)
  • Letycja (leh-TITS-yah. English form: Letitia)
  • Marcelina (MART-seh-LEE-nah)
  • Oktawia x 2 (oke-TAH-vyah; English form, Octavia)

Americana and Celtisms

The United States has also somewhat contributed to Polish naming trends and in more recent years, the U.K., below is a list of English and Celtic names that appear in this weeks birth announcements

Boys

  • Alan x 4 (AH-lahn)
  • Oliwier x 2 (OH-lee-vyare)
  • Oliwier Tomasz (OH-lee-vyare, TOH-mahsh)

Girls

  • Amanda
  • Jessica
  • Malwina Anna (mahl-VEE-nah, AHN-neh-nah)
  • Malwina Wanessa (mahl-VEE-nah, vah-NES-sah)
  • Nicola (nee-KOH-lah)
  • Nikola x 2 (nee-KOH-lah)

Southern Europe

When it comes to naming their children, if you want to think outside the box, Poles tend to look to Spanish or Italian names for inspiration. Here are some examples as found in the this weeks Birth Announcements

Boys

  • Avo
  • Ksawery (ksah-VEH-rih. English form: Xavier)
  • Xawier Piotr (this is a first. It looks like a direct Polonised form of Xavier. Would be pronounced, KSAH-vyare)

Girls

  • Anita (ah-NEE-tah)
  • Blanka x 2 (BLAHN-kah. Polonised form of the Spanish, Blanca)
  • Olimpia (aw-LEEMP-yah)
  • Oriana (ore-YAH-nah)

New Introductions from various countries:

These are names that appear in this weeks Birth Announcements which have only been in usage within the last 10 years and are imported from various countries:

  • Sandra x 1 (this name has only recently come into usage in Poland, despite being very common in other countries)

Nature Names

Nature names have only recently started to become more common. The Polish Naming Council always recommends against the usage of common words, there are some traditional ones, such as Jagoda (berry), which was originally used as a diminutive form ofJadwiga and Kalina (viburnum). Here are a list of nature names as found in the Toruń

  • Jagna Katarzyna (YAHG-nah, KAH-tah-ZHIH-nah. Jagna is derived from the Polish word, jagnię, meaning, “lamb.” In Medieval Times, it was used as a cognate or diminutive form of Agnieszka. It’s popularity died out. This is a first and interesting sighting.
  • Kalina x 2 [viburnum. This name was popularized by Henryk Sienkiewicz as the name of Roman slave girl in Quo Vadis. It is alluded that she is of Slavic origins, but her name is Romanized as Calina, it coincides with the Polish word for viburnum]
  • Pola x 3 [PAW-lah. This name was originally a diminutive form of Apolonia, but is now almost exclusively used as an independent given name. It coincides with the Polish word for field and has some patriotic conotations as the word for the country, “polska” is believed to derive from a Slavic source meaning, “land of fields.” This would possibly roughly be a Polish cognate to the modern and trendy English name,Meadow]
  • Maja x 7 [MYE-yah; originally used as a diminutive form of Maria, it has been used exclusively as an independent given name due to its association with the Polish word for the month of May]
  • Róża (ROO-zhah. The English form would be, Rose. This is also the Polish word for the rose flower or the color pink)

Let’s cut to the chase

In Poland, a Katarzyna is rarely ever called by her full name, she almost is always called Kasia by her friends and family. Diminutives are extremely important and well-loved in Polish society, but it has only been very recently that diminutives have been used as independent given names. Below are examples of diminutives used exclusively as independent given names in this weeks birth announcements.

  • Kaja x 3 [KYE-yah; originally a diminutive form Kajetana, Kazimiera or Katarzyna, it is now used exclusively as an independent given name, possibly being popularized by the Polish pop-singer of the same name]

Boys

  • Aleks x 2
  • Alex
  • Alex Józef (AH-leks, YOO-zef)
Advertisements

The Top Most Unusual Male Names in Poland, (2010)

Here is the male version. These are the most unusual male names in Poland for 2010. These names were given to 5 children or less. Pronunciation and explanations are given in parenthesis. Some of these are foreign in origin and have no history of usage in Poland until recently. Some of these are very old fashioned.

