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

©Ksiazyk 2015