Slovak surnames of the forms -ICS/VICS and -SZKY/CZKY

Posted In

My understanding is that ICS/VICS at the end of a surname means "son of", similar to English Johnson or Williamson. Also, SZKY/CZKY means from somewhere, like French Dubois or Portuguese daSilva (both "from the forest"). Surnames of these forms seem common in some Slovak villages and rare in others. Is there any generalization about the ethnic origins of these surnames? I associate -ICS names more with Southern Slavic countries (Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia), and -SKY with Polish and Eastern Slavic names. Can any surname experts offer some guidance? Thanks.

Mike Kocsik - 10 Peckham Hill Rd, , Sherborn, MA 01770


Hello Mike, the JULS.SAVBA.SK (free translation, Linguistic Institute of Ludovit Stur, Slovak Academy of Science, Bratislava, Slovakia) has a very detailed article (work/document, more than 400 pages long) related to creation of surnames and their variations. It explains all kinds of forms of surnames, their endings, and their origins, including similar endings you are asking. Please, refer to the attached link below.  Although the work is in Slovak, I used the CTRL+F to find the endings -vsky and -ic (or -vský and -ič) inside of the document, then highlighted the smaller portion to copy/paste to Translate.Google, and it gave me a reasonable translation to understand what is in the original text. (Note: My first language is Slovak) You are partially correct with the -ič ending, it is not only common in the Southern Slavic countries, but also in Slovakia (see page 35, 2nd paragraph). The ending -cic/čič would be more of southern or Croatian origin (page 35). The ending -sky, you are right, they were formed from settlement names (page 49). (Note that in the old records, the surnames and place names were written in the Hungarian style, such as..szky).  See also Databaza Priezvisk (Distribution of Surnames) Thank you. Iveta B. PS: I do not consider myself a 'surname expert'. Any other contributions are welcome.