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Polish Language/Proper spelling of a Polish surname


My grandparents surname was "Jezierski".  I have seen it spelled as both "Jezierski" and "Jezerski".  Even my mom spelled it both ways.

Is there a more "proper" spelling and does the surname have any relation to a town in Poland my grandfather's family may have come from?

Thank you in advance.

Dear Tom,

The only proper way of spelling this name in Polish is "Jezierski". This surname is very common throughout Poland.
See: (male version of the surname) and (female version of the surname) and try to input the other versions: Jezerski / Jezerska instead, in the field on the top of the page and click on "szukaj" (i.e. search) button. Nowhere met with!

The surname is pronounced [yeh-ZHER-ski] with ZHER as "sure" in "leisure". The second syllable is stressed.

The surname is a derivative from the word "jezioro" meaing "lake", so the original meaning is "the one of the lake", i.e. the person living near a lake, or the owner of a lake. So it has no relationship to any town. And the repartition of the surname throughout Poland, which you could watch on the maps, shows it clearly that there is no specific region in Poland where this surname comes from. In fact it could have originated independently many times in many areas.

Therefore not all "Jezierscy" (Polish plural for "Jezierski-and-Jezierska" = Jezierskis) are relatives.
See, to learn more about Polish naming conventions and rules.

All the best,


Polish Language

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Maciej St. Zięba


I am native Polish and from time to time I teach Polish to foreigners. I know (passively of actively) more than 15 other languages - so I can answer many questions concerning Polish grammar, pronounciation, spelling, etymology and usage - as compared to English, French, German, Russian, Dutch, Esperanto or Norwegian. Also questions concerning other Slavic languages, Sanskrit, Chinese, Tibetan, or general linguistics, especially scripts (writing systems and transcriptions) - are welcome.


Teaching English, French, and Esperanto to Poles, Polish to foreigners, teaching Sanskrit, Mandarin Chinese, Classical Chinese and Tibetan. Tour Guide in English, French, Russian and German. Former President of the Regional Examination Committee for Tourist Guides (English and French)(1999-2005).

Polish Oriental Society (since 1979); International Association of Buddhist Studies (since 1986); Klingon Language Institute (since 1986); Learned Society of the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (since 1989); Polish Philosophical Association (since 1997); Universala Esperanto-Asocio (since 1978).

Books: "Origin of the World According to Rigveda" (Montreal 1996); "Our River Bug. Creating Conditions for Development of the Border Areas of Poland, Ukraine and Belarus through Enhancement and Preservation of Natural and Cultural Heritage" (Lublin 2008); "Migration - a Challenge to the 21st century" (Lublin 2008); "Migracja zarobkowa do Woch" (Job migration to Italy) (Lublin 2008); more than 100 articles in "Powszechna Encyklopedia Filozofii" (Universal Encyclopedia od Philosophy) vol. 1-10 (Lublin 2000-2009); many more in Polish, some of them available online, see: here and here (a list up to 2012.

Studying philosophy at Catholic University of Lublin (Poland) 1976-81; PhD in Philosophy (1989). Having learned languages in Gdansk and Gdynia (Russian, Esperanto, Latin, English - International Bacalaureate), Lublin (KUL - French, German, Dutch, Sanskrit, Latin, Ancient Greek; UMCS - Chinese, Japanese; elsewhere - Esperanto, Spanish, Italian), Paris (IIAP - French; INALCO - Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese; Sorbonne - Sanskrit), Asker (Norwegian, while working in a kindergarten!), Montreal (McGill - Chinese); Rome and Venice (Italian); Taichung, Taiwan (Chinese), Shimla, India (sanskrit). Self-taught: Slavic languages (other than Polish and Russian), Hungarian, Korean, Vietnamese, Klingon and several other.

Awards and Honors
2012 Golden Medal of Civil Service of Poland; 2012-13 Taiwan Fellowship - Tunghai University (Taichung)

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AllExperts users (since 12/03/2003); Wikipedia readers in many languages (since 2004); students learning languages (since 1979).

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