The Vyborny name

cesky     deutsch


The Czech word vyborny is an adjective that means "excellent" or "chosen". The likely origin of the name is described in the section on basic Vyborny genealogy. The name itself and its variations are of additional interest, however.

The Czech pronunciation of vyborny is vee'-bor-nee with the accent, as it almost invariably is in Czech, on the first syllable. In the United States the name is generally pronounced vi-bor'-nee with the initial "i" typically pronounced as a "long" vowel, although some speakers use the "short" sound for the "i". The accent is on the second syllable.
Most of the family members in the United States spell their name Wyborny or Wyborney. In those cases it is usually pronounced Y-burn'-ee; however, at least one family now pronounces it Y-bor'nee.

The spelling of the surname Vyborny in the Czech lands has taken many forms with the evolution of the written language. The earliest Vyborny ancestors spelled the name Wegborneg or Wejbornej, as "g" evolved to "j" in Czech during the seventeenth century. In these instances the pronunciation of the name was vey’-bor-ney with the "ey" pronounced much as the long "a" in English. Since the early eigthteenth century, at least some ancestors spelled the name Wejborny (vey’-bor-nee). Somewhat later, many ancestors spelled the name Wyborny, however, too. By about the middle of the nineteenth century the name had become the present Vyborny in Czech lands (however even Vejborny spelling exists there to date).

The older (traditional) spellings of Vyborny are no longer used in the Czech lands. For simplicity, the modern spelling will be used in reference to all Vyborny ancestors at this Web site.

In Czech, the "ee" sound of the "y"'s in the name are signaled by small marks having the appearances of apostrophes directly over the "y"'s. These are called "diacritics" and invariably appear in the Czech spelling of the name (see e.g. the cover page).

It is clear that many family members in the United States spell the last name Wyborny. In some cases this is likely related to the use of the "W" in parts of Bohemia at the time of an ancestor's birth or immigration. In other cases the name may have been changed upon entry into the United States, particularly at Ellis Island. Persons with the Wyborny name and who are of known Czech (rather than, for example, Polish) heritage are almost certainly Vyborny relatives. The name is also spelled Wyborney or Vyborney in the United States.

Although Vyborny's in the United States, like many of Eastern European extraction, are accustomed to being asked how to spell their name and so forth, the meaning of the name is known to almost no non-Czech speaking Americans. In the Czech lands the name can occasionally be problematic, however, just as having the hypothetical English surname "Excellent" might be. Less than perfect performances can occasionally invite unfavorable comparisons, especially in the school yard or other places of daily interaction. In Czech schools the highest grade is often "vyborny" which would correspond to an "A" grade in the United States.


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Last updated: Mar 20, 2001