The accent in Polish

Today’s Rhymes With Orange:

Ah, Watérski.

I did spend some time trying to find out if Waterski was an attested Polish name, but the enormous number of sites on waterskiing frustrated my search.

5 Responses to “The accent in Polish”

  1. Dennis Preston Says:

    I guess “penultimate” is way too much to ask for in a cartoon.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      Well, maybe, though as I recall the facts, the accent is on the syllable preceding “-ski”/”-sky”, which is to say, the penult. Which will often be the second syllable — but that’s not the real generalization.

  2. g2-dcfb9e6caa86f3ff2b982de5354b50d9 Says:

    No, aside from a few exceptions (clitics, some nouns of Greek origin) the stress in Polish is always on the penultimate syllable.

    Waterski is not a Polish surname, but I have heard a Polish variant of the joke where a guy comes back from a seaside holiday proud that the same Polish guy seemed to own everything he saw.

  3. arnold zwicky Says:

    Comments on Facebook:

    Wilson Gray “Zenobia Waterska” is on Facebook. Her feminine surname implies the existence of the masculine surname, “Waterski.” On the basis of the fact that her sole Facebook friend is “Michał Maciejski,” I assume that Zenobia is, in fact, ethnically Polish. “Ivan Waterski,” a name that I made up, gets a G-hit.

    David Preston There are several records for Waterski at, as well as Witerski and Witarski.

    David Preston Also a couple for Waterska.

    Michael Palmer I would think the usual form would be “Waderska/ski” (383K google hits for the masculine form).

    Michael Palmer And some possibilities from the Ellis Island database, here

    The Ellis Island database has no exact matches for Waterski, but provides a series of close matches: Waderski ?atersky [? is a wild card] Waderski Wakerski Watorski Wadarsky Wadorski …

  4. Alon Says:

    I’ve been able to find a Paweł and a Stanisław Waterski, so yes.

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