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Abstract

Many performing artists in the interwar period in Poland assumed stage names, which were considered a tool of promoting one’s image, but also served other functions, such as the concealment of identity. Over two hundred such pseudonyms — together with the respective artists’ birth names — have been collected and analysed in the article. Approximately in the case of half of them was the original given name retained, and only the surname underwent a change. The comparison of the assumed names with the real ones shows that many names were shortened, and/or made to sound foreign or exotic. Minority surnames — Jewish/German, Russian, Ukrainian — were frequently made to sound Polish, while the Polish ones were foreignised (to make them look English, Italian, French) or vaguely exoticised.
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