Message Boards > Surnames > Hritz


Subject: Re: Hritz from Slovakia
Author: rhritz1
Date: Thursday, July 10, 2008
Classification: Query
Surnames: Hritz

Hi. No idea if you'll ever read this, but i'll try anyway. Please reply if you can :)

No, I am not from Denver, I am from Slovakia (although currently living in London, UK). My grandparents (also Hritz) came from the Kezmarok, Levoca, Spisska Bela, which are located in Spis in the northeastern Slovakia. They were in fact ethnic Germans, but they also told me that the name comes from Rusyn or Ukrainian area within Slovakia (which is farther east than Spis).

The meaning of the name is a mystery. It definitely does not mean anything like 'red' (in slovak; red is 'cerveny', in russian, it's 'krasnyj', in German, 'rot') and I know no one of my family who would have red head, unless they got sunburned or ate too much chilli :). It does not mean anything in the Slovak or German language. But there is one open possibility - the Ukrainian language does not use the letter 'G', it uses 'H' instead. So this would make it Gritz/Gric, which does remind us of the word 'Igric'.

Igric according to Slovak dictionaries is 'potulný hradný spevák a herec u Slovanov v stredoveku', roughly translated to 'wandering singer and actor in the medieval times in the Slav areas'. Note that the Slovak language is the least different from the original old proto-Slav language, from which all other Slav languages come, so we can assume that the word is known and has the same meaning across all the
Slav world, from West Poland and Slovenia to Vladivostok in the Far-East Sibir Russia. It also seems to be quite old.

Robert Hritz