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    Heloo Everyone

    thank you for allowing me to join you. i am a 80 year old retired male who is interested in all things Germanic. I lost my wife to cancer after 46 years of marriage in 2012. I'm getting too old to do much, but I'm always on the internet. I am very impressed by your web site.

    My main interest is in my surname. It's one of those mixed germanic names with a german front end and a "ke" ending that everybody thinks is polish. How and why did the ke get there. It's apparently slavic and is diminutive, meaning "little". Nobody ever mentions why or how this happened but will tell you your name is german under slavic influence. My father's family made no claim of being anything but german. My Dad's grand father was born in Prussia, Pommern, Rummelsburg, Pritzig. So I was wondering could anyone shed some light on this for me. Thanks

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    Welcome to Skadi!

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    Willkommen!

    Quote Originally Posted by totz View Post
    My main interest is in my surname. It's one of those mixed germanic names with a german front end and a "ke" ending that everybody thinks is polish. How and why did the ke get there. It's apparently slavic and is diminutive, meaning "little". Nobody ever mentions why or how this happened but will tell you your name is german under slavic influence. My father's family made no claim of being anything but german. My Dad's grand father was born in Prussia, Pommern, Rummelsburg, Pritzig. So I was wondering could anyone shed some light on this for me. Thanks
    It's hard to tell without knowning the full name, though I fully understand that you don't want to disclose it, but it's well possible that the "-ke"(akin to High German "-chen") suffix is simply the Low German diminutive. I don't think -ke is a diminutive in Slavic languages at all, though it seems to exist as a (in Slavic rather uncommon) suffix, that's already a Germanisation.

    The "Wörterbuch der deutschen Familiennamen(Dictionary of German Surnames)" says(own translation):

    Suffix -ke:
    1. Common spelling of the Low German -k suffix


    Suffix -k:
    1. Low German suffix for the derivation of personal names, which appears in the spellings –ke, -cke.
      In regards to the formation of surnames, the –k suffix serves to express nuances in meaning: diminution, affection, benevolence, contempt, derision as well as the expression of generational differences.
      Accordingly, a name like “Schmidtke” has several possible meanings:

      a) The person to first bestow this name upon someone else, expressed his affection or friendly stance towards this person with the –ke suffix.

      b) Relative to the circumstances, the name giver could also express his contemptuous, derisive, critical attitude towards the namebearer, in the sense of “bad smith[Schmidt=Schmied], undistinguished smith”.

      c) The diminuitive sense of the suffix could additionally be used to address the small stature of a smith.

      b) Sometimes, the –ke suffix could have the purpose to allude to the youthful age of the namebearer(in comparison with an older bearer of the name Schmidt).

      In modern surnames with the suffixes of –cke, ke it’s not possible to ascertain anymore, which of the above options was the originally relevant one.

    2. Germanising spelling of Slavic suffixed like –k, ka.

      -ka:
      Polish, Sorbic, Czech or East Slavic suffix for the derivation of personal names.
    Here's a list of 9.800 German surnames with their explanations and distributions across modern Germany, perhaps yours is among them:
    http://www.namenforschung.net/dfd/woerterbuch/liste/

    Here's a site that shows the distribution of a name, you enter in the search window, in modern Germany. It relies on the phone book:
    http://legacy.stoepel.net/de/Default.aspx

    I'm not sure if you understand German, so if you need help with a translation in that list, just send me a message.
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    Welcome, totz. I had a feeling the -ke suffix was not Slavic, since there is the Dutch diminutive -je those Dutchies like to hook onto the end of things. Makes sense that -ke is Low German, since the two languages are so close to one another. Glad to see Juthunge come up with the definitive scholarly explanation.

    This made me think of another -ke from Posen:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Gottfried_Piefke
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    Herzlich Willkommen!

    The territory of former East-Germany (DDR) was occupied by Slavic tribes since the 9th century till the Late Middle Ages. In the age of Luther the village area of Wittember spoke Slavic dialects yet. Nowadays Saxony are many Slavic Sorbian survivors too. The -ke suffix in the German is camen from the Slavic dialects in the territory of the former Prussian states. The -ke, -ka suffix is live in the Slavic langueges and in the Hungarian languege as a diminutiv suffix. In other part of the German inhabitated area live the -chen, -lein, -el, -l and -le suffixes like as the -le suffix in my Swabian name too.

    "Remember that, even when those who move you be kings or men of power, your soul is in your keeping alone. When you stand before God, you cannot say, "But I was told by others to do thus,"or that virtue "was not convenient at the time." This will not suffice."
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    Thank you so very much taking the time to give me all this information. My surname is my username + ke as in 'totzke'. All other family names of ancestors are germanic.

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    Totz, welcome to Skadi. Sorry about your wife. Yes Skadi is indeed very interesting and fun. Hope you enjoy it.

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    Hallo, "Republicans".

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