Recorded as Seles, Selz, the diminutives Selesnic, Selesnick, Selznick and possibly others, this is an ancient surname of probably Ukrainian origin. Over the centuries it was also found in Poland and the Balkan countries of the former Yugoslavia, specifically Croatia and Serbia. The meaning is the dragon or perhaps serpent, and may have been given in medieval times to a fierce or violent person, but more likely referred to somebody who lived at a place probably an inn, which had the sign of a dragon (or serpent). The suffix ending of -ic, -ick, or -uk, when it occurs, is a diminutive meaning little 'dragon' or more literally son of 'dragon'. The surname is quite well recorded in the United States of America throughout the 20th century, but unfortunately not so well in its countries of origin. These paid little or any attention to record keeping throughout the Communist era, having in most cases destroyed the ancient records at the time of the Soviet lead revolutions between 1917 and 1923 and again after the Second World War from 1945 when the Iron Curtain descended with a vengance.
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