The Palóc are a subgroup of Hungarians in Northern Hungary and southern Slovakia. While the Palóc have retained distinctive traditions, including a very apparent dialect of Hungarian, the Palóc are also ethnic Hungarians by general consensus. Although their origins are unclear, the Palóc seem to have some sort of connections with the Khazar, Kabar, Pechenegs and Cuman tribes. The writings of Kálmán Mikszáth gave new prominence to the people in 1882 with his work The Good People of Palóc. The Palóc village of Hollókő was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
The Cumans were called Polovtsy (Polovci/Plavci in Slovak) in Slav sources. The Palóc word originates from the Slavic Polovets. Although similar to the Hungarians in origins and culture, they were considered distinct groups by the Turks. The first written record of the word "palóc" as the name of a people appears in the Mezőkövesd register in 1784.
- Andrew Bell-Fialkoff, The Role of Migration in the History of the Eurasian Steppe: Sedentary Civilization vs. 'Barbarian' and Nomad, Palgrave Macmillan, 2000, p. 247