The etymology is unclear. Most likely it is derived from the Old Polish word lewanda – 'lavender' (lawenda in modern Polish). Another explanation is Lewant – 'Levant' (the Eastern Mediterranean region). Various other etymologies are also provided, including: Hebrew tribe of Levi; first name Lew ('Lionel'); lew ('a lion'); lewy ('left'); Old Polish lewada ('a glade'); Latin levantes (a person holding a child during the baptism); Western European prefixes le, van, de; village Lewandów (nowadays within the borders of Warsaw).
The surname is focused in mid-northern Poland. It makes as much as 1,1% of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship's population (the record of Poland).
It was recorded for the first time in 1673, although Lavendowski, which is probably its variant, is known since 1608.
Notable people with the surname include:
- Adolph J. Lewandowski, American athlete and coach
- Anna M. Lewandowski, American scientist
- Edmund Lewandowski, American artist
- Janusz Lewandowski, Polish economist and politician
- Jozef Lewandowski, Polish-Swedish historian and writer
- Konrad T. Lewandowski, Polish writer
- Louis Lewandowski, German composer
- Marcin Lewandowski, Polish middle distance runner
- Mariusz Lewandowski, Polish football player
- Mateusz Lewandowski, Polish footballer
- Ricardo Lewandowski, Minister of the Supreme Federal Court of Brazil
- Robert Lewandowski, Polish football player
- Sandra Lewandowska, Polish politician
- Sascha Lewandowski, German football manager
- Sylwia Lewandowska, Polish rower
- Brothers Lewandowski, Bruno, Max and David, royal court merchants to the Bavarian court for lingerie
- Ministry of Interior (Poland). Statystyka najpopularniejszych nazwisk występujących w Polsce in 2009 (The most popular surnames in Poland in 2009). Retrieved on 2013-02-28.
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