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  • #346575

    pollex
    Participant
    @pollex

    Hello. I was curious about name of my homeland (though I was always tought one theory), so I’ve decided to learn something more about it once – as it was not as obvious as in the case of other countries. And now I’ve decided to share the results of my cunning investigation.

    1.

    At the beginning some places where the name had been put.

    For the first time Poland was mentioned on the denarius in 11th century – Denar Princes Polonie, which means “Denarius of Polish Prince”.

    image

    Somewhere circa those times a monk – Ioannes Canaparius – was writing about St. Adalbert of Prague, where he described his life. St. Adalbert was important to the Polish history as he famous for his mission in Prussia where he died. Canaparius had written there about Sobiesław Sławnikowic: cum Bolizlauo Palaniorum duce – “with Bolesław, Polish duke”.

    Also at the beginning of 11th century Merseburg’ bishop – Thietmar – had written in his chronicles few informations about Mieszko I (Miseconis Poleniorum), Bolesław I Chrobry (Bolizlavus Poleniorum), he called this land Polenia and its people Polenii.

    On the other hand Wipo from Schwabia (don’t know how it is in English correctly) in his “Gesta Chuonradi II Imperatoris” wrote about Bolesław II Chrobry: Bolizlaus Sclavigena, dux Bolanorum – which means “Slav Bolesław, prince of Poles”.

    2.

    Now theories.

    One of the most known options is the tribe of Polanie – Polans, in English. They lived in Greater Poland (Wielkopolska) and later dominated/conquered other tribes living in Poland. They created a country and Piast dynasty came from Polans tribe, with Mieszko I as first ruler. A prince. His son – Bolesław – was the first king of Poland. Some say that Mieszko was in fact a Viking but it also a theory ;)

    image

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    Polanie and the name of their tribe is most famous. But with the ethymology of their tribe comes next theory – pole.

    Present in Slavic languages (but different forms) word “pole” gave its name to this tribe, and if the Polans gave their name to Poland… heritage somehow :p
    Pole simply means a field in English. I think I do not have to explain what is a field.
    In 14th century an adjective “polski” was connected with “field”. It was… I’d say “fieldish”. So a plant which had grown on field was “polski”. Well, a plant is feminine in Polish, so “polska”. It is natural, to be honest. From a mountain (“góra”) we have adjective “górski” (masculine) so it would be normal to have “polski” as an adjective form for “pole”.

    3.

    There are also alternative, less common concepts. For example, Ukrainian historian – Mihaił Brajczewski and Russian – Lew Gumilov, connected the tribe of Polans with the Antes people. This Greek term has meant to describe the same thing what Slavic “Polanie”. It was used to describe brave people, heroes, and there was used for example “поляница” (“polanica”) – a heroine. But then it had been substituted with Turkish “bagadyr”. Yes, in Poland we have “bohater”.

    4.

    But there are also different names used for name Poland. For example even in Polish language (though not officially used, of course) it is Lechia.
    In Persian language it is Lachistan, in Lithuanian Lenkija, a Pole in Turkish is Lehce, in Ruthenian Lach and Hungarian Lengyel. This way of naming comes from the other tribe – Lędzianie/Lachowie (the Lendians) who lived on the southeastern Poland.

    Name of this tribe comes from Protoslavic and Old-Polish “lęda” which means “flatland”. In present-day Polish we have “ląd” which is derived “lęda” and means “a land”. People of this tribe were burning the woods to make their land able to cultivation.

    5.

    We also use (officially) the term “Rzeczpospolita” which is somehow unique. The creator of this term was Wincenty Kadłubek – it means the same what means Latin res publica and English Republic. In official documents we use only the full name Rzeczpospolita Polska, as “Polska” is still an adjective. So in official documents “Polska” is an adjective, not a noun – we have in Latin “Respublica Polona” not “Respublica Polonia”. Due to this, the only correct form of naming the country in a genitive is “Rzecz(y)pospolitej Polskiej” not “Rzecz(y)pospolitej Polski”.

