Mystery Monday: Raczko

Every Monday we will post an entry that hasn’t yet been published with a view towards harnessing the collective onomastic power of the internet. If you have any thoughts about the name’s origin, other variants it might be related to, other examples of its use, etc., please share them in the comments! If you wish to browse other Mystery Monday names, there is an index.

Today’s name is a masculine diminutive found in the Czech Republic:

But what is it a diminutive of? One possibility is Radoslav, a moderately popular name throughout Eastern Europe. But perhaps something else that we haven’t thought of — do you have a suggestion? Please share in the comments!


Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, mystery monday

3 responses to “Mystery Monday: Raczko

  1. Jörg Knappen

    I suggest Ratislav as a better full form than Radoslav for this name, Radoslav tends to get shortened to Radko instead, but it is still close enough to get shortened to Raczko as well. The two protothemes rati-/raci- “battle, fight” and rady- “glad, willing, happy” are different roots in Slavic. For the root rati-/raci-, there are Ratibor and Ratimir already in the DMNES database.

  2. It’s interesting that, while this name is Czech, it is spelt with “cz” rather than “č” which is characteristic for Czech. Though perhaps “cz” was used in Czech historically… The “ccz is used in my native language which is Polish, so while I’ve never seen this name in use it has a kind of familiar feel, it is also a Polish surname.
    I agree with Jorg Knapp that it seems more natural for Raczko to be a diminutive of any of the rati names rather than the rad- ones but certainly the latter is also possible.
    It’s also inevitable for me as a Slav not to think about the similar word raczek in Polish, which is a diminutive form of the word rak, which is the word for crayfish/crab or the star sign of Cancer, as far as I know the Czech have the some word for it as well. – And then there is the verb raczyć in Polish, which seems to have a similar equivalent (uráčit se) in Czech, meaning to deign, and related Polish expression uraczyć się meaning to regale oneself, or raczyć kogoś meaning to treat someone (to something). These words seem very close,I don’t know if they can seriously lead to anything, and I don’t know of any Slavic names coming from these roots, but thought I’d include these bits just in case,
    Also if this is indeed a diminutive of the rati names (written raci in Polish), and if Raczko was known in Poland, I think it’s very likely that there was also another variant of this in Polish spelt Raćko, as ci normally changes into ć in nicknames if there’s a k directly afterwards. Think Maciej and Maćko. Hope that helps a little.

    • Jörg Knappen

      The grapheme “č” is an innovation in Czech orthography, it started as a dot above whose introduction is usually ascribed to Jan Hus and became later the characteristic hachek in the Bible of Kralice published by the Czech brethren. As we can see, the recordings of Raczko predate Jan Hus’ lifetime and show the older orthography that is closer to Polish. The English Wikipedia has an interesting article on Czeck Orthography with more details.

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