Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Toponym-based maps in the Atlas of Poland's Political Geography


The toponyms to be mapped in the Atlas of Poland's Political Geography are the place names formed from personal names (first names, surnames or nicknames). They constitute the most numerous group of toponyms occurring in Poland. These names comprise in their base an anthroponym indicating the first owner, settler, founder of a given locality or a person closely related to that locality.

Characteristic endings of such place names correspond to possessive forms of Slavonic adjectives: -ow, -ów, -ew, -owo, -owa, -ewo, -ewa. The List records 7645 names ending in -ów, 704 in -ew, 4957 in -owo, 1644 in -owa, 1938 in -ewo, and 18 names ending in -ewa.

Localities that belonged to women were usually named in such a way that the suffix -in was added to the basis of the woman's personal name (e.g. Adelin). This kind of suffixes include -ina, -ino, -yna, -yno (e.g. Biedulina, Smęcino, Niemierzyno) - they often occur in the northwestern part of the country, especially those ending in -ino, -yno.

In Poland, we can find 1468 names ending in -ina, -yna and 842 ending in -ino, -yno. Place names ending in -ina, -yna are scattered throughout Poland, with the highest concentration in the Lesser Poland region, similarly to toponyms ending in -owa. On the other hand, as can be seen on the presented maps, names with the suffix -ów are concentrated mainly in the southern part of Poland, while names ending in -owo, -ewo are distributed in the northern part of the country.

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