This surname of SKOW is a shortened form of the name SKOWRONSKI which is a Polish and Czechoslovakian nickname for a happy and cheerful person. The name was originally derived from the Old Polish word SKOWRONEK (skylark). The name is also spelt SKOWRON, SKRIVAN and SKRIVANEK. 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. The modern state of Czechoslovakia is going through a transitional phase as a result of the fall of the Iron Curtain. Its various regions encompassed the medieval provinces of Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovakia. The first two of these, where the language properly called Czech is spoken, were heavily subject to German cultural and linguistic influence from the Middle Ages onwards, being administratively a Crownland of Austria for much of the time until independence in 1918. This influence is reflected in the many Czech surnames derived from German, both from given names, and from vocabulary words. Occupational names are quite common in Czech as are nicknames, especially those referring to some physical feature. Many of the most common Czech surnames have the diminutive ending 'CEK', which is often found attached to these names. A minor notable of the name was Fred Stanley SKOWRONSKI, born on the 27th October, 1918. He was a banker and his appointments included assistant cashier and Representative of the Pension Trust Fund, at the National Bank of Chicago.
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