East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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The smith’s son

We were talking with some friends, the other night, while having a much welcome cup of ice cream, about how come that there’s always a guy called Kowalski that’s tough and military-trained in movies.
From Stargate to Gravity via Madagascar to end with Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, there’s always a guy called Kowalski.

Kitty_KowalskiAnd what about Kitty Kowalski in Superman Returns?
I don’t care about the movie, but Kitty Kowalski was played by Parker Posey, and that’s enough for me.

Now, Wikipedia tells me Kowalski is the second most popular family name in Poland (the first is Nowak), and it comes from the word kowal, meaning smith.
So Kowalski is basically “the smith’s son”.
The name was probably made popular with writers by A Streetcar Named Desire, even if this does not explain the military angle. Continue reading