The ethnonyms for the Poles (people) , and Poland (their country)  include endonyms (the way Polish people refer to themselves and their country) and exonyms (the way other peoples refer to the Poles and their country). An ethnonym ( Gk έθνος ethnos, 'tribe' + όνομα onoma, 'name' is the name applied to a given Ethnic group. The Polish people, or Poles, (Polacy) are a Western Slavic Ethnic group of Central Europe, living predominantly in Poland. Poland (Polska officially the Republic of Poland An exonym (from Greek el ἔξω exo = out el ὄνομα onoma = name is a name for a place that is not used within that place by the local An exonym (from Greek el ἔξω exo = out el ὄνομα onoma = name is a name for a place that is not used within that place by the local Endonyms and most exonyms for Poles and Poland derive from the name of the West Slavic tribe of Polans (Polanie), while in some languages the exonyms for Poland derive from the name of another tribe – the Lendians (Lędzianie). The West Slavs are Slavic peoples speaking West Slavic languages. The Polans (also known as Polanes, Polanians or Polians; Polanie were a West Slavic tribe inhabiting the Warta river basin The Lendians (Lędzianie were a Lechitic tribe recorded to have inhabited the ill-defined area in East Lesser Poland and Red Ruthenia between the
The Polish words for a Pole are Polak (masculine) and Polka (feminine), Polacy being the plural form. Polish ( język polski, polszczyzna) is the Official language of Poland. The adjective "Polish" translates to Polish as polski (masculine), polska (feminine) and polskie (neuter). The common Polish name for Poland is Polska. Poland (Polska officially the Republic of Poland The latter Polish word is an adjectival form which has developed into a substantive noun, most probably originating in the phrase polska ziemia, meaning "Polish land".  The full official name of the Polish state is Rzeczpospolita Polska which loosely translates as "Polish Republic" (see Rzeczpospolita for details). Rzeczpospolita ( pronounced) is a Polish word for " Republic " or " Commonwealth " a Calque translation of the
All of the above names derive from the name of the Polans, one of the strongest of the tribes inhabitating the territories of present-day Poland in the 9th-10th centuries. The origin of the name Polanie itself is uncertain. It may derive from such Polish words as pole ("field") , opole ("group of villages belonging to one clan", an early administrative unit) or plemię ("tribe").
Polska was initially a name used by the Polans to describe their own tribal territory in the Warta River basin. The Warta (Warthe Varta is a River in western-central Poland, a tributary of the Oder river During the 10th century, the Polans managed to subdue and unite the Slavic tribes between the rivers Oder and Western Bug into a single feudal state and in the early 11th century, the name Polska was extended to the entire ethnically Polish territory. The Oder (known in Czech and Polish as Odra) is a River in Central Europe. The Bug or Buh River (Bug; Західний Буг Zakhidnyy Buh; Захо́дні Буг Zakhodni Buh; Западный Буг Zapadnyy Bug Feudalism, a term first used in the early modern period (17th century in its most classic sense refers to a Medieval Europe Political system composed The lands originally inhabitated by the Polans became known as Staropolska, or "Old Poland", and later as Wielkopolska, or "Greater Poland", while the lands conquered towards the end of the 10th century, home of the Vistulans (Wiślanie) and the Lendians, became known as Małopolska, or "Lesser Poland". Greater Poland or Great Poland, Polish Wielkopolska (Großpolen Latin: Polonia Maior) is a historical region of west-central Poland Vistulans (Wiślanie were a Lechitic tribe inhabiting since at least the 7th century, lands known today as Lesser Poland. The Lendians (Lędzianie were a Lechitic tribe recorded to have inhabited the ill-defined area in East Lesser Poland and Red Ruthenia between the Lesser Poland (also "Little Poland" Polish: Małopolska, Latin: Polonia Minor) is one of the historical regions of Poland
Around the 17th century, the Polish nobility (szlachta) were seeking proofs of their ancient ancestry in classical Greek and Roman sources and often claimed to descend from the non-Slavic tribes, such as the Venedes or the Sarmatians, that inhabitated Central and Eastern Europe in ancient times. Szlachta ( refers to the noble class in the Kingdom of Poland, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (since 1569 semi-federal semi-confederal The Vistula Veneti (alternatively also called the Baltic Veneti) were an ancient Indo-European people living in contemporary Poland, along the rivers of The Sarmatians, Sarmatae or Sauromatae ( Old Iranian Sarumatah 'archer' Σαρμάτες Central Europe is the Region lying between the variously and vaguely defined areas of Eastern and Eastern Europe is a general term that refers to the Geopolitical region encompassing the easternmost part of