Czech common lastnames??

Discussion in 'Culture' started by Kozoroh, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. Ceit

    Ceit Well-Known Member

    And Jane and Jean. Not to mention Johanna...but all from Hebrew meaning "God is gracious" in any case. Some say Tatiana is derived from the Roman family name Tatius and some say it's a pet form of Anastasia, from Greek for "resurrection".

    Does anybody know of a good book on Czech surnames? I don't mean just a list of the most common names, I mean something more academic with a study of how and why they developed, maybe how spelling was changed over time, etc. They sometimes show up in books on American surnames, but information is scanty.
  2. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    Interestingly enough, Ceit, I just came across a site that lists Czech and Slovak first names (not last names, unfortunately) with equivalents in other languages, including a brief meaning and etymology. I haven't looked that closely at it, yet, but will do so when I have more time. Here's the link:
  3. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

  4. Ceit

    Ceit Well-Known Member

    Yeah...that's what I'm talkin' about! 8)
  5. BCE753

    BCE753 New Member

    My grandmother's parents were from Moravia. One from a place, which in 1903 was referred to as M. Ostrian, which I believe is today known as Ostrava. The other's family was from a town called Zabreh, near Sumperk in central Moravia.

    Their names were:




    I cannot add the accents, but anyone familiar with the names will recognize them. Capik, I believe is fairly common, but Opela is not--although my skeptical Czech friend found several listed in the phone book on

    If anyone can tell me the meaning of either name, I would appreciate it.

  6. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    Opěla (cca 300 people in the Czechlands) is more common surname than Čapík (cca 80).
  7. BCE753

    BCE753 New Member

    Thank you, Zeisig. That's interesting. Can you tell me what the names would mean if translated into English?
  8. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    Čapík could mean a little stork (čáp = stork), but not necessarily. The ethymology of surnames is often obscure.

    Opěla has no meaning, at least in today's Czech. The stem -pě- occurs in many Czech words (e.g. pěl = he sang), but the word opěla itself is not in use.
  9. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

    In Slovak language, čapík means
    1. uvula
    2. suppository
    3. small peg, plug or bung
  10. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    The Slovak word čapík is a diminutive of čap, which is čep (= peg, bung, pivot, spigot, tap) in Czech (the diminutive is čípek = uvula, suppository).

    Czech čep, dim. čípek = Slovak čap, dim. čapík
  11. BCE753

    BCE753 New Member

    Thank you for the clarification, Zeisig, but I think I preferred "little stork"--bung does not have a very good connotation in my experience! ;-)
  12. Ceit

    Ceit Well-Known Member

    You use the same word for "uvula" and "suppository"? :? Well, as long as you don't see or hear things out of context... :lol:
  13. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    The Czech language is not so latinized like the English one. Out of context the word čípek simply means a small peg, plug or bung. It is also a surname. The meanings palatine uvula, retinal cone, suppository, etc. are figurative. But the medicine doctors certainly use the Latin terms.
  14. GlennInFlorida

    GlennInFlorida Well-Known Member

    I'm sure it is a perfectly respectable word, but we don't use bung much except in the context of "bung hole" - which is rather crude slang for what you sit on (and, I don't mean the chair). :wink:
  15. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    That makes me wonder if they ever get bevis and butthead over in the CR. :lol:

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