IMIĘ MARIA W POLSKIEJ OJKONIMII
THE PERSONAL NAME MARIA IN POLISH OIKONYMY
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Place names derived from the given name Maria belong to the category of place names generated from women’s names. They appear quite late in history, the earliest records dating to c. the 16th and 17th centuries. They preserve and honour the names of the wives, daughters and other relatives of the locations’ founders. Formally, they belong to many types of derivatives, while their base is often a diminutive form of the name Maria. Foreign place names of French and German origin, adapted in many ways to the Polish language (phonetically, morphologically, lexically), are also of note. Such names are mainly found in central and northern Poland, and are entirely absent from the southern regions. The older place names, recorded around the 13th–14th centuries, are those derived from the name Maria, which refer to Blessed Mother Mary as the patron of a monastery (Teutonic Order) or church. There are many found in the Elbląg and Olsztyn voivodeships (regions), which is indeed related to the presence of Teutonic Order monasteries in this area. This type of place name is not entirely foreign to the Polish method of name giving, however it appears rarely, and (other than Mariańsk) later. The Blessed Mother Mary as a patron saint is a common inspiration for church and street names. However, in comparison to church and street names, there are no place names inspired by the qualities of the Blessed Mother Mary (except Marzęcin, German Jungfer and Niepokalanów, however the latter refers to a monastery, not a place).
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