  1. Alwin (AHL-veen, Polish form of, Alvin)
  2. Amir 
  3. Angelo
  4. Aureliusz (ow-REL-yoosh)
  5. Carlos
  6. Dastin (this is a controversial one. This name is probably as controversial as Nevaeh, it is most often appears as Dżastin (JAH-steen). It is a Polonized form of the English male name, Justin and the proper Polish cognate should be Justyn)
  7. Davide
  8. Edmund
  9. Elias
  10. Euzebiusz (ew-ZEB-yoosh)
  11. Fabio
  12. Federico
  13. Franek
  14. Goran (this is a South Slavic name, meaning, “mountaineer”)
  15. Hektor (this is the Polish form of Hector)
  16. Ian
  17. Jonas
  18. Krzesimir (this is a very Old Polish names, KSHES-ee-MEER; kshes-SEE-meer)
  19. Lew (LEV. Polish word for lion)
  20. Luca
  21. Marcus
  22. Marko
  23. Maxym 
  24. Medard
  25. Mohamed (this has actually had a long history of usage in Poland. It was a common name among the Polish-Tatars)
  26. Oktawiusz  (oke-TAH-vyoosh)
  27. Paskal
  28. Robin
  29. Sajmon (this looks like a Polish phonetic spelling of the English pronunciation of Simon)
  30. Valentino
  31. Wiesław (VYEH-swahf. This was actually pretty common at the turn of the 20th-century, as was its feminine form, Wiesława. It was often transliterated as Wesley for males and as Vivian for females by the Polish community in the United States)
  32. Wilhelm (this was also a common name in Poland during the turn of the 20th-century. It was most often used among Poles of German ancestry)
  33. Alek
  34. Brandon
  35. Deniz
  36. Elvis
  37. Erik
  38. Eugeniusz (ew-GAY-nyoosh. This and Eugenia were fairly common at the turn of the 20th-century. English form is Eugene)
  39. Felix
  40. Gaspar
  41. Henry
  42. Hieronim (this is the Polish form of Jerome, hyeh-ROH-neem)
  43. Ibrahim
  44. Jack
  45. Jarema (yah-REH-mah. This is a Medieval Polish form of Jeremy)
  46. Jason (YAH-sone)
  47. John
  48. Jovan
  49. Kilian (KEEL-yahn. This is the Polish form of Cillian)
  50. Lubomir (LOO-baw-MEER; loo-BAW-meer. This is an Old Polish Name)
  51. Marcjan (MART-syahn. This is a Polish form of Marcian or Marcianus)
  52. Matthew
  53. Orest (AW-rest. This is a Polish form of Orestes)
  54. Orlando
  55. Paul
  56. Peter
  57. Rajan (RYE-yahn. Possibly a Polish phonetic spelling of Ryan)
  58. Samir
  59. Vadim (a Russian Name)
  60. Walenty (a Polish form of Valentus, vah-LEN-tih)
  61. Yasin
  62. Alexandre
  63. Alexandros
  64. Amin
  65. Anas
  66. Antoniusz (a Polish form of Antonius, ahn-TONE-yoosh)
  67. Arsen
  68. Arthur
  69. Aryan (an Indian or Afghani name)
  70. Ben
  71. Bohdan (an Old Polish name, Bogdan is the more common form)
  72. Bożydar (an Old Polish name, boh-ZHIH-dar, BOH-zhih-dar, literally mean, “God’s gift”)
  73. Christopher
  74. Dante
  75. Dionizy (the Polish form of Dennis, dyoh-NEE-zih)
  76. Eneasz (the Polish form of Aeneas, eh-NAY-ahsh)
  77. Eric
  78. Filippos
  79. Flavio
  80. Gaweł (the Polish form of Gall or Gallus, in Medieval times, this name was only given to children born out of wedlock. GAH-vew)
  81. Giacomo
  82. Gniewosz (an Old Polish name. GNYEH-voshe)
  83. Gwidon (the Polish form of Guy, GVEE-done)
  84. Ismael
  85. Jamie
  86. Jasper
  87. Josef
  88. Justyn (Polish form of Justin. YOO-stin)
  89. Kolin (this looks like a Polonized form of Colin)
  90. Liam
  91. Maciek (this is the diminutive form of Mateusz, which would be the Polish form of Matt)
  92. Magnus
  93. Maksim
  94. Maksymilan
  95. Mantas (this is a very common Lithuanian male name)
  96. Manuel
  97. Marsel
  98. Matt
  99. Maximus
  100. Migel
  101. Milo
  102. Nikolaos
  103. Pablo
  104. Phillip
  105. Radosz (an Old Polish name, meaning, “joy.” RAH-doshe)
  106. Ricardo
  107. Sami
  108. Siemowit (an Old Polish name and the name of a few Polish kings. SHYEH-moh-VEET; shyeh-MOH-veet)
  109. Sofian
  110. Tigran (a popular Kazakh name)
  111. Tomir (an Old Polish name, TOH-meer)
  112. Valentino
  113. Xavery

Poland’s Most Unusual Female Names (2010)

In terms of names, Poland has two official list, the top most popular and the top most unusual. These are names bestowed upon less than 5 girls in a year.

