Etymology of -kowski name suffix

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Oniw17, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. Oniw17 ascetic, sage, diogenes, bum? Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,423
    Where is this kind of name from? There are many -kowski athletes.
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    11,207
    Poland, I think, though the Russian ending - ovski, or -ovsky is almost the same. I don't think the first "k" is part of it though - I recall a Paulowski at school, for example.
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. KitemanSA Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    624
    AFAICT, it is slavic meaning "son of". Johnson, Ivanovski, same name, different languages.
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    -ov is a suffix meaning "son of ---" or "of the --- family" in the Slavic languages. In Polish it's spelled with a W but it's still pronounced V. In Russian, final voiced consonants are usually rendered unvoiced, so it's pronounced -of, and since Russian uses a different alphabet we often transliterate it as -of or -off instead of -ov, as in Romanoff.

    Sometimes it comes out as -ev or -ew, as in Khrushchev or Zbigniew.

    The feminine suffix is -ova. In Czech, it's added to a woman's surname, so if her father's or husband's surname is Škoda, hers will be Škodova.

    -ski is a more general suffix used to form adjectives such as nationalities, e.g., Russki, Americanski. But it's also used in surnames with the general meaning, "descended from," usually appended to the -ov/-ev or -ow/-ew that's already there, such as Chaikovsky or Paderewski. But we occasionally see a name like Chomsky.

    We often see Chaikovsky spelled "Tschaikowski" because that's how the Germans have to spell it in order to pronounce it correctly.
     
  8. Oniw17 ascetic, sage, diogenes, bum? Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,423
    So Mankowski, for example, translates to 'Descended from the family of Mank,' roughly? And Janikowski to 'descended from the family of he who has been favored with a son?'
     

Share This Page