Most Popular Polish Last Names
Like most European countries, Polish last names are most often derived from place names, family patriarchs or nicknames that denote a trait. Place names usually end in -ski (as evidenced in the list below), and these were exclusively for the elite and noble. However, it soon became popular and fashionable to have a -ski ending last name, which made it the identifying trait of a Polish surname.
There are usually 3 types of Polish surnames, and can belong to one of the following 3 categories:
These names come from a nickname that describes a specific trait of a person. They can also be occupational surnames.
These names tell you where the individual is from, whether that be their place of birth or family origin.
These names are derived from an individuals given name, and usually end in a suffix that indicates a family relation.
50 Most Common Polish Surnames Meanings
Below is a list of the top 50 most popular Polish last names, with meanings.
- Nowak – New
- Kowalski – Blacksmith
- Wiśniewski – Cherry
- Dabrowski – Oak Forest
- Kaminski – Stone
- Kowalcyzk – Blacksmith variant
- Zielinski – Green
- Symanski – Simon
- Wozniak – Apparitor
- Kozlowski – From Kozlow (Town) Goat
- Wojciechowski – From the first name Wojciech, or Adalber
- Kwiatkowski -From a place called Kwiatków or Kwiatkowo
- Kaczmarek – Innkeeper
- Piotrowski – Derived from the given name Peter
- Grabowski – Hornbeam
- Nowakowski – One who came from Nowakowo
- Pawlowski – Derived from the given name Pavel, which is the Slavic form of the name Paul.
- Michalski – Someone from Michale
- Nowicki – From place name such as Nowice
- Adamczyk – Earth
- Dudek – Hoopoe (Bird)
- Zajac – Hare
- Wieczorek – Resembling a bat
- Jablonski – Apple Tree
- Krol – Curly haired
- Majewski – From Majewo
- Olszewski – Dweller at, or near, the alder-wood tree.
- Jaworski – Maple, Sycamore
- Pawlak – Variant of Paul
- Walczak – Healthy and Vigorous
- Gorski – Mountain, Hill
- Rutkowski – Dweller at a place where rue grew.
- Ostrowski – Island, Water Meadow
- Duda – Street Musician
- Tomaszewski – From Tomaszew or Tomaszewo
- Jasinski – Ash Tree
- Zawadzki – Obstruction, Fortress
- Chmielewski – One from the place of the hops
- Borkowski – A person who resided near a physical place such as a hill, stream, church, or tree.
- Czarnecki – Someone from Czarnca
- Sawicki – Someone from Sawica
- Sokolowski – From Sokolka
- Maciejewski – Gift of The Lord
- Szczepanski – Someone from Szczepany
- Kucharski – Cook
- Kalinowski – From Kalinowa
- Wysocki – High
- Adamski – Someone from Adamy/Adamowo
- Sobczak – Usurp glory
- Czerwinski – Someone from Czerwin