Here are the top 115 most popular female names in Poland for 2010. I provided pronunciation and if not obvious and the English equivalent, though many of these names are foreign with no history of usage in Poland, some of these are used among traditional minority groups, such as Jews, Roma, Ukrainians, Russians, Lithuanians, Tatars and Armenians.

  1. Balbina (bahl-BEE-nah)
  2. Dagna (DAHG-nah. Polish form of Dagny)
  3. Debora (deh-BAW-rah. This was a very popular name among Polish-Jews in the past)
  4. Elif (this is a Turkish name)
  5. Emilie
  6. Erika
  7. Iwa (EE-vah. This is a Polish nature name. English cognate would be: Willow)
  8. Kira
  9. Latika (this is an Indian name)
  10. Latoya
  11. Leokadia (this is interesting to see, she was one of the most popular female names at the turn of the 20th-century, now she is rarely seen these days)
  12. Leonia (leh-AWN-yah)
  13. Ligia (LEEG-yah)
  14. Lorena
  15. Luna
  16. Marieta
  17. Masza (MAH-shah, a Polish form of the Russian, Masha)
  18. Matilda 
  19. Megan
  20. Nadzieja (nod-JAY-yah) a Polish word name, the English cognate would be: Hope)
  21. Nastia
  22. Nikita
  23. Noelia
  24. Oxana
  25. Pamela
  26. Raisa
  27. Salma
  28. Scarlett
  29. Sofija
  30. Waleria (vah-LARE-yah. Polish form of Valerie)
  31. Wiwiana (veef-YAH-nah, Polish form of Vivian)
  32. Adelajda (AH-deh-LYE-dah, Polish form of Adelaide)
  33. Aisha
  34. Alessia
  35. Alisa
  36. Amelie
  37. Ariadna (ah-ree-AHD-nah. Polish form of Ariadne)
  38. Arlena (ar-LEH-nah. Polish form of Arlene. This was somewhat trendy in the 1960s)
  39. Augustyna (OW-goo-STIN-nah)
  40. Aurora (ow-RAW-rah)
  41. Aylin (this is a Turkish name)
  42. Blanca 
  43. Carla
  44. Caroline
  45. Chanel
  46. Chioma (apparently, this is a Nigerian name. I don’t know how its suppose to be pronounced)
  47. Donata
  48. Gaia
  49. Hana
  50. Ismena (ees-MEH-nah. Polish form of Ismene)
  51. Jenifer
  52. Juliana
  53. Katja
  54. Kayla
  55. Ksymena
  56. Malika
  57. Marisa
  58. Melanie
  59. Mercedes
  60. Milana
  61. Miła (MEE-wah. From the Polish word for “nice; sweet.” It is an ancient Polish name)
  62. Molly
  63. Nicoletta
  64. Nicolla
  65. Patricia
  66. Vivian
  67. Żaklina (zhock-LEE-nah. This is the Polish form of Jacqueline)
  68. Alice
  69. Aliya
  70. Amalia
  71. Amira
  72. Angelica
  73. Annabel
  74. Carolina
  75. Cassandra
  76. Chiara
  77. Eleni
  78. Ella
  79. Ellen
  80. Emanuela
  81. Erin
  82. Fabiana
  83. Frida
  84. Heidi
  85. Inesa
  86. Inessa
  87. Ingrid
  88. Jagienka (This is a Medieval Polish name literally meaning, “little lamb”, it was used as a cognate for Agnes and its usage was replaced with Agnieszka by the turn of the 20th-century. yah-GYEN-kah)
  89. Julietta (yool-YET-tah)
  90. Kaia
  91. Karla
  92. Kim
  93. Klaudyna (klow-DIN-nah. This is the Polish form of Claudine)
  94. Kornela
  95. Lajla 
  96. Larissa
  97. Leah
  98. Leal
  99. Lili
  100. Lilian
  101. Margarita
  102. Marica
  103. Miranda
  104. Nadya
  105. Nila
  106. Otolia (aw-TAWL-yah. This is an old Polish name that appears occasionally among the Polish gentry between the 16th-century and the 18th-century. I imagine it is a form of Otylia).
  107. Petra
  108. Rose
  109. Sabrina
  110. Sawa (this is a Bosnian female name, from the name of a river, (see Sava)
  111. Susanna
  112. Teodora
  113. Virginia
  114. Vittoria
  115. Wera (VEH-rah)

Stay tuned tomorrow for Poland’s Most Unusual Male Names

Welcome to the World (Poland), an analysis of Polish Naming Trends

Well, I am still in the process of completing my manuscript, hopefully I should be done soon, but in the meantime, here is a list of babies born in Toruń the last year a long with my analysis of Polish baby naming trends based on the below findings. All of these are from the Polish newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza. I am going to be posting these for the following Saturdays with each major Polish city.