the European continent. In the 17th-18th ceturies, Sarmaci ("Sarmatians") was a popular name by which Polish nobles referred to themselves (see Sarmatism). Sarmatism embodied the dominant Lifestyle, Culture and Ideology of the Szlachta ( Nobility) in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Variations of the country endonym Polska became exonyms in other languages. Exonyms for Poland in other Slavic languages bear particular resemblance to the Polish endonym (Kashubian Pòlskô; Czech Polsko; Slovak Poľsko; Croatian, Serbian, Slovenian Poljska; Belarusian Польшча, Pol'shcha; Russian Польша, Pol'sha, Bulgarian Полша, Polsha). The Slavic languages (also called Slavonic languages) a group of closely related Languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages Kashubian or Cassubian (Kashubian kaszëbsczi jãzëk, pòmòrsczi jãzëk, kaszëbskò-słowińskô mòwa; język kaszubski is one of Czech (ˈʧɛk čeština ˈʧɛʃcɪna in Czech is a West Slavic language with about 12 million native speakers it is the majority language in the The Slovak language ( slovenčina, slovenský jazyk, not to be confused with Slovenščina) sometimes referred to as "Slovakian" Croatian language ( hrvatski jezik) is a South Slavic language which is used primarily in Croatia, by Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina in neighbouring Serbian (sr-Cyrl српски језик sr-Latn ''srpski jezik'' is a South Slavic language, Slovene or Slovenian ( slovenski jezik or slovenščina, not to be confused with Slovenčina) is a South Slavic language The Belarusian language, or Belorussian,(беларуская мова BGN/PCGN: byelaruskaya mova, Scientific: belaruskaja mova Russian ( transliteration:,) is the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia, the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages Bulgarian (български език IPA: ɛzˈik is an Indo-European language, a member of the Slavic linguistic group In Latin, which was the principal written language of the Middle Ages, the exonym for Poland became Polonia. Latin ( lingua Latīna, laˈtiːna is an Italic language, historically spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It later became the basis for Poland's name in all Romance (Italian, Romanian, Spanish Polonia; Catalan Polònia; Portuguese Polónia; French Pologne) and many other languages (e. The Romance languages (sometimes referred to as Romanic languages, or Neolatin languages) are a branch of the Indo-European language family comprising all Italian ( or lingua italiana) is a Romance language spoken by about 63 million people as a First language, primarily in Italy. Romanian or Daco-Romanian ( dated: Rumanian or Roumanian; self designation limba română, ˈlimba roˈmɨnə is a Romance Catalan ˈkætəˌlæn ( català kətəˈla or) is a Romance language, the national and official language of Andorra, and a co-official Portuguese ( or língua portuguesa) is a Romance language that originated in what is now Galicia (Spain and northern Portugal. French ( français,) is a Romance language spoken around the world by 118 million people as a native language and by about 180 to 260 million people g. Albanian Polonia; Greek Πολωνία, Polōnía). Albanian (sq ''Gjuha shqipe'' ˈɟuha ˈʃcipɛ is an Indo-European language spoken by nearly 6 million peoplewhile others claim that it derives from Daco - Greek (el ελληνική γλώσσα or simply el ελληνικά — "Hellenic" is an Indo-European language, spoken today by 15-22 million people mainly Germans, Poland's western neighbors, called it Polen from which exonyms for Poland in other Germanic (Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian Polen; English Poland; Icelandic, Faroese Pólland; Yiddish פױלן, Poyln) and other languages (e. The German people (Deutsche are an Ethnic group, in the sense of sharing a common German culture, descent and speaking the German language as The Germanic languages are a group of related languages that constitute a branch of the Indo-European (IE Language family. Dutch ( is a West Germanic language spoken by around 24 million people 22 million of which are from the Netherlands, Belgium and Suriname Danish ( d̥ænsɡ̊ is one of the North Germanic languages (also called Scandinavian languages a sub-group of the Germanic branch of the Swedish ( is a North Germanic language spoken by more than nine million people predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along the Norwegian ( norsk) is a North Germanic Language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is an official language Icelandic ( is a North Germanic language, the language of Iceland. Faroese ( føroyskt ˈføːɹɪst or) often also spelled Faeroese (cf Yiddish (yi [[wiktייִדיש ייִדיש]] yidish or yi [[wiktאידיש אידיש]] idish, literally "Jewish" is a nonterritorial High g. Arabic بولندا, Bolánda; Hebrew פולין, Polin; Indonesian Polandia; Irish An Pholainn; Japanese ポーランド, Pōrando) are derived. Arabic (ar الْعَرَبيّة (informally ar عَرَبيْ) in terms of the number of speakers is the largest living member of the Semitic language Indonesian or Bahasa Indonesia, based on the Riau version of Malay language, was declared the official language with the declaration of Irish (ga ''Gaeilge'' is a Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish. is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities
