The name is composed of the Old Slavic elements, cza- (referring to expectation) or chest (honour; worship).
The name was relatively common Poland at the start of the 20th-century all the way to the 1950s. The name is still prevalent, but is considered somewhat dated.
The name was often unofficially anglicized to Chester among Polish immigrants to the United States.
The name was borne by a 13th-century Polish saint; by Polish-Lithuanian poet Czesław Miłosz (1911-2004); and by famous Polish rock musician, Czesław Nieman (1939-2004).
Another Polish form, albeit rare, is Czasław.
Diminutives include: Czach, Czasz, Czaszek, Czaszko, Czesz, Czeszek, Czeszko, Czeszk, Czak and Czakan.
Polish feminine forms are Czesława and Czasława.
Female diminutives include: Czeszka & Czesia.
Other forms include:
- Časlav Часлав (Croatian/Serbian)
- Česlav (Czech/Slovak)
- Ceslas (Dutch)
- Ceslaus (Late Latin)
- Česlovas (Lithuanian)
- Chestislav Честислав (Old Church Slavonic)
A Lithuanian feminine form is Česlova.
Designated name-days are: January 12, April 19, April 20, July 20 and September 2 (Poland).