    I wrote it also for Polish members who live mistaken about, how to say the name of the country. :D It makes some problems even for us. ;)

    According to what I wrote above:

    Name “Poland” comes from the tribe of “Polans” (pl. Polanie) which on the other hand comes from “pole” (eng. a field). On the second – less common opinion – name of Poland and the Poles comes from a word which was a synonyme of “Antes people” which means “brave people, heroes”.

    The second name of Poland – “Lechia” is derived from the other tribe “Lędzianie/Lachowie” (eng. the Lendians). From their name our legendary founder of first capital (Gniezno) had his name – Lech. Legend about “Lech, Czech and Rus”, founding Gniezno, telling, where his brothers came and created their own countries, and why we have the white eagle on our national emblem.

    And finally, correct form in i.e. genitive is “Rzecz(y)pospolitej Polskiej”. Not “Polski”.

    Thank you. :p

    #432229

    Anonymous

    In case of Poland we dont have any problems with it's historical naming. It clearly derivates from a geographical description (landmark) – "flatland" or "people that live on the fields / flatland"

    pole / polane (poljani)

    #432230

    Anonymous

    Which is more correct and older? Lechia or Polska?

    #432231

    Anonymous

    "Polska" is definitely more correct as "Lechia" is used mostly as the name of several sport clubs. I don't know which is older, I assume both of them were in use, but I think it depended on the area. The Lendians lived in southeastern Poland, as the Polans on the west. Nowadays, some of countries on the south or east have name similiar with "Lechia" – i.e. Lithuania, Turkey, Armenia etc. But western countries – with "Polska".

    So I assume that in the past both of these terms were correct, but in different areas of Poland. But still a group of languages to which Polish belong is called "Lechitic".

    I will check this in the future, to be sure about this.

    #432232

    Anonymous

    The first mentioning of the Lechs was in the Tale of Bygone Years (1113) written by monk Nestor living in Kyiv at the time.

    Quote:

    "Словѣне же ѡви пришєдшє и сѣдоша на Вислѣ и прозвашасѧ Лѧховѣ а ѿ тѣхъ Лѧховъ прозвашасѧ Полѧне Лѧховѣ друзии Лютицѣ инии Мазовшане а нии Поморѧне".

    Those Sloveni came and sat on the Vistula River, who were named the Lyakhs. And those Lyakhs were called Lyakhskie Poljane, and other were called Lyutichi, and others – Mazovians, and others – Pomorjane.

    Note 'ѧ' in 'Лѧх' is nasal e. I am not sure how it's pronounced in 'Лѧх', as nasal vowels were lost in eastern Slavic languages a long time ago.

    #432233

    Anonymous

    Thanks for the information. So it seems that "Polska" is older form. However, we cannot be sure about it according to the dates of publications of books, as in spoken language it had to be used earlier.

    ѧ – this letter is "yus". Little one (so this one) seems to be pronunced as "ę". There was also this letter – Ѫ – "big yus" which was pronunced as "ǫ" (Polish "ą").

    #432234

    Anonymous

    As we have "gorani" and "poljaci" I always thought that likewise Polska comes from "poljaci" named after "pole" so the country consequently was called Polska. The suffixes "ska & ski" Polska (for the country) for feminine  and Polski (let say language) for masculine.

    #432235

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Which is more correct and older? Lechia or Polska?

    It depends. Vikings were calling us Laesir. Russians since always until today often call us "Lachy" or "Lachowie" which suppouse to be ironical calling meaning "lords" ,"masters" probably because we say to each other "Pan" /"Pani" (lord/lady) and not "ty" or "wy" ("you" also typical for Germanic languages).
    That's how I understand it.
    So its hard to say cause maybe even older is name Wendowie (wends). Vikings called this country Vindland (America was Vinland). Or even Sarmatia ,Alania etc. Maybe Slavia hehe.

