Mój wuj mieszka w Nowym Jorku.


#1

Is there any difference between wuj and wujek? Is wuj a ‘familar’ or affectionate form of wujek? Or do they mean exactly the same thing? Thanks


#2

The “original”, more official form is actually “wuj”, and “wujek” is a diminutive form of that noun. That said, they’re pretty much interchangeable, so it’s not like “wujek” is childish, informal or particularly affectionate.

In official documents, you’ll most likely see “wuj” along “ciotka”, “babka” and “matka” (and not: “ciocia”, “babcia”, “mama”). In everyday language, it’s mostly a matter of preference. I can easily imagine a situation where a person is referring to their uncle as “wuj”, while their brother/sister calls the same uncle “wujek”.


#3

Ah … thanks for clarifying. I did think, after my post, that it could be that wujek was actually the diminutive form, rather than the formal form, as an -ek ending to the base form usually signifies this e.g. kot-ek. I’d never seen/heard ‘wuj’ used before. When I visit Poland to see my family, I always get called ‘Wujek Alex’ and never ‘Wuj Alex’.