The surname of MALINIAK is a Polish and Jewish habitation name from a place named with the Polish 'malina' meaning raspberry, possibly in effect an occupational name for a grower of the fruit. As a Jewish surname, it may well be one of the many Ashkenazic surnames taken from words of fruit or plants. When traditional Jews were forced to take family names by the local bureaucracy, it was an obligation imposed from outside traditional society, and people often took the names playfully and let their imaginations run wild by choosing names which either corresponded to nothing real in their world. No one alive today can remember the times when Jews took or were given family names (for most Ashkenazim this was the end of the 18th century or the beginning of the 19th) although many remember names being changed after emigration to other countries, such as the United States and Israel in recent years. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state. A notable member of the name was Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1942) the Polish born British anthropologist, born in Cracow, a founder of modern social anthropology. He studied physics and mathematics at the Jagellonian University and went on to study psychology at Leipzig. In 1914 he left on a research assignment to Australia, returning to London in 1920, and was appointed in 1927 to the first chair in social anthropology at the London School of Economics. In 1938 he moved to the United States where he taught at Yale. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Rietstaps Armorial General. Registered in Poland.
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