The Polish surname of SAGAN is an occupational name for a maker of pots and pans. The name was derived from the Polish word SAGAN (kettle). Other spellings of the name include SAGANSKI and SAGANOWSKI. 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. Notable persons of this name include Carl Edward SAGAN, born in 1934, the astronomer and writer, born in New York City. He studied at the university of Chicago and California, taught at Berkeley, Stanford, Harvard and the Smithsonian Institute, and became professor of astronomy and space science at Cornell in 1970. Francoise SAGAN, born in 1935 is the novelist born in Paris. At the age of 18 she wrote, in only four weeks, the best-selling 'Bonjour tristesse' (1954), followed by 'Un Certain Souriere'. She has also written several plays and a ballet 'La Chamade' (1966). 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. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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