Pataky Name History

The Hungarian Language is quite distinct from its Germanic and Slavonic neighbors, and is of Finno-Ugric rather than Indo-European origin.  Thus, it is related to Finnish.  Nevertheless, the strongest cultural influence in historical times has been German, and the pattern of Hungarian surnames is similar to that found in Germany and Austria.  Hungarian surnames are placed before rather than after the given name.  A few surnames that are relatively common in Hungary are not in fact of Hungarian linguistic origin; they represent Magyarized forms of German and Slavonic names imported from neighboring regions.

The Hungarian surname Pataky is of locative origin.  Locative surnames are those names which derive their origin from a particular feature, either man made or natural, near which derive the original bearer lived or held land.  In this instance, the surname Pataky is derived from the Polish word "potok", meaning "stream".  Thus, the surname Pataky was the name given to someone who lived by a brook or stream.  Pataky is the Hungarian form of the name.  Variants of this surname include such names as Patak, Pataki, Potok, Potocki, and Potucek.

References to this surname or to a variant include a record of the Pataky family who were a very large and noble family of Hungary.  A specific blazon of arms was granted to one Johann Pataky in 1703.

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