A funny thing happened at work today. One of my co-workers said something like "I just noticed you have a Russian last name."

"Actually, it's Polish" I replied.

"In Russian," he began, "it has two meanings."

Me: "Really?"

Him: "Yes. The first one is like, uhm, 'over the water' or 'across the river.' But that one's not it."

Me: "Heh."

Him: "The second one is like 'stirring things up.'"

Me: "Hahahaha! That's me.

(At least it seems to be at work. I've been stirring various pots recently.)

Posted by jzawodn at May 20, 2003 09:36 PM

Reader Comments
# Spectator said:

Well, I'm a native Russian.

It's almost correct. Your last name sounds almost like russian word "zavodnoy". Check out Russian-English dictionary. http://lingvo.yandex.ru/cgi-bin/lingvo.pl?text=%E7%E0%E2%EE%E4%ED%EE%E9

"Quick-moving" and "Active" is the first associations I have when I see your last name.

on May 20, 2003 11:14 PM
# jim mcmurry said:

The etymology of the last name comes from the root "zawod" so zawodny could have come from either of these:

If it came from "za woda" then: it roughly translates into "the one from across the water"

If it came from "zawod" it means "Your Trade"

Now there is an actual word "zawodny" which is used in current Polish. From the Slownik Wspolczesnego Jezyka Polskiego (1996):

Zawodny: "Such that which cannot be trusted without limits such which breaks or often disappoints"

This from my wife - the English Teacher at West Valley and native Polish speaker :)


on May 21, 2003 05:35 PM
# kasia said:

From another native Polish speaker (me): The last name Zawodny most likely (*I'm about 96% sure) originates from "One who lives on the other side of water".

So there :)

on May 21, 2003 10:19 PM
# joanna said:

I am also native Polish speaker and I think that Kasia is right!

on March 31, 2005 11:01 AM
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