Kazimierz

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Polish
Meaning: “destroyer of peace.”
Pol (kah-ZHEE-myezh); Eng (KAZ-meer); Fre (ka-zee-MEER)

A classic Polish male name, it is mostly agreed to be derived from the Old Polish elements, kazić meaning “to destroy, corrupt; annihilate” and mir meaning, “peace.” Hence, the name would probably roughly translate to something like “destroyer of peace.”

The name has been fairly common in Poland and Lithuania for centuries, due to the fame of several honorable Polish kings who bore the name. The first was Duke Kazimierz I of Poland who was known for reuniting the Polish lands into a cohesive nation (1016-1058), another Kazimierz III the Great (1310-1370) who is the only Polish king to ever receive the title of “Great” in history, is renowned for his peaceful laws and developing Poland into a prosperous nation during the late Middle Ages.

In Jewish history, Kazimierz the Great is regarded as a sort of righteous gentile, as he is known for creating laws which specifically protected Jews against persecution, granting the community great freedom in Poland. He issued a death warrant against anyone who kidnapped a Jewish child and forced to convert them or against anyone who desecrated Jewish cemetaries. He also invited many Jews who were expelled from Portugal and Spain to settle in Poland, as a result, Kazimierz became an extremely popular name among Polish Jews, and the Old Jewish Town in Krakow, Kazimierz, was even named in his honour.

Another distinguished Kazimierz was Kazimierz IV Jagiellonie, Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland. He was the first native borne Christian Grand Duke of Lithuania (1427-1497). His son, Casimir was canonized a saint (1458-1484). He is considered the patron saint of Lithuania.

In American history, it was borne by Casimir Pulaski (1745-1779), known as the father of American cavalry, he was a Polish mercenary who volunteered his services for the Americans during the American Revolution. In some areas of the United States, particularly in places where there are large pockets of Polish-Americans, Pulaski Day is considered a federal holiday.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Kazimír (Czech/Hungarian/Slovak)
    Casimir (English/French/German)
  • Kasimir (German)
  • Kázmér (Hungarian)
  • Casimiro (Italian/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Kazimirs (Latvian)
  • Kazimiras (Lithuanian)
  • Kazys (Lithuanian)
  • Kazimir Казимир (Russian/Ukrainian)
  • Kuzmir (Yiddish)

A common Polish diminutive form is Kazik (KAH-zheek).

Feminine forms include the Archaic German, Kasimira , the Polish Kazimira, the obscure French, Casimire and the Lithuanian Kazė and Kazimiera.

Polish feminine diminutives include Kaja (KYE-ah) and Kazia (KAH-zhah).

The designated name-day is March 4 (France, Poland) and March 22 (Poland).

Sources

  1. http://www.behindthename.com/name/kazimierz