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Novák (feminine Nováková), Novak or Nowak (Cyrillic script: Новак) is a common surname in a number of Slavic languages (one of the most popular surnames in many Slavic and Central European countries, namely the Czech Republic, Croatia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Poland) and a masculine given name of Slavic origin.
The name is derived from the Slavic word for "new" (e.g. Czech: nový), meaning something similar to "new man", "newcomer", or "stranger" in English. The name was often given to someone who came to a new city, or a convert to Christianity. It was also used for newcomers into an army and as an occupational surname for people who used the slash-and-burn method to create new arable land - novina.
It is usually spelled:
- Novák in Czech, Slovak, and Hungarian.
- Nowak in Polish.
- Novak in Serbian, Croatian, and Slovene.
- Новак, Novak in Serbian Cyrillic, Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarussian.
It is pronounced almost the same way: the main difference is that in Slovene, the stress is on the last syllable, while in all other cases it is on the first one.
Many Americans with the surname Nowak have had it Anglicized to Novak.
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In Poland, it is spelled Nowak and it is the most common surname. The archaic feminine version of the Polish version is Nowakowa and its plural Nowakowie. In that country, Nowakowski, Nowacki, and Nowakiewicz developed as well.
The surname "Nowak" is the most common in nine Voivodeships (administrative units) of Poland, and second in another.
- Nowak is 1st in Greater Poland Voivodeship (35,011)
- Nowak is 1st in Silesian Voivodeship (31,838)
- Nowak is 1st in Lesser Poland Voivodeship (23,671)
- Nowak is 1st in Łódź Voivodeship (15,460)
- Nowak is 1st in Lower Silesian Voivodeship (13,217)
- Nowak is 1st in West Pomeranian Voivodeship (7,444)
- Nowak is 1st in Opole Voivodeship (5,538)
- Nowak is 1st in Lubusz Voivodeship (5,444)
- Nowak is 1st in Swietokrzyskie Voivodeship (5,538)
- Nowak is 2nd in Subcarpathian Voivodeship (9,301)
There are two noble families of Polish origin with the surname Nowak.
- One family appeared in Silesia in the 15th century. It included Anatol Nowak (died 1456), Archbishop of Wrocław. A branch of this family became barons in Bohemia in 1660.
- One family appeared in Masovia around 1750. This family included Antoni and Józef Nowak, generals in the Polish army that served Napoleon, and Aleksander Nowak, a general of the Polish forces in the 1831 Polish rebellion against Russia.
Novák is the most common surname in the Czech Republic.
Novak is the most common surname in Slovenia, too, with more than 11,000 sharing it. There are however significant variations between regions: it's very common in central Slovenia (in the regions around Ljubljana and Celje), as well as in parts of southern Slovenia and eastern Slovenia (Lower Carniola, Prekmurje). It's much less common in northern and western Slovenia; in the Goriška region on the border with Italy, it is quite rare. The rank of the surname Novak in the Slovenian statistical regions:
- Novak is 1st in the Central Slovenian statistical region (3,422)
- Novak is 1st in the Savinja statistical region (1,380)
- Novak is 2nd in the South-east Slovenian statistical region (1,231)
- Novak is 2nd in the Mura statistical region (1,040)
- Novak is 3rd in the Drava statistical region (1,732)
- Novak is 5th in the Upper Carniolan statistical region (963)
- Novak is 5th in the Lower Sava statistical region (380)
- Novak is 6th in the Coastal-Karst statistical region (228)
- Novak is 8th in the Central Sava statistical region (192)
- Novak is 10th in the Carinthian statistical region (238)
- Novak is 11th in the Inner Carniolan-Karst statistical region (228)
- Novak is 131st in the Goriška statistical region (171)
In Germany Nowak is 159th (c. 31,000) and Noack is 270th (c. 22,000), together with different spellings c. 64,000, with some concentration in the Ruhr area, around Salzgitter and Lüchow-Dannenberg and as Noack in Lusatia.
