What’s in a name?
—Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 2,2,1
Some people are interested in the sources of names. Here’s my story.
Szigetvár is a
town in southern Hungary. Szigetvári [ˈsigɛtʋaːɾi] is an
adjective meaning ‘coming from or belonging to Sz.’ Many Hungarian
family names are similar, some are spelt with
My family never had anything to do with Szigetvár though. My father’s name at birth was Cziegelwagner, a partly Hungarianized spelling of German Ziegelwagner meaning ‘brick transporter’. The family changed it to sound more Hungarian in 1948, because in those days you could easily find yourself deported to Germany if you had such a name. Sometimes brothers have made different decisions, so families have split. This is also a very common story in Hungary.