POLAND-ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > POLAND-ROOTS > 2010-08 > 1282756197
From: "Armata, Joseph R" <>
Subject: Re: [POLAND] -ska surnames
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 2010 13:09:57 -0400
Not meaning to butt in, but the -ska/-ski rule applies only to surnames that are adjectives, because in that case they're grammatical endings attached to the adjective. So it's Mr. Krakowski (krakowski, an adjective meaning something pertaining to Krakow) and Mrs. Krakowska, Mr. Kowalski (pertaining to a kowal or smith) and Mrs. Kowalska.
But when the surname is a noun ending in -ska, then it's not an adjective, so its ending doesn't change from a man to a woman. Brzozka, spelled Brzoska in your case, is a noun, meaning a birch tree, so it's Mr. Brzoska nad Mrs. Brzoska. Another example would be Mr. Laska and Mrs. Laska, as their surname is laska meaning a walking stick. That it ends in -ska is just a coincidence.
Gruszka is also a noun (a pear), and adjectives don't have a -szka ending, so it wouldn't change for a man or a woman.
To Poles this is as natural as sunrise, you just have to know the language. Like in English, -ly is an ending used to turn an adjective into an adverb (glad becomes gladly, happy becomes happily), but sometimes it's not an ending at all: lily, Sally, silly, rally, gully. Or -est is the superlative for adjectives (the most old is the oldest, the most slow is the slowest), but forest doesn't mean the most for, and guest doesn't mean the most gue and rest doesn't mean the most "r"! In those words, the -est is just part of the noun itself.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [mailto:poland-roots-
> ] On Behalf Of MJDallas
> Sent: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 11:35 AM
> Subject: [POLAND] -ska surnames
> I'm sending this to the list instead of to your personal email, because
> your answer may help others dealing with similar surname issues. I
> often see the "-ski ending is for males and -ska is for females"
> statement. While this is true most of the time, it isn't always true.
> My ancestral surname, Brzóska, doesn't follow that rule. Another
> surname I've come across in trying to help another person is Gruszka.
> It's associated with a female in an American record, so she isn't sure
> whether it should stand as Gruszka or if it would be Gruszki for males.
> According to the Moikrewni site, there were some 13,000 individuals
> listed with the Gruszka spelling and none with the -ski spelling
> (although you can find lots of folks outside of Poland spelling it
> Gruszki). I understand that Gruszka comes from the root word, _grusz_,
> meaning "pear tree." Incidentally, Brzoska come from _brzoza_, meaning
> "birch tree."
> The above "evidence" would lead one to assume that Gruszka is the
> "correct" spelling (vs. -ski), but I don't want to assume anything.
> Would Gruszka likely follow the same rule as Brzoska?
|Re: [POLAND] -ska surnames by "Armata, Joseph R" <>|