I provided pronunciation and the full name, plus the English equivalent. Poles tend to introduce babies via the diminutive form so the proper form will be in parenthesis. Also, middle names have only recently become popular and most of these babies will just have one name.

I divided the names up under several categories of recent name-trends.

I have also provided the occurrence of the name, so if you see, for example, x 2, next to a name, that is the amount of babies who had that name.

Classics

These are names that have always been common in Poland

Boys

  • Adam x 5 (AH-dahm)
  • Adaś x 5 [full name, Adam, (AH-dahsh)]
  • Aleksander x 8 (ah-lek-SAHN-dare)
  • Aleksander Krzysztof
  • Aleksander Stanisław
  • Aleks x 4 [full name, Aleksander]
  • Alex [full name, Aleksander]
  • Artur (AR-toor, English Equivalent: Arthur)
  • Bartek x 2 [full name either Bartłomiej or Bartosz. English equivalent: Bart]
  • Bartłomiej x 2 (bar-TWOH-myay. English Equivalent: Bartholomew)
  • Bartosz x 6 (BAR-toshe. English Equivalent: Bart or perhaps roughly, Barton)
  • Błażej x 2 (BWAH-zhay. English Equivalent: Blaise)
  • Dawid x 5 (DAH-veed)
  • Filip x 13 (FEE-leep)
  • Filip Bruno
  • Filip Czesław
  • Filip Szymon (FEE-leep, SHIH-mone)
  • Jakub x 11 (YAH-koob. English equivalent, Jacob or James)
  • Jakub Antoni
  • Jakub Sylwester
  • Jan x 8 (YAHN. English Equivalent: John)
  • Jan Paweł (YAHN PAH-veuw)
  • Jaś x 5 [full name, Jan, (YAHSH, YAHN). English Equivalent: Jack]
  • Jerzy (YARE-zhih. English Equivalent: George)
  • Karol x 4 (KAH-role. English Equivalent: Charles)
  • Konrad x 4 (KONE-rahd: English Equivalent: Conrad)
  • Konrad Seweryn (KONE-rahd, SEV-eh-rin)
  • Kubuś x 2 [full name, Jakub, (KOO-boosh). English Equivalent: Coby]
  • Krystian x 3 (KRIS-tyahn)
  • Krzysiu x 4 [full name, Krzysztof, (KZHIH-shoo, KZHIHSH-stofe)
  • Łukasz x 2 (WOO-kahsh)
  • Leszek (LEH-shek. There is no English equivalent for this. It is an old Polish name, but many Poles in the United States would often anglicize this to Les or Leslie)
  • Maciej x 2 (MOT-chay. English Equivalent: Mathias)
  • Maciej Andzej (MOT-chay; AHND-jay)
  • Maciek (full name, Mateusz, (MAH-chek, MAR-cheen). English Equivalent: Matt]
  • Maciuś x 2 [full name, Mateusz, (mah-TAY-oosh, MAH-chyoosh). English Equivalent: Matt]
  • Mateusz x 12 (mah-TAY-oosh. English Equivalent: Matthew)
  • Mateusz Robert (mah-TAY-oosh, roh-BAIRT)
  • Michał x 9 (mee-HOW)
  • Michał Kacper (mee-HOW, KAHT-spare)
  • Mikołaj x 8 (mee-KOH-why. English Equivalent: Nicholas)
  • Miłosz x 2 (MEE-woshe. This is an old Polish name with no English equivalent)
  • Mirosław (MEE-roh-swahf; mee-ROH-swahf. This is an old Polish name with no English equivalent).
  • Oskar x 4 (OSE-kar)
  • Oskar Czesław (OSE-kar, CHES-swahf)
  • Oskar Oliwier
  • Paweł x 4 (PAH-veu. English Equivalent: Paul)
  • Piotr x 4 (PYOTR. English Equivalent: Peter)
  • Piotr Tadeusz (PYOTR, tah-DAY-oosh)
  • Piotruś [full name, Piotr (PYOH-troosh)]
  • Radosław (rah-DOH-swahf, or RAH-doh-swahf, see Stanisław, below. There is no English Equivalent. This is an old Slavic name, but many Poles in the United States would often anglicize this to Roger, Rod, Roderick or Rodney)
  • Robert (ROH-bairt)
  • Stanisław x 2 (stah-NEE-swahf; or STAH-nee-swahf, the former is the proper pronunciation though certain people will pronounce it the latter way. This is one of the quintessential Polish male names. The official English translation is Stanislaus, but, Poles in the United States almost always anglicized this to Stanley)
  • Stasiu x 2 [full name, Stanisław, (STAH-shoo). English Equivalent: Stan]
  • Staś x 2 [full name, Stanisław, (STAHSH). English Equivalent: Stan]
  • Tomasz x 3 (toh-MAHSH)
  • Wojciech x 2 (VOY-chyehk. This is an old Polish name. There is no English equivalent. Its German equivalent is Adalbert and occasionally, this form was used in the United states)
  • Wojtuś [full name, Wojtek, (VOY-tek; VOY-toosh)]

