Pani Jadwiga

Anna Z Skarzynska theania at
Fri Jun 27 19:28:58 EDT 2003

> *grin* Jadwiga Zajaczkowa is my 'persona name' in the Society for Creative
> Anachronism, a medieval re-creation group. I chose Polish, which is
> unusual in the SCA, because I'd done some research on medieval Poland
> because I'm half Polish by ancestry, and found it intriguing.

Thanks! We haven't met before, but I have been on this list for several
years- I wait for several hundred posts to accumulate in the DWJ folder and
then I go on a marathon read&reply spree.
> When we checked out the name, we were pretty sure that the '-owa' ending
> was for unmarried women, but maybe we were wrong?

'Fraid you were- -owa is for married women, as is Pani (though in modern
Polish Pani is used as a formal way of addressing any grown-up woman). For
unmarried ones we have -owna (o with an acute accent, pronounced like
English 'oo'. -owna is therefore pronounced 'oovnah'). So, if unmarried, it
would be Panna Jadwiga Zajaczkowna. You probably know that the diminutive of
Jadwiga is Jadzia (like Jadzia Dax in Star Trek DS9- coincidence?), pron.
approx. YAH-jah. Jadwiga is the Polish form of Hedwig. You probably know
this too.
> I had started out with Zajacek, which is supposed to mean 'leveret', that
> is, a baby hare. (Curiously enough, because of my fondness for rabbits
> and the excess number of Jennifers in the USA, my friends with kids
> started calling me 'Aunt Bunny'. )But I'm told that the surname actually
> comes from a town in Poland?

It does mean leveret, and it may well come from a town, too- I don't know.

> 'Knowledge Pika' is just something that caught my fancy. Pikas are small
> relatives of rabbits, something like really big eared mice, that live in
> the mountains. They harvest grass all summer and lay it out to dry on the
> rocks, then bring it into their burrows for winter feed. If it starts to
> rain, they squeak loudly to one another and hurry to drag the 'hay' into
> the burrows with their teeth.

Aah. Thanks. One learns something every day- especially on this list!


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