Zalewski. Not a name you see everyday. Americanized, which is quite common. Though, not very hard to pronounce, some people just shred it because it ends in “ski.” We pronounce it zuh-loo-ski, but I’m told the original pronunciation is something like shuh-lef-ski due to the polish version of these letters.

According to a book on surnames, Zalewski comes from a topographic name for someone that lived on a flood plain or bay. (Leave it to my polish ancestors to live on a flood plain. No wonder we get a bad rap.) This is also similar to the Zaleski name, which means someone who ‘lived on the other side of wood‘. So, all I need to do now is go to Poland and check everywhere that is near water or near trees to find my surname’s origin.

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