Girls

  • Agatka (full name, Agata; English form Aggie)
  • Alicja x 4 (ah-LEET-syah; English form, Alice)
  • Ania x 3 [full name, Anna, (AHN-yah); English form, Annie]
  • Anna x 2 (AHN-neh-nah)
  • Basia x 5 [full name, Barbara, (BAH-shah; bar-BAH-rah); English form, Barbie]
  • Emilia x 5 (eh-MEEL-yah; English form, Emily)
  • Emilka x 3 (full name is Emilia; English form, Emmie)
  • Ewa (EH-vah. English form Eve or Eva)
  • Joanna x 4 (yoh-AHN-neh-nah. This one is obvious but it can also operate as an equivalent for Jane or Joan)
  • Karolina x 2 (kah-roh-LEE-nah; English form, Caroline)
  • Karolinka [full name, Karolina]
  • Kasia x 2 [full name, Katarzyna, (KAH-shah), English form, Kathy, Kate or Katie]
  • Katarzyna (kah-tah-ZHIH-nah; English form, Katherine or Catherine)
  • Kinga x 4 (KEEN-gah; English form, Cunigonde)
  • Magdalena x 4 (MAHG-dah-LEH-nah; English form, Madeline, Madelyn or Madeleine)
  • Małgosia x 2 [full name, Małgorzata, (mow-GOH-shah; mow-go-ZHAH-tah); English form, Maggie or Peggy]
  • Maria x 3 (MAHR-yah; English form, Mary)
  • Marta x 6 (English form, Martha)
  • Martusia (full name, Marta, (mar-TOO-shah); English form, Marti or Patsy]
  • Marysia x 7 [full name, Maria, (mah-RIH-shah); English form, Molly]
  • Olga Sylwia (OLE-gah, SILV-yah)
  • Sylwia (SIL-vyah)
  • Weronika x 4 (veh-ROH-nee-kah)
  • Weronika Anna

Modern Classics

These names may feel like classics, but they actually only became more common or popular within the last 30 years and some are even starting to wane in popularity.

Boys

  • Arek [full name, Arkadiusz, (AH-rek)
  • Arkadiusz x 2 (ar-KAH-dyoosh)
  • Damian x 2 (DAHM-yahn)
  • Dominik (DOME-mee-neek)
  • Sebastian x 2

Girls

  • Aleksandra x 4
  • Aneta (ah-NEH-tah)
  • Daria
  • Diana (dee-AH-nah)
  • Dominika (doh-mee-NEE-kah)
  • Ewelina Nikola (EV-eh-LEE-nah, NEE-koh-lah. English Equivalent: Evelyn Nicole)
  • Klaudia x 3 (KLOWD-yah)
  • Janina (yah-NEE-nah. English Equivalent: Jeannine)
  • Monika (moh-NEE-kah)
  • Natalia x 8 (nah-TAHL-yah)
  • Ola x 3  [full name, Aleksandra, (OH-lah)]
  • Oliwia x 7 (oh-LEEV-yah)
  • Paulina (pow-LEE-nah)
  • Wiktoria x 12 (veek-TOR-yah)
  • Żaneta Antonina (zhah-NEH-tah, AHN-toh-NEE-nah. A Polonized form of the French, Jeannette, this was first introduced in the 19th-century and became especially common in the 1960s)

Well, Hello! I haven’t seen you in 100 years!

Like in the United States and the U.K., many vintage names have made a comeback. What is interesting about Polish vintage names is that they reflect a time and culture that  no longer exists in Poland. In 1912, Poland was an extremely diverse country, hosting several different ethnic groups and religions. It was the home of one of the largest Jewish communities in the world, and many Polish citizens were of German, Ukrainian and Lithuanian ancestry, among others. After the devastation of World War II and the movement of borders, Poland became a 99.9 % Roman Catholic country and an ethnically homogenous one at that. By the end of the 1940s and all the way until the 1990s, German-ness was considered taboo and due to the oppression of the Soviet Union, so was anything associated with Russian culture. As a result, many names that were common pre-World War II, such as Hubert, Greta, Lena, Igor and Nikodem, went out of fashion.

