I was recently reading some historical records wherein a lady was mentioned, Olga Malar (née Cuch), born in "Napodiwka," Poland, in 1922. She was said to be the daughter of Xelefon Cuch and Jewdokia Romaniuk.

Every individual name on the record can be cross-referenced elsewhere, apart from the birthplace, and father's given name (Xelefon). Both are possibly misspellings, but of what?

Online, there are barely any concrete results for a search of Xelefon, or even possible permutations like Kselefon, Helefon or Chelefon.

It seems particularly unusual for the letter x to appear in Polish. It is not part of the standard alphabet, though it may appear in calques. However, even then, x is often substituted for ks, for example.

EDIT: No official answers by 2020.

  • 1
    "Xelefon" may be a misspelling of the more common name "Xenofon". "Napodiwka" may be a mistake for "na Podiwka" or "na Podwika", or "Napodwika". And of course, Poland in 1922 included a lot of territory in what is now Belarus, Ukraine, and Lithuania. Dec 16, 2017 at 15:14
  • 1
    Thanks for that, "Ksenofon" is present in Polish via Greek. "Xelefon" is of course a terrible misspelling of "Xenofon" if it is such, but I wouldn't put it past some people. Dec 18, 2017 at 8:33
  • Maybe, this is related to the telephone, a new technology at the time?
    – Anixx
    May 8, 2020 at 6:45
  • 1
    -iwka certainly suggests a Belarussian or Ukrainian name; in Polish you would expect -ówka.
    – Colin Fine
    May 26, 2020 at 14:55

1 Answer 1


Google suggests a possible Turkish origin. Otherwise, the name may be a variant of Xenofon/Ksenofon, suggesting a Greek connection.

  • Can you be more explicit on "Google suggests a possible Turkish origin"? May 26, 2020 at 13:49
  • No. But I’m happy to change the accepted answer if you can. @jk-ReinstateMonica May 30, 2020 at 10:19

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