is an unusual

name with

a root that

sounds familiar

Our name Książyk is a paradox. This is a very unusual last name with a root that sounds familiar.

Two very common words have a similar "książ" root: książę (prince) and książka (book). Stiil, our name Książyk doesn't refer to a specific word, concept or meaning. This is rather unconventionnal. In Poland, about 90% of last names (nazwisko) relate to something specific. Classifications mention toponymical surnames (from geographic origins), patronymic/matronymic surnames (from an ancestor’s first name), cognominal surnames (from profession or skills), descriptive surnames (from physical characteristics) and nature-related surnames (from plants, animals or minerals).


Our researches highlight that very few last names have a "książ" root. Kazimierz Rymut examines this root in his book Nawiska Polaków – Słownyk historyczno-etymologiczny (Tom I). The author remarks that the roots "książd" and 'książ' have no specific meaning but mentions the words książę and książka. He specifies that the root "książ" was used after 1479. Aleksandra Cieslikowa and Katarzyna Skowronek also examine our name in Antroponimia Polki od XVI do konca XVIII wieku (Tom II). Their mention of ‘Książyk 1618″ refers to a record of our name in an official document. However, many genealogy references (Herbarz) confirm that our name was acknowledged much earlier. Some of them record a first use in 1502.


The etymology of Polish names is very complex when they are not conventional. For a better understanding, I suggest in the chart below a classification of primary and secondary roots. The next step of our researches will focus on regional studies regarding names in the Poznan region, with a special interest for the Koscian and Kalisz areas. I want to thank the team of the National Library in Warszaw for their kind attention and support in this research. Bardzo dziękuję zespołowi Biblioteki Narodowej w Warszawie za życzliwą pomoc. All your comments are welcome. Wszystkie komentarze są mile widziane.


Marie-Jeanne C. Ksiazyk, Paris

Usual confusion


The castle of Książ is located in Wałbrzych (Lower Silesian Voivodeship). This castle was built at the end of the 13th c. by Duke Bolko I Surowy from the Piast Dynasty. This is a misleading reference. Our name Książyk is clearly recorded from Podlaskie, a region in Eastern Poland and has no relation whatsoever with this place.

Polish names

with the root "Ksiąź"


Książak - Książarczyk - Książarek - Książczak - Książczuk - Książczyk- Książe - Książek - Książel Książenicer - Książenicka - Książeński - Książewicz - Książewski - Książk - Książka Książkarska - Książkiewicz - Książko - Książkowiak - Książkowski - Książniak - Książnicki - Książniewicz - Książnik - Książok - Książopolska Książowski - Książszczak - Książuk - Książyczyk Książyk -Książyński.

Source: Stankiewicze



The genealogy team of the Biblioteka Narodowa in Warsaw has suggested these reference books regarding the Poznan Region. Another list regarding the Podlaskie Region is under process.


  • Jaracz, M. (2001). Nazwiska mieszkańców Kalisza od XVII do XVIII wieku.
  • Sarnowska-Giefing, I. (2007). Problematyka dialektologiczna w badaniach historycznej antroponimii Poznania. W: J. Sierociuk (red.)
  • Sarnowska-Giefing, I. (2011). Słownik nazwisk mieszkańców Poznania XVI – XVIII wieku, t. 1. Poznań.

Rzadkość i Wartość


According to the most popular "name tracker" (mojkrewni) there are less than 300 people with the name Książyk in Poland. Even with the addition of married women who do not use their maiden name Książyk, the total number would not exceed 500 to 600 people.

Common words

with the root "książ"


From książka (book)










From książę (prince)



Herbarz names

with the root "Ksiąź"


Książeński - Książnik - Książnicki - Książowicz - Książyk - Książyński



The Książyk Paradox: etymology of our name