    But seriously. I came up with my own theory. Poles were living in societies/towns similar to Greek "polis" which were called "opole". Opole was first and very ancient kind of unifying people in groups ,to live with each other ,not only as a tribe but as "citizens" of town/village/stronghold. Polska derives from opole? We even have a region called Opolska. Its quite interesting theory in my opinion.

    #432236

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    As we have "gorani" and "poljaci" I always thought that likewise Polska comes from "poljaci" named after "pole" so the country consequently was called Polska. The suffixes "ska & ski" Polska (for the country) for feminine  and Polski (let say language) for masculine.

    The geographical names were applied to other Slavic tribes too. Drevljane were a Slavic tribe living in the woods of Ukrainian Polesia. Ddryhavičy or Dregoviches ( Ddryhva is swamp in Belarusian) were a Slavic tribe living in swamps of southern Belarus. There was another Slavic tribes Poljane in Ukraine just south of Drevljane. Ukrainian Poljane lived in the fields of Ukraine. 

    #432237

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    It depends. Vikings were calling us Laesir. Russians since always until today often call us "Lachy" or "Lachowie" which suppouse to be ironical calling meaning "lords" ,"masters" probably because we say to each other "Pan" /"Pani" (lord/lady) and not "ty" or "wy" ("you" also typical for Germanic languages).
    That's how I understand it.

    The term "Lach" has nothing to do with any lords or other stuff. Lachowie is one of the names of the Lendian tribe. It is also present in Ukrainian language (and supposedly Belarusian).

    Quote:
    So its hard to say cause maybe even older is name Wendowie (wends).

    This name doesn't refer to the Poles.

    Quote:
    Polska derives from opole? We even have a region called Opolska. Its quite interesting theory in my opinion.

    "Opole" comes from "pole". So this theory is similar to this presented in the first post. "Polska" was an adjective, not a noun. It referred to "pole".

    Sviatogor, this "Poljane" are Western Polans in English language, right? Because as far I know they lived there.

    And I don't know who lived on "my" area. Lendians or Mazovians, I assume.

    #432238

    Anonymous

    Generally, east Slavs don't call Poles Lyakhi. Мost people seem to know how are/were Lyakhi. It's not uncommon to read the name Ляхи/Ляхi applied to Poles. Google returns 2.1 millions search queries for the term Ляхi.

    #432239

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    ".

    Sviatogor, this "Poljane" are Western Polans in English language, right? Because as far I know they lived there.

    I was writing about eastern Polans that lived in Ukraine. There are so many ways transliterating their name. Essentially, eastern and western Polans is the same name but different Slavic tribes. Eastern and western differentiation is recent invention to avoid confusion.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polans_(eastern)

    And I don't know who lived on "my" area. Lendians or Mazovians, I assume.

    In which city do you live?

    #432240

    Anonymous

    Well, I asked few days ago an Ukrainian girl and she told me that this term is present in Ukrainian language.

    I know it can be more archaic, but still – it seems be less rare than in Poland.

    PS. I live near Biała Podlaska.

    #432241

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Well, I asked few days ago an Ukrainian girl and she told me that this term is present in Ukrainian language.

    I know it can be more archaic, but still – it seems be less rare than in Poland.

    PS. I live near Biała Podlaska.

    The term Lyakh is present and well known but it's not as common as the term Pole. I am not good at geographic locations of western Slavic tribes. Biała Podlaska is near Brest. Autochthonous people around your area spoke/speak a Ukrainian dialect if I am not mistaken. Mazovians lived further north. So, maybe east Slavic tribe Buzhans? It shouldn't be difficult to search through scholar literature in Polish sources.

    #432242

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Well, I asked few days ago an Ukrainian girl and she told me that this term is present in Ukrainian language.

    I know it can be more archaic, but still – it seems be less rare than in Poland.

    PS. I live near Biała Podlaska.

    W takim razie ja pozdrawiam z Podlasia :) ;)

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