This Polish surname of MROZEK is an aphetic form of the Polish given name Ambrozy - from the Old Latin name Ambrosius, a name meaning, divine, immortal. It was a familiar medieval given name, which owed its popularity to the fame of St. Ambrose, (circa.340-97), one of the four 'Latin Fathers of the Church', who was the teacher of St. Augustine. The name was also applied as a nickname for a white-haired man, or for one of an icy and unsociable disposition. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. Other spellings of the name include MRAZ, MOROZOV, MOROZOWSKI, MAROZ, MROKEK, MRASEK, MROZOWICZ, MROZOWSKI, MROZINSKI and MROZEWSKI. The earliest Polish surnames were patronymic. The personal names from which they were derived were mainly Slavonic, but as the Middle Ages progressed, traditional Slavic given names, began to give way to saint's names, mainly of Latin origin. Surnames derived from Slavonic personal names are of early origin, and tend to be borne by aristocratic families. Many Polish people acquired their surnames by reason of former residence in a town or village. There are nearly 600 families bearing the arms of a horseshoe enclosing a cross. Some names were changed by immigrants whilst on the boat heading for America and Australia. These transformations were usually to names thought by the immigrants to be more respected in their native land than the one he bore. Many Poles added 'ski' to their names to attain a higher social status since such names were accorded more respect from people of Polish extraction. Thus a larger proportion of Polish names carried this termination in America and Australia than in Poland.
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