Novák (feminine Nováková), Novak, Nowak (Cyrillic script: Новак) or Novac 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 Germany, Czech Republic, Croatia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Poland) and a masculine given name of Slavic origin. It can also be found in Romania and Moldova in the Novac form.
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.
By Dean Hanley
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