history ? Czech names in Slovakia

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous (Czech-Related)' started by Dan, Feb 3, 2005.

  1. Dan

    Dan Member

    I was a bit startled to hear some Slovaks tell me that my surname (Polacek) is of Czech or Moravian origin as my father and his relatives all consider themselves Slovaks.

    Actually it seems like there are quite a few Slovaks with what appear to be Czech surnames. From what I hear any name that ends with a -cek is usually a Czech name meaning "son of" or "little" and the Slovak equivalent is -cik.

    Assuming this is true, what would have caused a Czech migration to Slovak lands? Hapsburgs vs. Protestants? War in Moravia?
  2. idemtidem

    idemtidem Well-Known Member

    You're right -cek sounds Czech, whereas -cik sounds Slovak. And Polacek means "little Polish person". :D
  3. Dan

    Dan Member

    Right, some have told me that my ancestors probably originally came from Poland.

    So, my name is Moravian/Czech, my grandfather came from Slovakia, but his relatives many years ago came from Poland???? So, I don't know if I'm Slovak, Czech, or Polish or maybe I'm all 3?

    Gee, talk about an identity crisis :lol:

  4. idemtidem

    idemtidem Well-Known Member

    :D Sounds familiar as I'm half Czech, quarter Slovak and quarter Hungarian!
  5. szarkafarka

    szarkafarka Well-Known Member

    Dan, no crisis. You are Slavic. Our ancestors came from Russian forest-steppes.

    BTW, the famous Czech writer Karel Poláček was of Jewish origin.
    (maybe your ancestors were Slavicized Jews, too)
  6. babicka

    babicka Well-Known Member

    I know what you mean about an identity crisis!!!
    I am half Czech and half Irish.

    Yet many people do not class a person as being say :- Czech, Polish, Hungarian, German etc unless they have actually been born in that particular country. So say a married couple, both born in the The Czech Republic, then went to live in the USA and later had children there, could those same children class themselves as being Czech if they wanted too?

    I suppose it is a bit like that song which mentions 'one large melting pot', although naturally we have not reached that stage yet.
  7. brigitte

    brigitte Well-Known Member

    Interesting. My ex partner's Slovak mate whom I mentioned in another thread is the same I think, but we call him a Slovak because he was born there. He has Czech and Hungarian ancestry. I have known him since the 70s and he was called a Czechoslovakian/Czech then. He doesn't mind what he's called - although he would rightly be called a Slovak now.
  8. Eva2

    Eva2 Well-Known Member

    There is also a lot of German blood mixed with the Czech one. My husband and I have each a German grandmother. This is natural when two cultures live side by side.
  9. Dan

    Dan Member

    Babi asks:

    So say a married couple, both born in the The Czech Republic, then went to live in the USA and later had children there, could those same children class themselves as being Czech if they wanted too?

    In the USA in general, and in particular the city I live in which is populated by many ethnic groups, it's very common to identify one's family and individual identity as German, Irish, Italian, Slovak, Czech etc. This is a very Catholic city and strong identification with historical parishes and neigborhoods which were populated by certain ethnic groups.

    I don't know if this is the practice in other countries but it seems to be common in my neighborhood.

  10. idemtidem

    idemtidem Well-Known Member

    You're right. Even though my grandparents came from Slovakia and Hungary, I consider myself Czech. I grew up in the CR and wasn't really exposed to anything else.

    I think that it depends on the actions of the parents. If the child grew up being taught nothing about the Czech Republic, then I would consider him/her an American with Czech parents. If the child has been exposed to and taught about Czech culture, I would consider him/her a Czech American.
  11. Dan

    Dan Member

    BTW, the famous Czech writer Karel Poláček was of Jewish origin.
    (maybe your ancestors were Slavicized Jews, too)

    Last edited by szarkafarka on 04-Feb-05 12:18; edited 1 time in total

    ...and that probably explains why some people have asked me or my sons if they were Jewish.

    Dakujem for the information (or is it dakuji in Czech??) abotu K Polacek and about early Slavs. You piqued my curiousity about the early Slavs and I have just recently done reading about this topic. Apparently at one time, Russians, Slovaks, Poles etc. all lived in a certain area east of CR and SK and moved westward about 500 A.D.
  12. babicka

    babicka Well-Known Member

    Dan - Thanks for your feedback!!

    I know in the town where I lived before in West Yorkshire there was a prominent Ukrainian ethnic group similar to that which you have described in your post. They also attended a Catholic church, where one of the masses each Sunday was said in Ukrainian. This was the first time I had come accross such a practice, but, as yet, I have not come accross any similar Czech and/or Slovak ethnic groups in England. Does anybody else know if there are any such ethnic groups in England?

    Kind regards

  13. Eva2

    Eva2 Well-Known Member

    Babi, I don't think you will find any such Czech groups in England. The funny thing with the Czechs is that as soon as they master the local language, they tend to blend into the host society. The Slovaks are little more gregarious while the Poles and the Ukrainians stick together in a big way.
  14. brigitte

    brigitte Well-Known Member

    A Slovak friend I mentioned does this - ever since I have known him he has spoken fluent English and blended in with the English. He has a couple of friends who are also Slovaks, but they too I think have been in UK many years - I don't know them too well, they live in another part of the country. If there were others I bet he'd know who they were though...! I am not sure of the Czech/Slovak population in my town apart from a nearby flat that has two small Czech flags in the window. So I suppose a Czech lives there... nothing to do with my lot, this person has flower tubs on the balcony, if it was anyone I know it would be car parts! :wink:

    I don't know of any Czech/Slovak groups, if there are I expect they are more likely to be in London - I think there is a Polish group as I was watching a programme of the holocaust memorial and I think a Polish centre in London was visited. These were mainly elderly people there though.
  15. babicka

    babicka Well-Known Member

    Eva 2 you made a very good observation, as it is interesting to know which ethnic groups just blend into society whilst others try to stick together and in turn form their own little community.

    Brigitte - quote:- "a nearby flat has two small czech flags in the window".
    Even though you do not know whether they are czech or not, could this be the beginning of a new trend? Although probably not adviseable, as depending on which country's flag is being displayed some people could end up with broken windows!!!
  16. brigitte

    brigitte Well-Known Member

    True that, Babicka - Someone in the UK got into trouble with the authorites for putting the European flag up outside their pub for some reason - although they have since been allowed to keep it.

    I think the only time someone may get into bother by showing a flag is if there is a potentially explosive situation, usually political or sport. In the UK, in some places, even having the Union Jack up is frowned upon, although I personally don't have a problem with it. I think this flat with the Czech flags are probably Czechs, and are just being patriotic.
  17. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member


    D'akujem is Slovak. Děkují or Děkuju is Czech.


    Your observation seems to hold true in the bigger cities. I've seen much the same in the cities I've lived in, especially with the Ukrainians (there is a large Ukrainian population here in Rochester, for example). I have noticed, however, several small towns in the USA, where groups of Czechs settled a hundred years ago or so, and yet have kept much of their culture intact, and even to some extent the language. Perhaps this is the exception rather than the rule, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.

Share This Page