Though Poland is considered one of the most homogenous countries in Europe, many Poles claim a mixed heritage. It is not uncommon to meet Poles who may have had a Jewish, German or Ukrainian grandparent. In recent years, many young Polish parents have looked to their family tree for unusual names. No longer are Ukrainian and German names hands-off, and Jewish names are being rediscovered and revived. Here is a list of names found in the Toruń birth announcements which reflect these recent trends:

Vintage

These were names that were popular among Poles regardless of ethnicity 100 years ago, which have fallen out of usage and have now experienced a new surge in popularity

Boys

  • Antek [full name Antoni, siblings: Klarcia (Klara) and Zosia (Zofia). English Equivalent: Tony]
  • Antoni x 5 (AHN-toh-nee; English equivalent, Anthony)
  • Antoś x 4 [full name Antoni, (AHN-toshe). English Equivalent: Anton or Tony)
  • Bogusz (BAW-goosh. The closest English equivalent to this would perhaps be Godfrey)
  • Cezary x 3 (tseh-ZAH-rih; English form, Caesar)
  • Florian x 2 (FLOR-yahn)
  • Franciszek x 9 (frahn-TSEE-shek; English equivalent, Francis)
  • Franciszek Andzej (frahn-TSEE-shek, AHND-jay)
  • Franciszek Antoni
  • Franek x 2 [full name, Franciszek; English equivalent, Frank]
  • Ignacy x 2 (eeg-NOT-sih; English equivalent, Ignatius)
  • Ignaś x 2 [full name, Ignacy, (eeg-NOT-sih; eeg-NAHSH; English form, Iggy or Nash)
  • Jędrzej Bogdan (YEND-jay, BOKE-dahn; This is really a Medieval form of Andrew. The more common modern Polish form is Andzej)
  • Julek 
  • Julek Andzej (YOO-lek, AHND-jay)
  • Julian x 5 (YOOL-yan)
  • Julian Jakub
  • Kacper x 9 (the Polish form of Casper)
  • Kacper Adam (KAHT-spare, AH-dahm)
  • Kajetan (KYE-yeh-tahn)
  • Kornel x 2 (English equivalent, Cornelius)
  • Kornel Filip
  • Onufry (aw-NOOF-rih; English form, Humphrey)
  • Seweryn (SEV-eh-rin; English form, Severin or Soren)
  • Teodor (English form, Theodore)
  • Tymoteusz x 2 (TIM-moh-TAY-oosh; English form, Timothy)
  • Tymoteusz Jan
  • Tytus (TIH-toos; English form, Titus)
  • Wiktor x 9 (VEEK-tor; English form, Victor)
  • Wiktor Norbert

Girls

  • Adela
  • Amelia x 7 (ah-MEL-yah)
  • Amelka (full name, Amelia)
  • Aniela (ah-NYEH-lah; literally meaning, angel, used as a form of Angela)
  • Antonina x 9 (ahn-toh-NEE-nah)
  • Antosia [full name, Antonina, (ahn-TOH-shah)]
  • Gabriela x 2
  • Gabrysia x 5 [full name, Gabriela, (gah-BRIH-shah); English equivalent, Gabby or Brielle]
  • Helena (heh-LEH-nah. English Equivalent, Helen)
  • Izabela x 3 (ee-zah-BEH-lah; English equivalent, Isabella or Isabel)
  • Konstancja x 2 (kone-STAHNT-syah; English form, Constance)
  • Kornelia x 3 (kore-NEL-yah; English form, Cornelia)
  • Laura x 3 (LOW-rah)
  • Liliana x 4 (leel-YAH-nah; English form, Lillian)
  • Łucja x 3 (WOOT-syah; English form, Lucy)
  • Michalina (mee-hah-LEE-nah)
  • Stefania (steh-FAHN-yah, English form, Stephanie)
  • Zosia x 13 [full name, Zofia, (ZOFE-yah; ZOH-shah); English form, Sophie]

German Revival

Boys

  • Bastian
  • Edward (ED-vart)
  • Emil x 2
  • Eryk (EH-rik)
  • Eryk Jan
  • Fabian x 2 (FAHB-yahn)
  • Gustaw Jan (GOO-stahf, YAHN)
  • Hubert x 6 (HOO-bairt)
  • Iwo (EE-voh)
  • Leon x 3
  • Maks
  • Maksymilian x 5 (mock-sih-MEEL-yahn)
  • Maksymilian Dariusz
  • Maksymilian Julian (mock-sih-MEEL-yahn, YOOL-yahn)
  • Olaf x 2
  • Witold (VEE-told)

