This very unusual surname is either of early medieval Czechoslovakian or Polish origin. If the former, Malicki is a variant of the more familiar Maly, itself a nickname for a man of short stature, deriving from the Czechoslovakian adjective "maly", small. The cognate noun "malec" in Poland as well as in Czechoslovakia has the additional sense of "young man", which probably also underlies some surnames. Variations on the surname include Malec, Malecky, Malak and Malat, with diminutives Malek, Malik and Malecek. If of Polish origin, Malicki derives from the Biblical prophet's name Malachi, "Messenger of Jehovah". It is interesting to note that as the Middle Ages progressed, traditional Slavic given names, once popular in Poland, began to give way to saints' names, mainly of Latin origin, but in some cases even Irish. The Irish saint Malachy, born circa 1094 at Armagh, was nominated to the archbishopric of that see in 1129. In 1139 he travelled to Rome and Clairvaux (France), and his subsequent popularity in Europe ensured the widespread adoption of his name. On March 1st 1644, Dorota Malek married Mikolas Kowar at Tabor, Czechoslovakia; the birth of one Mikolaj Malecki was registered at Kutno, Lodzkiego, Poland, in 1782; and on March 8th 1836, Jozef, son of Jakob Malicki, was christened at Wloszczowa, Kieleckiego, Poland. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Melchoil Maly, which was dated November 3rd 1637, recorded at Ellwangen, Jagstkrels, Wuertt, Germany, during the reign of Ferdinand 111, Habsburg Emperor, 1637 - 1657. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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