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Polish Language/Polish diminutives for Stephen and Vladislas


Hi just looking for alternative Polish diminutive forms of Stephen besides Stefek as well as alternative Polish diminutive forms of Vladislas besides Wladek.  Thanks.

Hi, Lisa,

(for a pronunciation guide - see in the end}

For Stephen (Polish: Stefan, pronounce: STEH-fahn]) we have now five commonly used diminutives:
 Stefek [STEH-fehk],
 Stefanek [steh-FAH-nehk],
 Stefcio [STEHF-chyoh],
 Stefuś^ [STEH-fush],
 Stefunio [steh-FUH-nyoh],

For Vladislav (Polish: Władysław* [vwah-DIH-swahf]) we have now several commonly used diminutives:
 Władek* (pronounce [VWAH-dehk],
 Władeczek* [wvah-DEH-tchehk],
 Właduś*^ [VWAH-duhsh],
 Władeniek* [vwah-DEH-nyehk],
 Władzio* [VWAH-jyoh],
 Władziuś*^ [VWAH-jyush],
 Władziunio* [vwah-JYUH-nyoh],
 Władzieniek* [vwah-JYEH-nyehk].

*If you can't see correctly the second letter, the one after the W, and/or the letter betwenn the "s" and the "a" in the full name form, or the first letter in the pre-war diminutives so marked below - it's l-bar (, pronounced like English "w".
^If you can't see correctly the last letter in the names marked so, it's s-acute, (, pronounced like English soft (palatal) "sh".

In the pre-WW2 times, it was also quite common to use diminutives starting with the last syllable, quite commonly made from the last type of the diminutives:
 for Stephen: Funio, Funek, Funiek, Funio, Funiuś^ (I personally used to have an uncle, in fact a brother of my maternal grandmother, named Stefan, who was called like that by his brothers and sisters, and his peers);
 for Vladislav: Dziunek, Dziuniek, Dziunieczek, Dziunio, Dziuniuś^; Denek, Deneczek, Deniek, Denieczek, Denio, Deniuś^;
 - too many of them to give the pronunciation for all of them, but if you especially need one or another, just make a follow-up and I will add it then.

Now they are rather obsolete, or are met with mostly with some elderly people who continue using them as in their youth times, but I cannot exclude that in some areas of Poland they might still be in vigour, as I meet one or another of this type (not necessarily for the two names analyzed above) form time to time on different occasions.

I have written "commonly used" diminutives, because - as you could read in one of my previous answers (about diminutives of David/Dawid) - it is quite common to create "private" diminutives in use within a given family and/or a circle of friends. So one can easily imagine having met someone called Siefuś, Siefcio, Siefunio, Fanek, Faneczek, Fanio, Faniuś^; Ładek*, Ładeczek*, Ładzio*, Ładziuś*^, Ładziunio*, probably also: Dzienek, Dzieniek, Dzienio, Dzieniuś.
Everything depends on the imagination of parents / grandparents / aunts and uncles / friends etc.

Also augmentatives can play a role similar to diminutives in some situations (e.g. within the framework of what is called "the harsh friendship between men"), so one can meet with Stefisko, Steficha, Władzisko*, Władzicha*, Władzioch*, Dzicho, etc.

Pronunciation guide:

The words are divided into the syllables of pronunciation (system different from the English way of separating words while dividing between lines); the ca-PI-ta-lized syllable is the one STRESSED.

"ah" like "a" in "father";
"eh" like "e" in "neck";
"oh" like "ou" in "bought";
"uh" like "oo" in "boots";
"iy" like "ee" in "feet" or "ey" in "key";
"ih" like "i" in "Tim";
"chy" like soft (palatal) "ch" in "cheese";
"tch" like hard (alveolar) "ch" in "choke";
"jy" like soft (palatal) "j" in "jean";
"dj" like hard (alveolar) "j" in "joke";
"sh" like soft (palatal) "sh" in "sheep" or "s" in "sure";
"ssh" like hard (alveolar) "sh" in "shut";
"ny" like French or Italian "gn" in "mignon" or "regno", or Portuguese "nh" in "Vinho", or Spanish "ń" in "Espańol", or eventually like English "ni" in "onion";
"w" like English "w", so: "wah" as in "ouah!" or as "wo" in "wow! (without pronouncing the the final "w"), or as "o" in "one" (or the whole "vwah" as in French "voir" without the final "r"),
"y" like English "y" in "year" or in "day",
"kh" like Scottish or German "ch" in "Loch", "Bach", or like Spanish "j" in "Javier";
"zh" like hard (alveolar) "zh" in "Brezhnev"
"zhy" like soft (palatal) "s" in (some pronunciations of) "measure";

All the best,


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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.

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