[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] SCHWOCHOW/marlo50

Günther Böhm GHBoehm at ish.de
Mon Nov 12 03:15:32 PST 2007

Günther Böhm schrieb:

> In general, the -ow suffixe indicates the genitive plural of a slavian 
> [Polish, Kashubian] word, here of the name of a family or a profession 
> or the entirety of the inhabitants, meaning "of the Schwoch-s".

Good Morning Margaret & Otto,
maybe this was a bit too short as I didnot refer to the German -au suffixe.
Indeed the -ow suffixe in many Slavian village names was frequently 
translated to the German -au suffixe - definitely by mistake! So the 
translation of SZWOCHOW or SWOCHOW to SCHWOCHAU would be misleading. As 
I wrote, the -ow suffixe indicates the genitive plural. Take the Polish 
word for 'nose':

            SINGULAR    PLURAL
    nom:    nos         nosy
    gen:    nosa        nosów
    dat:    nosowi      nosom
    acc:    nos         nosy
    instr:  nosem       nosami
    loc:    nosie       nosach
    voc:    nosie       nosy

The Serbian 'Kosovo Polje' means 'field of the blackbirds'. In German we 
call it 'Amselfeld' (kos = Amsel = blackbird).
'Szwochowo' or 'Szwochow' means 'village (property) of the SCHWOCHs'.

Many German village names have the -au suffixe which indicates a wet 
meadow, i.e. the banks of a river or creek (Aue = water meadow, marshy 
meadow). This is why German settlers (or even geographers) frequently 
translated -ow to -au. Just some examples from Silesia:

    Bąków = Bankau
    Barszów = Barschau
    Bieniów = Benau
    Borów = Bohrau
    Brunów = Braunau
    Czerwonków = Tschirmkau
    Glogów = Glogau
    Goliszów = Gölschau
    Grodków = Grottkau
    Karszów = Karschau

                    - all by mistake!

In some cases anyhow (if the original Polish suffixe was -awa) the 
German -au translation was correct since both derive from the 
Indo-European 'ahwa' = water, river, creek. Again some Silesian examples:

    Bielawa = Bielau
    Tarnawa = Tarnau
    Oława = Ohlau
    Piława = Peilau
    Szprotawa = Sprottau
    Ścinawa = Steinau


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