Friday, February 15, 2013

My Favorite Polish Names - Girls


I had the pleasure of living in Warsaw, Poland for three years. While there, I heard different, but familiar, names everywhere I went. One of the first purchases I made after landing in Poland in 2009 was the book pictured above. It lists Polish names with their English equivalent (if applicable), where they originate, their meaning, a history of the name's use in Poland, and diminutives. It really is a fascinating book if you like Polish names or just want to find out more about them.

Poland has a unique place in Europe. It is located between two former countries that overtook it for a significant portion of recent history, and while being influenced by its experiences, it stayed true to itself and continues to flourish culturally. Similarly, names in Poland are either of Polish origin, such as Władysław, or a name that can be traced back to Christianity or other inspirations, such as Elżbieta (Elizabeth). I love the special twist in the names that make them distinctive, but completely wearable in the Western world.

Without further ado, here are my top 20 Polish girl names. I've also included their English equivalent and diminutives, which can also be considered as names themselves.

Agata (ah-GAH-tah) - Agatha; Agatka
Anastazja (ah-nah-STAHZ-yah)- Anastasia; Nastka, Nastusia
Beata (be-AHT-ah) - Beata; Beatka
Brygida (bri-GEE-dah) - Bridget; Brygidka
Danuta (dah-NU-tah) - Donna; Danka, Danusia
Dominika (daw-mee-NEE-kah) - Dominica; Domeczka, Dominiczka, Domka
Dorota (daw-RAW-tah) - Dorothy; Dora, Dorotka
Edyta (e-DI-tah) - Edith; Edytka
Ewa (E-vah) - Eve; Ewka, Ewunia
Halina (hah-LEE-nah) - Helene; Hala, Halka, Halinka
Irena (ee-RE-nah) - Irene; Ira, Ircia, Irka
Jadwiga (yahd-VEE-gah) - Hedwig, Heddy; Jadzia, Jaga, Iga
Justyna (yuws-TI-nah)- Justine; Justynka
Katarzyna (kah-tah-ZHI-nah) - Katherine; Kasia, Kasienka
Magdalena (mahg-dah-LE-nah) - Magdalene; Magda, Madzia
Marcelina (mahr-tse-LEE-nah ) - Marcellina; Marcelka, Celina
Renata (re-NAH-tah)- Renee; Rena, Renatka, Renia
Urszula (uwr-SHUW-lah) - Ursula; Ula, Uleczka, Ulka
Zofia (ZAW-fyah) - Sophia; Zosia, Zoska
Zuzanna (zuw-ZAHN-nah) - Suzanna, Susannah, Suzanne, Susan; Zuza, Zuzanka, Zuzka

What are your favorites? Do you have another favorite Polish girl name that isn't listed here?

Here is my list of favorite Polish names for boys!

Thank you to Polish First Names and Behind the Name for the reference help.

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3 comments:

  1. In this list I would have to say Magdalena is my favorite and Dominika is my husband's favorite. My niece's name is Lena, which is pretty popular. We prefer to stay with something that is translatable into both Polish and English.

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  2. I really like Beata, Brygida, Magdalena, Marcelina, and Zuzanna. Another that I'm fond of is Wisława (because of the poet Wisława Szymborska).

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  3. Halina is really pretty. I also like Renata, but maybe because it reminds me of a Renata (any former HUF villa residents out there?). I've always liked Brygida, but didn't know the polish spelling. :)

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