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Polish Names

Related Links: Polish baby names and Vote for your favourite Polish name.

Polish surnames, like those in most of Europe, are hereditary and generally patrilineal, i.e., passed from the father on to his children.

A married woman usually adopts her husband's name. However, other combinations are legally possible. The wife may keep her maiden name (nazwisko panieńskie) or add her husband's surname to hers, thus creating a double-barrelled name (nazwisko złożone). However, if she already has a double-barrelled name, she must leave one of the parts out—it is illegal to use a triple- or more-barrelled name. It is also possible, though rare, for the husband to adopt his wife's surname or to add his wife's surname to his family name.

The two most widespread and common Polish surnames are Kowalski (Blacksmith) and Nowak (New).

 Contact us if you have a question about the meaning of your Polish family name.

 

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