Meaning and Origin of: Voytek

Family name origins & meanings

  • Americanized spelling of Czech Vojtek or Vojtěch, Slovak and Bulgarian Vojtek, Polish Wojtek, or a cognate in any other Slavic language. This is a surname taken from the personal name Vojtek, a pet form of Slavic Vojtěch (Polish Wojciech), meaning ‘consoling the host’ (from voj ‘host’, ‘army’, ‘force’ + těch ‘comfort’, ‘consolation’). This, together with the Germanized form Wozzek, was a popular personal name among Christians in Eastern Europe, mainly because of the cult of St. Vojtěch (c.956–997), bishop of Prague from 982 onwards. In 995 he was expelled from Bohemia and in 996 he went to Poland on a mission to the Prussians (members of a heathen Baltic-speaking people, not the German speakers who later took their name). He was killed by the Prussians in 997, and was canonized in 999. He is regarded as the first Polish saint; in Polish he is known as St. Wojciech. In German he is known by his second name as St. Adalbert (or Albert) of Prague.