- Andriy Novak (born 1988), Ukrainian footballer
- Arne Novák (1880–1939), Czech literary historian and critic
- B. J. Novak (born 1979), American writer, comedian and actor known for The Office
- Brandon Novak (born 1978), American skateboarder
- David Novak (born 1941), American scholar of Jewish philosophy, law and ethics
- David C. Novak, American business executive
- Dragutin Novak (1892–1978), Croatian aviator
- Džoni Novak (born 1969), Slovenian former footballer
- Éva Novák-Gerard (1930–2005), Hungarian swimmer
- Ferenc Novák (born 1969), Hungarian canoer and Olympic champion
- Filip Novák (born 1982), Czech professional ice hockey defenceman
- Franz Novak (1913–1983), Austrian SS-Hauptsturmführer
- Gabi Novak (born 1936), Croatian pop singer
- Grga Novak (1888–1978), Croatian historian, archaeologist and geographer
- Grigory Novak (1919–1980), Soviet Olympic weightlifter, Ukrainian SSR
- Harry Novak, American producer of exploitation films
- Ilona Novák (born 1925), Hungarian swimmer and Olympic champion
- Jan Novák (composer) (1921–1984), Czech composer
- Jan Novák (ice hockey) (born 1979), Czech professional ice hockey player
- Ján Novák (footballer), Slovak footballer
- Jane Novak (1896–1990), actress in silent films
- Jim Novak, American comic book letterer
- Jiří Novák (born 1975), Czech former tennis player
- Joe Novak (born 1945), retired college football coach
- John Novak (born 1955), actor
- Joseph D. Novak (born 1932), American educator
- Kate Novak, American fantasy writer
- Kayvan Novak (born 1978), British-Iranian actor
- Kevin Novak (born 1982), American soccer player
- Kim Novak (born 1933), American actress
- Ladislav Novák (born 1931), Czech football player and manager
- Laila Novak (born 1942), Swedish model and actress
- Ljudmila Novak (born 1959), Slovenian politician and Member of the European Parliament
- Mel Novak, American actor
- Michael Novak (born 1933), conservative American Roman Catholic philosopher and diplomat
- Mike Novak (1915–1978), American National Basketball League player
- Mirjam Novak (born 1981) German actress and screenwriter
- Nick Novak (born 1981), National Football League placekicker
- Petr Novák (1945–1997), Czech rock musician
- Robert Novak (1931–2009), American journalist and conservative political commentator
- Slobodan Prosperov Novak (1951–), Croatian historian
- Slobodan Novak (born 1924), Croatian writer
- Starina Novak (~1530–1601), Serbian soldier and hero
- Steve Novak (born 1983), basketball player
- Tom Novak, marketing professor
- Vilmos Aba-Novák (1894–1941), Hungarian painter and graphic artist
- Vítězslav Novák (1870–1949), Czech composer
- Viveca Novak, American journalist
- Vjenceslav Novak (1859–1903), Croatian writer
- Vladimír Novák (1904–1986), Czechoslovak Nordic skier
- Vladimír Novák (painter) (born 1947), Czech painter
- Karolína Nováková (born 1994), football midfielder
- Kristýna Nováková (born 1983), Czech film and television actress
- Soňa Nováková (born 1975), Czech female beach volleyball player
- Šárka Nováková (born 1971), Czech high jumper
- Vratislava Nováková, Czechoslovak slalom canoer
- Amram Nowak, Academy Award-nominated director of Isaac in America: A Journey with Isaac Bashevis Singer
- Andrzej Nowak (disambiguation), several persons of that name
- Dariusz Nowak-Nova (born 1962), Polish artist
- Henry J. Nowak (born 1935), Member of United States House of Representatives (1975–1993)
- Jan Nowak-Jeziorański (1913–2005), Polish journalist and World War II hero
- Józef Nowak, Polish actor
- Julian Ignacy Nowak (1865–1946), Polish physician, veterinarian, bacteriologist, and politician
- Kazimierz Nowak (1897–1937), Polish traveler
- Leopold Nowak (1904–1991), Austrian musicologist
- Lisa Nowak, (born 1963), American astronaut
- Mark Nowak, (born 1964), American poet and writer
- Manfred Nowak (born 1950), the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture
- Martin Nowak, Austrian mathematical biologist
- Piotr Nowak (born 1964), Polish footballer and manager
- Zenon Nowak (1905–1980), Polish trade union activist and politician
Personal name Novak
- Novak Djokovic (born 1987), tennis player
- Novak Novak sh:Novak Novak (1928–1995), Serbian writer and journalist
- Novak Kilibarda (born 1934), politician
- Novak Martinović (born 1985), footballer
- Novak Radonić (1826–1890), painter
- Novak Roganović (1932–2008), footballer
- Novak Tomić (1936–2003), footballer
- Casey Novak, in Law & Order: SVU
- Holland and Dewey Novak, characters in the television series Eureka Seven
- Jimmy Novak, the human vessel of Castiel, an angel of the Lord, from the television series Supernatural, and Jimmy's wife Amelia and daughter Claire
- John Novak, protagonist of the television show Mr. Novak
- Lindsey Novak, recurring character in the Stargate Atlantis television series
- Pat Novak, played by Jack Webb in the old-time radio program Pat Novak for Hire
- Vera Louise Gorman-Novak, in the television series Alice
- Tom Nowak, in the movie Test pilota Pirxa
- Zig Novak, character on television series Degrassi
- Tommy Nowak, in the movie Pink Cadillac (played by Clint Eastwood)
- James Novak, a character on the television series Scandal.
- Novak is the name of a Belgian radio maker active in Brussels 1932-1965.
- "Database of first names and family names". Demography and Social Studies. Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia. 1 January 2010. Archived from the original on 13 November 2010. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
- Statystyka najpopularniejszych nazwisk występujących w Polsce in 2009 ("The most popular surnames in Poland in 2009"). Retrieved on August 19, 2013.
- "Most frequent surnames, Census 2011". Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011. Zagreb: Croatian Bureau of Statistics. December 2012. Retrieved 2013-09-06.
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|This page or section lists people with the surname Novak. If an internal link intending to refer to a specific person led you to this page, you may wish to change that link by adding the person's given name(s) to the link.|