[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] SURNAME ORIGINS

Mike McHenry maurmike1 at verizon.net
Wed Nov 8 13:31:52 PST 2006


Would you try your hand at MANZEI?


-----Original Message-----
From: ger-poland-volhynia-bounces at eclipse.sggee.org
[mailto:ger-poland-volhynia-bounces at eclipse.sggee.org] On Behalf Of Günther
Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2006 2:59 PM
To: Wolhynien-Liste
Subject: Re: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Leichnitz

  Otto schrieb:

>Leichnitz is a Germanic name.
Good evening Otto,
LEICHNITZ is at most a German adaptation of a Slavian name.
You cannot split a German or Slavian word into two independent parts, 
evaluate and translate these parts and glue the results together again. 
The reason: Indo-European languages are 'inflecting languages' and 
cannot be treated like 'agglutinative languages' (i.e. Turkish, 
Hungarian, Estonian, Finnish). I gave Earl an exemple:
The town name 'Chemnitz' is the German adaptation of the local Slavian 
river or creek name 'kamenice' or 'kamnica' (kamen = stone, rock | 
kamenitý potok = stony creek).
Here is another one:
LEIBNIZ was a famous German philosopher. His name derived from the 
Austrian district capital Leibnitz in Styria. Leibnitze or Leibnitzbach 
is a creek in Tyrol running into the Isel. Other nearby creek names are 
Schleinitz, Weistritz [Bystrica = the fast running], Multitz and so on. 
In Silesia there were two creeks named Weistritz and one Bistritz, in 
Bohemia lots of Weistritz, Wistritz and Bistritz, in Austria several 
Weistritz, Feistritz and Fistritz - all of them creeks or little rivers.

Apparently, in all those places earlier Slavian inhabitants named the 
creeks. And apparently, -itý -ica and -ice are just Slavian suffixes 
which cannot exist as independent words.

If a German reads LEICHNITZ, he will at once think of 'Leiche' = 
'carcass', 'corpse' or of 'leicht' = 'lightweight', 'easy'.
But there is another fitting Slavian word:
Polish 'licho' = 'bad', 'devil'. So 'lichnica' could simply be a 'bad 
creek' or 'devils creek' (in Germany and Austria 'Teufelsbach' is a very 
common name for dark creeks with steep and rocky or marshy banks; hasn't 
it even a similar horrible meaning?)

But there are two more possible origins of the name:
Lechnitz in der Zips [Lechnica] was a village and monastery (Rotes 
Kloster [Červený Kláštor]) in a Northern Slovakian region inhabited by 
Germans. And Lechnitz was also a village in the Romanian Banat which was 
likewise settled by Germans.

Perhapy you know that in West and East Prussian dialects the characters 
'ie' were not pronounced like elsewhere in Germany according to the 
English 'ee' but like phonetic ej (English 'ay').

    Kennst du den ostpreußischen Spruch "haste dich beklakkart mits
    jallbe vons EJ"?

So in these provinces, LECHNITZ and LEICHNITZ were pronounced identically!


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