Type Surname (from nickname)
Other Forms FormsUSA: Smulik & Smulick; Ukraine: Smilik & Szmulyk
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Meaning & History
The Szmulik surname has much history. Its origins are Hebrew. It has taken on various spellings over the centuries, depending on where the person or family lived in Europe or America.The Szmulik surname was derived as a patronymic surname. Meaning it is made up of two parts: “Szmul” and “ik”.Patronymic surnames are usually created from the first name of a male ancestor. In the case of Szmulik, it means “son of” “Szmul”. The given name is “Szmul” and the “ik” is a Polish surname rule meaning “son of”.“Szmul” comes from the Hebrew name of “Shmuel”, meaning “Samuel”. It is generally pronounced like "shmoo EHL". Shmuel was a Hebrew Bible Prophet and his name was taken by many religious peoples to be used as a male child’s given name. For context, Samuel is the Anglicized form of the Hebrew name 'Shmuel', derived from the Hebrew word 'shama', which means 'to hear', and 'el', which means 'God or all powerful'. Shmuel (and thus Samuel) therefore means ‘to hear God”.Through the ages “Shmuel” became “Shmul” and eventually in the Polish-Ukraine region known as Galicia (1720-1918), “Shmul” eventually was spelled and pronounced as “Szmul”. Because Samuel (Szmul) was a popular given name for a father and a son, it became difficult to identify the two when they both went by the name of Szmul. Therefore as an adult, the son would be referred to as Szmulik (meaning son of Szmul). Once the Polish peoples started to adopt surnames in the very late 1700’s, church records would record the new surnames such as Szmulik. You may also find many Polish church records just spelling the surname as Szmul.The surname Szmulik is still used by many of the descendants of Polish immigrants in the United States. However, after WWI many of the Polish immigrants living in the U.S. changed their Szmulik surname to the more Americanized spelling of Smulik and Smulick though-out Pennsylvania, Illinois and New Jersey.