Hrezik [Slovak] Early origins and etymology
Researching Church records from Snina, Slovakia; far eastern portion of Slovakia approximately 10 miles from the borders of the Ukraine and Poland.The name first appeared in records during the 1840's. Written in Hungarian back then the name was Hrezsik.In a few instances when the name appears in a record, the record also indicates their proper name was Kdovicsin.The name doesn't appear to relate to any word in Hungarian or Slovak that I can find.I have some difficulty accepting the notion that Kdovicsin[s] just started calling themselves Hrezik[s] in the 1840s. Perhaps the name has earlier origins in the Ukraine.Any thoughts on any earlier origins of the name and any meaning would be appreciated.
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I know this sounds funny, and it might be a completely wrong shot, but Kdovicsin sounds a bit like "kdo ví", which would be "who knows" - at least in Czech, it might have a bit different form in Slovak, I'm not very sure right now.
It's probably a wrong shot, because I googled the surname as KdovIèin, not KdovÍèin.The surname Hrežík/Hrežik most certainly exists, but I have no clue as to its origin.
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Who knows? Thre are some very strange Czech surnames, e.g., "jumped out". Perhaps the same is true of Slovak names.
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Well, if you're Czech, it's not all that strange, because it's one word and we're used to this kind of surnames. :-) (I've always felt Vyskocil was more of "jumped up", probably because if the word means "jumped out", it would usually also say from where... It can be both, jumped out OR jumped up, in Czech, depending on the context. - Incidentally, it's one of the names in my family, you know, which is why I have thought about it...)And there are some much more curious names. Like Skocdopole. That means "jump into the field", as an imperative. Nejezchleba - "Do not eat bread". Those are really strange.I do not know much about Slovak names. I understand Slovak with just tiny problems here and there, but I do not know all that many Slovaks personally, so I only have a vague idea that the names are similar to Czech, just maybe with more Hungarian surnames in the mix. But that might be a wrong picture.

This message was edited by the author 9/3/2009, 1:38 AM

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I also get the impression that there are more names ending in -sky/-ska among the Slovaks than among the Czechs, not certain though.
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Well, that's really something I cannot tell.
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Just a shot in the dark: do you think that Hrezik might be a diminutive of Hrehor, "Gregory"? -ik can be a diminutive ending, compare Kubik, Pavlik.
I'm sure you're aware that several letters have more than one value in Slovak script, making it difficult to know the true spelling from an English text. The letters R,E,Z and I in Hrezik could all be written and pronounced two different ways, producing several permutations.
Hrezsik and Kdovicsin both have Hungarian letter combinations, but are Slavic. I wonder if the original family name was Kdovicsin, too difficult for Hungarians, and so Hrezik was adopted in its place. I think Kdovicsin looks more Ukrianian than Slovak - a Rusyn origin perhaps?
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Thanks. I thought I'd check a couple of things you gave me some ideas on. It turned out that "a couple of things" turned into looking into 50 or 60 years of baptismal records, marrriage and death records. It looks like the name Kdovicsin was in the village for at least 3 decades and sometime around the mid 1840s a group of them changed their name to Hrezsik. But the name Kdovicsin continued to be used in the village for at least another 30 years. So while I thought that perhaps there might have been a new Hungarian in town that "forced" the change it obviously didn't change for all of them. There was another surname in the village, Hrehov, which is a lot closer to a derivative of Hrehor than Hrezsik is a derivative of Hrehor. I think that theory is unlikely. I think you may be right about the Ukrainian. There was also a curious absence of the name in the confirmation records when I knew the family was there, listed as Roman Catholic. Since they weren't in the confirmation records it could be they were originally of the Eastern Rite and converted to RC. Eastern Rite are "confirmed" at birth. If they converted would they get confirmed again or would they skip that sacrament? [Rhetorical question].Names can be frustrating.
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Actually, the Hrehor theory is still likely. There are usually more derivatives of a name - such as, I'm Hana, called Hanka, but my aunt sometimes calls me Hanýžka - and there are also more variants of surnames derived from a name, such as Ondra and Ondøíèek, both derived from Ondøej (all examples from Czech). So, similarly, they could have easily called themselves differently to distinguish themselves from the already existing Hrehovs.
I'm not saying it was really like that, I'm just trying to explain how Slavic languages work...
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