Recorded in many spelling forms including Sobota, Sobiech, Sobieski, Sobanski, Sobinski, Sobalski, Sobtka, Sobek, Sobczak, and Sobiesczek, this is a surname of both Polish and Czech origins. It probably derives from the Czech word 'sobota' meaning Saturday, and it is said by various researchers of note, to have been originally a name of endearment for a child who was born, baptised, or registered on a Saturday, and especially a new recruit to Christianity. This seems at best an unsatisfactory explanation, since realistically a person born on a Saturday and so named would logically be Jewish, although a person registered on a Saturday would probably not be. A second possible explanation is that the surname is sometimes from the ancient pre 7th century personal name 'Sobeslav', a compound made up of elements meaning 'personal victory' or similar. This would have been a pagan name, and compounds of this type were very popular throughout Europe in the period of history known as 'The Dark Ages', from about the 5th to the 10th century a.d. Thereafter they were usually replaced by 'Crusader' names which were Biblical but of Hebrew or Greek origins.
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