Question about a potentially Czech surname

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interesting_username
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Question about a potentially Czech surname

Postby interesting_username » 2012-06-18, 6:18

Hey guys, I have a question regarding one of my ancestor's surnames. I'm asking it here, in the Czech section, because I have a (seemingly plausible) hunch that it is Czech.

I will spare you all of the minutiae surrounding my family's history, but here is the summation: My grandmother was born and raised in Austria (to the best of my knowledge) sometime in the early 1920s. She was born and raised speaking German. Her father spoke German as well, but whether or not that was his native tongue, or his only language, I have no way of knowing; he died when I was quite young. Anyway, she eventually moved to Germany during World War II (at a time when most seemed to be moving in the opposite direction...), where she eventually gave birth to my father. Given this limited history, I always assumed I was a descendant of Austrians.

However, in the past few years, I have heard murmurings in the family that the generations that preceded her owned land in what today is the Czech Republic. That was all it took for me to begin a search into the etymology of my grandmother's surname, which never really looked German to me. The surname in question is spelled (in the United States, at least): Muzik. A Google search led me to believe that Muzik is neither a German surname (or at least, a very, very uncommon one), nor a German word. But it looked familiar, like a word I'd seen many times used throughout 19th century Russian novels: "мужик." It appears that there's a Czech word, or name, that is similar, and that is "mužík." Since surnames in the US don't use diacritics, Mužík would become Muzik.

So I suppose my longwinded, roundabout ramblings amount to a simple set of questions: Does my theory sound plausible, if not very likely; that my family, though German-speaking and living in Austria since the early part of the 20th century, were actually likely ethnic Czechs? Does my reasoning for the transformation of "Mužík" into "Muzik" seem sound? Is Mužík even used in the Czech Republic as a surname?

I really hope you guys can help me out. For some strange reason, I've always found Czech stuff interesting. I like their beer, I've always thought their country was beautiful, and Czech was one of the first languages I geeked out over and wanted to learn. I've become derelict on that last one, but perhaps finding out that I'm very likely (partially) ethnically Czech will be all I need to motivate me once again to reconnect with the language of my forefathers.

Děkuji, thanks in advance!
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Abominacja Desolacji
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Re: Question about a potentially Czech surname

Postby Abominacja Desolacji » 2012-06-20, 21:13

Your ancestors could be Czechs who assimilated into Germans. As the Kingdom of Bohemia was an important part of the Hapsburg Empire since 16th century many Czechs, particularly members of the upper classes, adopted the German language. They could move southwards into what is today Austria at some point.

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cal
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Re: Question about a potentially Czech surname

Postby cal » 2012-06-21, 8:30

Your reasoning is perfectly fine. There are 2800 people of this name in our country (whether in the male form Mužík, or in the female one Mužíková).

See the statistics of 2011:
http://www.kdejsme.cz/prijmeni/Mu%C5%BE%C3%ADk%20Mu%C5%BE%C3%ADkov%C3%A1/hustota/.

The map shows a density of occurance of the names Mužík and Mužíková in the CR.

Tak vítej mezi námi! :-) (Welcome among us!)
"A compliment for us is a compliment for you." Ed, Singles

interesting_username
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Re: Question about a potentially Czech surname

Postby interesting_username » 2012-06-21, 14:35

cal wrote:Your reasoning is perfectly fine. There are 2800 people of this name in our country (whether in the male form Mužík, or in the female one Mužíková).

See the statistics of 2011:
http://www.kdejsme.cz/prijmeni/Mu%C5%BE%C3%ADk%20Mu%C5%BE%C3%ADkov%C3%A1/hustota/.

The map shows a density of occurance of the names Mužík and Mužíková in the CR.

Tak vítej mezi námi! :-) (Welcome among us!)


Thanks so much, especially for the link! Very interesting stuff.

And thanks as well for the welcome. I'm honored to have at least some Czech blood in my veins! Now, time to crack open that old Czech book that's been collecting dust... :lol:
Native:  (en-us)
Intermediate:  (ru)
Beginner:  (ka)
Interested:  (ab) (ce) (inh) (kbd) (av)

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cal
Posts: 117
Joined: 2005-11-18, 9:38
Real Name: Lucie
Gender: female
Location: Kladno
Country: CZ Czech Republic (Česká republika)

Re: Question about a potentially Czech surname

Postby cal » 2012-06-22, 8:02

And thanks as well for the welcome. I'm honored to have at least some Czech blood in my veins! Now, time to crack open that old Czech book that's been collecting dust... :lol:


Hope to see you around soon :waytogo:
"A compliment for us is a compliment for you." Ed, Singles


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