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Novak (in Serbo-Croatian and Slovene), Novák (in Hungarian, Czech and Slovak), Nowak (in German and Polish) is a Slavic name, both used as a given name and surname, derived from the word for "new" (e.g. Polish: nowy, Czech: nový, Serbo-Croatian: novo) meaning something similar to "new man", "newcomer", or "stranger" in English. The name was often given to a new arrival in a city or a convert to Christianity. It was also used for newcomers to an army and as an occupational surname for people who used the slash-and-burn method to create new arable land—novina. It is pronounced almost the same way in most languages, with the stress on the first syllable. The main exception is Slovene, which places the stress on the last syllable.
It is the most common surname in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovenia, and the sixth most common in Croatia. It is also found in Romania and Moldova in the Novac form and among Ashkenazi Jews in various forms depending on their country of origin.
The surname is usually spelled Novák in Czech, Slovak, and Hungarian, Nowak in Polish, Novak (Cyrillic: Новак) in Serbian, Croatian, Slovene, Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian, and Novac in Romanian. In Germany, the most common orthography is Nowak, with German "w" pronounced as English "v". Many Americans with the surname Nowak have Anglicized it to Novak or Novack.
In specific countries
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As of 2009, Nowak (Polish pronunciation: [ˈnɔvak]) is the most common surname in Poland, having surpassed Kowalski. Its plural is Nowakowie ([nɔvaˈkɔvjɛ]). Nowak is used by both male and female individuals. The archaic feminine version is Nowakowa ([nɔvaˈkɔva]). Related surnames include Nowakowski (feminine: Nowakowska; plural: Nowakowscy), Nowacki (feminine: Nowacka; plural: Nowaccy), and Nowakiewicz.
Nowak is the most common surname in nine voivodeships (administrative units) of Poland, and second in another. It is ranked first in Greater Poland Voivodeship (35,011), Silesian Voivodeship (31,838), Lesser Poland Voivodeship (23,671), Łódź Voivodeship (15,460), Lower Silesian Voivodeship (13,217), West Pomeranian Voivodeship (7,444), Opole Voivodeship (5,538), Lubusz Voivodeship (5,444), and Swietokrzyskie Voivodeship (5,538), and second 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 during the November Uprising in 1831 against Russia.
Czech Republic and Slovakia
Novak is the most common surname in Slovenia with more than 11,000 sharing it. There are however significant variations between regions: it is 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 is 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: 1st in the Central Slovenia Statistical Region (3,422) and Savinja Statistical Region (1,380); 2nd in the Southeast Slovenia Statistical Region (1,231) and Mura Statistical Region (1,040); 3rd in the Drava Statistical Region (1,732); 5th in the Upper Carniola Statistical Region (963) and Lower Sava Statistical Region (380); 6th in the Coastal–Karst Statistical Region (228); 8th in the Central Sava Statistical Region (192); 10th in the Carinthia Statistical Region (238); 11th in the Inner Carniola–Karst Statistical Region (228); 131st in the Gorizia 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
- Božidar Novak (born 1965), Slovenian writer and international crisis communications expert
- Brandon Novak skateboarder 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 (1933-2017), 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 (disambiguation)
- Robert Novak (1931–2009), American journalist and conservative political commentator
- Slobodan Prosperov Novak (1951–), Croatian historian
- Slobodan Novak (born 1924), Croatian writer
- 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 (painter) (born 1947), Czech painter
- Vladimír Novák (skier) (1904–1986), Czechoslovak Nordic skier
||It has been suggested that this section be split out into another article titled Nováková. (Discuss) (November 2015)|
- 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
- Anton Nowak (1865–1932), Austrian artist
- 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
Novak given name
- Novak Djokovic (born 1987), Serbian tennis player
- Novak Kilibarda (born 1934), Montenegrin politician
- Novak Martinović (born 1985), Serbian footballer
- Novak Radonić (1826–1890), Serbian painter
- Novak Roganović (1932–2008), Serbian footballer
- Novak Tomić (1936–2003), Serbian footballer
- Novak Novak (1928–1995), Serbian writer and journalist
- Starina Novak (1530–1601), Serbian commander
- Novak Karaljuk (fl. 1404), Serbian commander
- Novak Grebostrek (fl. 1312), Serbian commander
- Casey Novak, in Law & Order: SVU
- Claire Novak, a character on the television show Supernatural
- Dazzle Novak, in the television series Moonbeam City
- Holland and Dewey Novak, characters in the television series Eureka Seven
- James Novak, a character on the television series Scandal
- 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. Claire Novak is now a hunter in training with Jodie Mills.
- John Novak, protagonist of the television show Mr. Novak
- Klara Novak, a character on The Shop Around the Corner, played by Margaret Sullavan
- 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
- Pat Novak, in The Novak Element in the movie Robocop
- Tom Nowak, in the movie Test pilota Pirxa
- Tommy Nowak, in the movie Pink Cadillac, played by Clint Eastwood
- Vera Louise Gorman-Novak, in the television series Alice
- Zig Novak, character on television series Degrassi
- Izvori priimkov. Imenoslovec prof. Pavle Merku. Mladina.si.
- Mužská příjmení - občané ČR a cizí státní příslušníci - 20 nejčetnějších
- Ženská přijmení - občanky ČR a cizí státní příslušnice - 20 nejčetnějších
- Statystyka najpopularniejszych nazwisk występujących w Polsce in 2009 ("The most popular surnames in Poland in 2009"). Retrieved August 19, 2013.
- "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.
- Laurence Urdang. The Last Word: The English Language: Opinions and Prejudices. OmniData. 2008. p. 228.
- "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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