There is, however, a group of languages, where the exonym for Poland derives from the name of Lendians, a proto-Polish tribe that lived around the confluence of rivers Vistula and San, in what is now south-eastern Poland. The Lendians (Lędzianie were a Lechitic tribe recorded to have inhabited the ill-defined area in East Lesser Poland and Red Ruthenia between the History In historical records the river was first mentioned in 1097 as Sanъ, reku Sanъ, k Sanovi, nad Sanomъ (1152 and Sanu Their name derived probably from the Proto-Polish word lęda, or "scorched land".  Not surprisingly, this kind of exonyms are used by the peoples who lived east or south of Poland. Among those exonyms are: Lithuanian Lenkija, Hungarian Lengyelország and Turkish Lehistan (now considered obsolete and replaced by Polonya). Lithuanian ( lietuvių kalba) is the official state language of Lithuania and is recognised as one of the official languages of the European Union. Hungarian ( magyar nyelv) is a Uralic language (more specifically a Ugric language) unrelated to most other languages in Europe. Turkish ( tr Türkçe IPA) is a language spoken by over 63 million people worldwide making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages.  The latter became the basis for Poland exonyms in a number of other Middle Eastern languages, including: Kurdish لێھستان, Lohêstan; Armenian Լեհաստան, Lehastan; Persian, Tajik لهستان, Lahestan. The Middle East is a Subcontinent with no clear boundaries often used as a synonym to Near East, in opposition to Far East. The Kurdish language (Kurdish Kurdî or کوردی is a term used for the language spoken by Kurds. The Armenian language (hy հայերեն լեզու hajɛɹɛn lɛzu —, conventional short form) is an Indo-European language spoken by the Armenian The Tajik language, or Tajik Persian, or Tajiki, (sometimes written Tadjik or Tadzhik; тоҷикӣ, tg-Latn ''tojikí'') is a modern
In East Slavic languages a Pole was called лях (lyakh), a term that gave rise to the Polish poetic endonym, Lechia. The East Slavic languages constitute one of three regional subgroups of Slavic languages, currently spoken in Eastern Europe. This name became so popular that it led the Poles to believe that Poland was founded by a legendary hero called Lech. According to an old legend Lech Čech and Rus were Eponymous brothers who founded the three Slavic nations Poland (poetically The historical region of Poland on the Belarusian border known as Podlachia (Polish Podlasie) derives its name from that East Slavic exonym. Belarus ( Belarusian Беларусь / Biełaruś is a Landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered by Russia to the north and east Podlachia, Podlesia, or Podlasie is a historical region in the eastern part of Poland and western Belarus. Today, Lachy Sądeckie is a name of a small ethnic group around Nowy Sącz in southern Lesser Poland. Nowy Sącz (known also by other names) is a Town in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship in southern Poland. In Polish literature, the names Lachy and Lechistan are often put in East Slavic and Turkish mouths respectively as synonyms for "Poles" and "Poland".
In some languages the Polish endonym Polak became an ethnic slur used to describe a Pole. The following is a list of ethnic slurs that are or have been used as insinuations or allegations about members of a given Ethnicity or to refer to them in a derogatory (critical Examples include English Polack (pronounced Polock and formerly a neutral term, for example in Hamlet's references to "the Polack wars") and French polaque. The noun Polack (pō'lāk' used in the English language is a Derogatory reference to a person of Polish descent and an Onomatopoeia imitating the sound The noun Polack (pō'lāk' used in the English language is a Derogatory reference to a person of Polish descent and an Onomatopoeia imitating the sound Hamlet is a Tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601 In other languages this is the neutral word for Polish or a Pole (e. g. Swedish polack, Italian polacco, Portuguese and Spanish polaco). In Russian and Ukrainian the old exonym лях (lyakh) is now considered offensive and is replaced by the neutral поляк (polyak), although the latter's diminutive form, полячёк (polyachyok) is pejorative as well. Ukrainian (in Ukrainian украї́нська мо́ва ukrayins'ka mova,) is a language of the East Slavic subgroup of the Slavic languages. A diminutive is a formation of a Word used to convey a slight degree of the root meaning smallness of the object or quality named encapsulation intimacy or endearment
Some common English words, as well as scientific nomenclature, derive from Poland exonyms in various languages.