Most Common Polish Last Names With Meanings

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:

Occupational/Descriptive Trait

These names come from a nickname that describes a specific trait of a person. They can also be occupational surnames.

Geographical/Place Names

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.

Polish Last Names
Polish Last Names


50 Most Common Polish Surnames Meanings

Below is a list of the top 50 most popular Polish last names, with meanings.

  1. Nowak – New
  2. Kowalski – Blacksmith
  3. Wiśniewski – Cherry
  4. Dabrowski – Oak Forest
  5. Kaminski – Stone
  6. Kowalcyzk – Blacksmith variant
  7. Zielinski – Green
  8. Symanski – Simon
  9. Wozniak – Apparitor
  10. Kozlowski – From Kozlow (Town) Goat
  11. Wojciechowski – From the first name Wojciech, or Adalber
  12. Kwiatkowski  -From a place called Kwiatków or Kwiatkowo
  13. Kaczmarek – Innkeeper
  14. Piotrowski – Derived from the given name Peter
  15. Grabowski  – Hornbeam
  16. Nowakowski – One who came from Nowakowo
  17. Pawlowski – Derived from the given name Pavel, which is the Slavic form of the name Paul.
  18. Michalski – Someone from Michale
  19. Nowicki  – From place name such as Nowice
  20. Adamczyk – Earth
  21. Dudek  – Hoopoe (Bird)
  22. Zajac – Hare
  23. Wieczorek – Resembling a bat
  24. Jablonski – Apple Tree
  25. Krol – Curly haired
  26. Majewski – From Majewo
  27. Olszewski – Dweller at, or near, the alder-wood tree.
  28. Jaworski – Maple, Sycamore
  29. Pawlak – Variant of Paul
  30. Walczak – Healthy and Vigorous
  31. Gorski – Mountain, Hill
  32. Rutkowski – Dweller at a place where rue grew.
  33. Ostrowski – Island, Water Meadow
  34. Duda – Street Musician
  35. Tomaszewski – From Tomaszew or Tomaszewo
  36. Jasinski – Ash Tree
  37. Zawadzki – Obstruction, Fortress
  38. Chmielewski – One from the place of the hops
  39. Borkowski – A person who resided near a physical place such as a hill, stream, church, or tree.
  40. Czarnecki – Someone from Czarnca
  41. Sawicki – Someone from Sawica
  42. Sokolowski – From Sokolka
  43. Maciejewski – Gift of The Lord
  44. Szczepanski – Someone from Szczepany
  45. Kucharski – Cook
  46. Kalinowski – From Kalinowa
  47. Wysocki – High
  48. Adamski – Someone from Adamy/Adamowo
  49. Sobczak – Usurp glory
  50. Czerwinski – Someone from  Czerwin
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