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The aim of this article is to present the analysis of the proper names of trees — natural monuments in comparison with other onyms motivated by appellative descriptions of trees. The article also analyses names of forests and tries to standardise Polish dendronyms. The analysis of the onymic material is accompanied by terminological studies concerning names such as phytonym (plant name), drymonym (forest name) or dendronym (tree name). The first proper names for trees appeared in the 19th century and their number increased in the 20th century due to many christenings of natural monuments. Tree names are usually chosen by a local community or authorities and they are accompanied by an appropriate legal act recognising the status of the tree. The article analyses about 2,000 tree names based on proper names and appellatives. Dendronyms are strongly anthropomorphised — over half of the names of trees with the status of a national monument have been formed on the basis of anthroponyms: names of public figures (and lesser known people as well), rulers, owners of local estates, saints, clergy, artists, local social activists, heroes and gods known from Greek, Roman and Slavic mythology, protagonists of Slavic or Norse myths, independence fighters and literary characters. Sometimes they are also based on ethnonyms, toponyms — especially those connected with the area, and on chrematonyms. Tree names derived from appellatives are also created from personal nouns related to different semantic fields, such as family, religion, professions, the fight for freedom and descriptions of various traits of trees themselves. Dendronymy mostly uses the cultural heritage of the Piast and Jagiellonian Poland and Christian traditions. It is immersed in local traditions and legends.
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