Girls

  • Klara
  • Lena x 16 (LEH-nah)
  • Lena Maria
  • Lenka x 3 (Pet form of Lena)
  • Matylda (mah-TIL-dah)
  • Otylia x 2 (aw-TIL-yah)

Judaica

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, there has been a renewed interest in the legacy that the Jews of Poland have left. Though the Jewish community was not what it once was, many Poles have dug through their family trees to find, unbeknownst to them, that their family was actually Jewish. Due to the oppression and anti-Semitism of the Soviet regime, many Polish Jews who had survived the Holocaust changed their names, assimilated into Polish society, keeping their origins a secret even from their own children. Since Poland’s independence in 1989, especially in large cities, many Poles have taken up an interests in Jewish culture, some even re-converting back to Judaism. This can be reflected in recent naming trends. Below are some names that have not been used since pre-WW II, many of them used exclusively among the Jewish community of Poland but are now experiencing a trend among young Polish parents of today

Boys

  • Daniel x 2 (DAH-nyel)
  • Gabriel Stanisław
  • Jeremi (YEH-reh-mee)
  • Nataniel (nah-TAHN-yel)
  • Rafał (RAH-fow. English Equivalent, Raphael, also occasionally used among Christians in years past, the name was always more common among Jews, until recently)
  • Szymon x 9 (SHIH-mone. English Equivalent: Simon)
  • Szymon Łukasz (SHIH-moon WOO-kahsh)

Girls

  • Ada
  • Estera (es-TEH-rah)
  • Hanna (HAHN-neh-nah. Also occasionally used among Christians in the past, the name was always far more common among Jews until recently)
  • Hania x 5  [full name, Hanna, (HAHN-yah)]
  • Zuzanna x 6 (zoo-ZAHN-neh-nah. Also occasionally used among Christians in the past, the name was always far more common among Jews until recently)
  • Zuzia x 5 [full name, Zuzanna, (ZOO-zhah). English Equivalent would be Susie]

Russian/Ukrainian Imports

During the Soviet era, Poles resented the Russian occupation and more likely than not, would never give their child a Russian or “Eastern Polish” name. Before World War II, these names were especially common among inhabitants in former regions of Poland that are now in the Ukraine or border cities, where many people were uncertain of their ethnic identity. These people even spoke a dialect that was a complete admixture of Belarusian, Polish, Russian and Ukrainian. They were called, the Tutajzia (literally meaning, “from right here”).

In recent years, these names have experienced a steady revival and are no longer considered taboo or too “Russian” or “Eastern”.

Boys

  • Borys x 4 (BOH-ris)
  • Borys Tomasz (BOH-ris, TOH-mahsz)
  • Igor x 7 (EE-gore)
  • Nikodem x 3
  • Tymon x 5 (tih-MONE)

Girls

  • Anastazja Agnieszka (ah-nah-STAHZ-yah, ahg-NYESH-kah)
  • Lara Helena
  • Mila (MEE-lah)
  • Milena (mee-LEH-nah)
  • Nadia x 7 (NOD-yah)
  • Nina x 5
  • Roksana x 2 (roke-SAH-nah)

New Names, Foreign Imports and Rare Gems

Roman Patricians

Each generation seems to have a name from outside of Poland that becomes exceedingly popular. It becomes so popular that it is forgotten that it is not even Polish at all and joins the category of “Modern Classics.” What is interesting about these imports is that they are almost always “Polonized.” Hence, Brian becomes, Brajan, Annette becomes, Aneta and Jeannette is Żaneta.

By the end of the 19th-century, Poland started to explore French names. In the 20th-century, Polish parents, for whatever reason, looked to Spanish or Italian names if they wanted something unique and different, but one source has never changed since Medieval Times. That is the nomenclature of Ancient Rome. In the 18th-century, names such as Wespazjan, Westyna and Oktawian were introduced. In the 19th, it was Klaudiusz, Kamil and Klaudia among others, and today it is Adrian, Adrianna and Marcelina. Below is an example of some Roman nobles and ladies found in the Toruń birth announcements.

