Cultural aspects of proper names

Wanda Szulowska

Polska Akademia Nauk w Warszawie


The article discusses some cultural aspects and political developments that doubtlessly
influence forms of proper names belonging to various name categories. In the case
of first names the focus is put on various motivations for name choices made in the periods
before and after Christianization. As far as the category of surnames is concerned,
it is emphasized that surnames ending with the suffix -ski enjoy a dominant position
in Poland, which was certainly caused by the nobility culture perceived as superior.
On the other hand, the status of feminine personal names is discussed in connection
with women’s legal situation in those times. The influence of later political developments
on all categories of proper names is addressed as well. The article aims to draw readers’
attention to how political and social changes, as well as tradition impact the structure
of the onymic system in the Polish language.


proper names, culture, Slavic names, Christian names, surnames, place names, tradition and change

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Cited by

Szulowska, W. (2021). Cultural aspects of proper names. Prace Językoznawcze, 23(2), 43–54.

Wanda Szulowska 
Polska Akademia Nauk w Warszawie


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