60+ Polish Last Names/Surnames With Meanings And Origins

60+ Of The Most Popular Polish Last Names (With Meanings And Origins!)

November 30, 2020 Updated March 29, 2021

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Mohammed Ajwad/Unsplash

Polish last names, like many others in the region, tend to be based on occupations/jobs, places, or nicknames. Etymologically speaking, these three categories are known as cognominal, toponymic, and patronymic, respectively. Around the 13th century, it became trendy for people to add the suffix -ski (which means “of”) to their last names. It still remains one of the biggest clues that a name is Polish — roughly 35 percent of the 1000 most popular Polish surnames have the -ski suffix. Between the 15th and 17th centuries, most people had three names: a given name, a clan name, and a last name. Then, between the end of the 17th century and mid-19th century, most of the population dropped their clan names, with the focus then placed on the family name; many of which remain.

You’ll also see Slavic names among Polish last names. Legend has it that when these names were given, the bearer was meant to fulfill the prophecy of the name’s meaning. But when a ban on pagan names was imposed with the Council of Trent, these old Slavic names — and their suffixes used to create surnames — all but died out. As is true with naming in many cultures, though, trends and customs have seen several evolutions over time. In the 19th century, Poles reclaimed the old Slavic names and suffixes out of patriotism. Some of these are still in use today.

It’s no wonder that Polish last names are popular — it’s a fascinating region and culture. Did you know that Poland is the ninth largest country in Europe? But that isn’t the only cool thing you should keep in mind about this Eastern European nation. For one, it shares a border with seven other countries including Russia, Lithuania, Belarus, Slovakia, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, and Germany. (That’s a lot of neighbors!) Its official name is the Republic of Poland and, within their culture, they value health, faith, adaptability, generosity, justice, nobility, tradition, stoicism, sentimentality, and optimism.

Do you want to learn more last names from other countries? We’ve gathered surnames from around the world to satiate your curiosity. Check out our bounty of SpanishMexican, and Brazilian last names!

Poland is a vast country filled with millions of people with a million stories. Last names can give you a glimpse of that. Ready to learn more? Check out some of the most popular Polish last names, along with their meanings and origins.

    1. Adamik
      Meaning: Man
      Origin: Hebrew
    2. Andrysiak
      Meaning: Son of Andrzej
      Origin: Polish
    3. Adamski
      Meaning: Someone from Adamy, a village in Poland
      Origin: Polish, Jewish, Ashkenazic
    4. Antol
      Meaning: Precious
      Origin: Latin
    5. Augustyn
      Meaning: Augustinus; exalted, majestic, or venerable
      Origin: Polish, Latin
    6. Bartosz
      Meaning: Son of Talmai or son of Furrows
      Origin: Polish
    7. Bosko
      Meaning: Barefoot
      Origin: Polish, Slovak
    8. Broz
      Meaning: Immortal
      Origin: Polish
    9. Brzezinski
      Meaning: Birch forest
      Origin: Polish
    10. Budny
      Meaning: Hut, cabin
      Origin: Polish
    11. Bukoski
      Meaning: Someone who belonged to the town of Bukowo
      Origin: Polish
    12. Chlebek
      Meaning: Bread
      Origin: Polish
    13. Chmiel
      Meaning: Someone who grows hops (the plant used to brew beer)
      Origin: Polish
    14. Czajka
      Meaning: Lapwing bird
      Origin: Polish
    15. Czajkowski
      Meaning: Someone who belongs to the village of Czajkow or any other place with a name starting with the word Czajk
      Origin: Polis
    16. Dabrowski
      Meaning: Oak grove
      Origin: Polish
    17. Dudek
      Meaning: A crested Old World nonpasserine bird
      Origin: Polish, Ukrainian, Czech, Slovak
    18. Dziedzic
      Meaning: Landowner
      Origin: Polish
    19. Gorecki
      Meaning: Mountain
      Origin: Polish
    20. Jabłoński
      Meaning: Apple tree
      Origin: Polish
    21. Jagoda
      Meaning: Berry
      Origin: Polish
    22. Jankowski
      Meaning: Someone from Jankow
      Origin: Polish
    23. Jaworski
      Meaning: Maple; someone from Jawory
      Origin: Polish
    24. Kaczka
      Meaning: Duck
      Origin: Polish
    25. Kaczmarek
      Meaning: Innkeeper
      Origin: Polish
    26. Kaminski
      Meaning: Stone, rock
      Origin: Polish
    27. Kowalski
      Meaning: Blacksmith
      Origin: Polish
    28. Kozlowski
      Meaning: From the town of the goat
      Origin: Polish
    29. Król
      Meaning: King
      Origin: Polish
    30. Kwiatkowski
      Meaning: Flower; someone from Kwiatkow
      Origin: Polish
    31. Laska
      Meaning: Grace, mercy
      Origin: Polish
    32. Lewandowski
      Meaning: Lavender
      Origin: Polish
    33. Majewski
      Meaning: Someone from Majewo
      Origin: Polish
    34. Malinowski
      Meaning: Raspberry; someone from Malinow in Poland or Malinov in Ukraine
      Origin: Slavic
    35. Nosek
      Meaning: Small nose
      Origin: Polish
    36. Nowak
      Meaning: New
      Origin: Polish
    37. Olszewski
      Meaning: Someone from Olszewo
      Origin: Polish
    38. Pawlak
      Meaning: Little
      Origin: Polish
    39. Raatz
      Meaning: Wise, just man; counsel, advice
      Origin: Polish, German
    40. Raba
      Meaning: Teacher
      Origin: Polish
    41. Rabarchak
      Meaning: Son of the rabbi
      Origin: Polish
    42. Rabinowitz
      Meaning: Son of the rabbi
      Origin: Polish-Lithuanian Ashkenazi Jewish
    43. Rach
      Meaning: Rough, stiff
      Origin: Polish, German
    44. Rachman
      Meaning: Merciful
      Origin: Polish, Jewish
    45. Rachowski
      Meaning: Someone from Rakowo
      Origin: Polish
    46. Racki
      Meaning: Someone from Radzie in Bialystok and Suwalki voivodeships.
      Origin: Polish
    47. Ryba
      Meaning: Fisherman
      Origin: Polish
    48. Sniegow
      Meaning: Person from a place with snow
      Origin: Polish
    49. Stępień
      Meaning: A plodder, someone with a slow gait
      Origin: Polish
    50. Szymanski
      Meaning: Someone from Szymany in Konin or Lomza Voivodeships
      Origin: Polish
    51. Wiater
      Meaning: Wind
      Origin: Polish
    52. Wiśniewski
      Meaning: Cherry; someone from Wisniewo
      Origin: Polish
    53. Witkowski
      Meaning: To guide the people; someone from Witkowo
      Origin: Polish
    54. Wojciech
      Meaning: Warrior, war
      Origin: Polish
    55. Wojciechowski
      Meaning: Someone from Wojciechowo
      Origin: Polish
    56. Wójcik
      Meaning: Son of Wójt
      Origin: Polish
    57. Wozniak
      Meaning: Caretaker
      Origin: Polish
    58. Wróbel
      Meaning: Sparrow
      Origin: Polish
    59. Zabek
      Meaning: Tooth
      Origin: Polish
    60. Zając
      Meaning: Hare
      Origin: Proto-Slavic
    61. Zieliński
      Meaning: Green
      Origin: Polish