Boys

  • Adrian x 5
  • Kamil
  • Marcel x 4 (MART-sel))
  • Patryk x 3 (PAH-trick)

Girls

  • Adrianna x 2 (ah-dree-AHN-neh-nah)
  • Adrianna Ewa (ah-dree-AHN-neh-nah, EH-vah)
  • Donata (doh-NAH-tah)
  • Julia x 13 (YOOL-yah)
  • Julia Ewelina (YOOL-yah, EH-veh-LEE-nah)
  • Julia Maria
  • Julka x 3 (usually a short form of Julia, (YOOL-kah); English form, Julie]
  • Justyna (yoo-STIN-ah; English form, Justine)
  • Justynka [full name, Justyna, (yoo-STIN-kah)]
  • Julianna x 3 (yoo-lee-AHN-neh-nah)
  • Liwia x 2 (LEEV-yah)
  • Marcelina x 3 (mart-seh-LEE-nah)
  • Marcelina Sabina
  • Martyna x 4
  • Martynka [full name, Martyna (mar-TIH-nah; mar-TIN-kah)]
  • Oktawia (oke-TAH-vyah; English form, Octavia)

Americana and Celtisms

The United States has also somewhat contributed to Polish naming trends and in more recent years, the U.K., below is a list of English and Celtic names that appear in the Toruń birth announcements

Boys

  • Alan x 5 (AH-lahn)
  • Brajan (BRY-yahn)
  • Oliwier x 3 (OH-lee-vyare)

Girls

  • Jassica
  • Malwina (mahl-VEE-nah)
  • Nikola x 6 (nee-KOH-lah)
  • Vanessa Marika

Southern Europe

When it comes to naming their children, if you want to think outside the box, Poles tend to look to Spanish or Italian names for inspiration. Here are some examples as found in the Toruń Birth Announcements

Boys

  • Ksawery x 7 (ksah-VEH-rih. English/Spanish Equivalent: Xavier)
  • Marcangelo (dad is Italian, mom Polish)

Girls

  • Blanka x 4 (BLAHN-kah. Polonised form of the Spanish, Blanca)
  • Blanka Martyna
  • Ines
  • Ksymena (ksih-MEH-nah. A Polonised form of the Catalan, Ximena)
  • Marita

New Introductions from various countries:

These are names that appear in the Toruń which have only been in usage within the last 10 years and are imported from various countries:

  • Lila (LEE-lah)
  • Marika x 2 (mah-REE-kah; influenced by the Frisian or Dutch, Marieke)
  • Sandra x 2 (this name has only recently come into usage in Poland, despite being very common in other countries)

Nature Names

Nature names have only recently started to become more common. The Polish Naming Council always recommends against the usage of common words, there are some traditional ones, such as Jagoda (berry), which was originally used as a diminutive form of Jadwiga and Kalina (viburnum). Here are a list of nature names as found in the Toruń

  • Jagoda [berry; (yah-GAW-dah). Originally a diminutive form of Jadwiga, now used as an independent given name due to its coincidental meaning of “berry” in Polish]
  • Jagoda Anna
  • Kalina [viburnum. This name was popularized by Henryk Sienkiewicz as the name of Roman slave girl in Quo Vadis. It is alluded that she is of Slavic origins, but her name is Romanized as Calina, it coincides with the Polish word for viburnum]
  • Kalina Natalia (kah-LEE-nah, nah-TAHL-yah)
  • Lilia (LEEL-yah; English form, Lily)
  • Pola x 5 [POH-lah. This name was originally a diminutive form of Apolonia, but is now almost exclusively used as an independent given name. It coincides with the Polish word for field and has some patriotic conotations as the word for the country, “polska” is believed to derive from a Slavic source meaning, “land of fields.” This would possibly roughly be a Polish cognate to the modern and trendy English name, Meadow]
  • Maja x 13 [MYE-yah; originally used as a diminutive form of Maria, it has been used exclusively as an independent given name due to its association with the Polish word for the month of May]
  • Maja Daria
  • Maja Zofia (MYE-yah, ZOFE-yah)
  • Majka [full name, Maja, (MIKE-ah; like Micah)]
  • Róża x 2 (ROO-zhah; English form, Rose. Also the Polish word for the color pink and the rose flower)

Let’s cut to the chase

In Poland, a Katarzyna is rarely ever called by her full name, she almost is always called Kasia by her friends and family. Diminutives are extremely important and well-loved in Polish society, but it has only been very recently that diminutives have been used as independent given names. Below are examples of diminutives used exclusively as independent given names in the Toruń birth announcements.

  • Iga x 4 [EE-gah; originally a diminutive form of Jadwiga or Ignacja, it is now used exclusively as an independent given name and has become extremely popular]
  • Kaja [KYE-yah; originally a diminutive form Kajetana, Kazimiera or Katarzyna, it is now used exclusively as an independent given name, possibly being popularized by the Polish pop-singer of the same name]
  • Zosia Agnieszka [mostly a diminutive of Zofia, it has recently been occasionally used as an independent given name in Poland]