surname Smetana
Could anyone tell me the meaning of this surname?

Thanks
Tags:  Smetana
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Replies

It means "cream" in Czech. It is also related to the German word "Schmetterling" (butterfly), as this insect is said to go for cream (I've never seen a butterfly lick cream, though). In the south (east) of Germany you will find "Schmetten" (cream) as a dialect word. I think the word (and the name) found its way to Germany through the Sorbs.

Andy ;—)
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I think that polish and czech language has been influenced deeply
by German language. I know some German but unfortunately I do not know polish and Czech,
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So I presume cream is related to the making of "butter" or diary production? Isn't it?
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It probably alludes to an occupation, dairyman or such; but it might be complimentary, to someone who was the "creme de la creme." In Arabic there is a given name that literally means butter, but metaphorically means someone special.
German influence on Polish and Czech, yes, but it works the other way too, especially with surnames. A lot of surnames that originate in Germany east of the Elbe are Slavic in origin. Andy mentions the Sorbs, one of several Slavic tribes absorbed into the German nation. There are still some thousands of people in Eastern Germany whose first language is Sorbian or Slavonian.
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Yes, dairyman would be a good idea. And so is "creme de la creme". Another possibility: a nick name for someone who has a soft spot for cream.

Andy ;—)
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If I were a butterfly I'd rather go for cream than for butter. But taste in England has always been something special …

Andy ;—)
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