Podzolic soils were first distinguished as 'podzols' in the second half of the 19th century by Russian soil scientists (after Glinka 1926 and Karpaczewski 1983), such that Sibirtsev introduced the type into the official classification of soils (Yaalon 1997). However, descriptions of podzolic soils may also in fact be found at the same time in the work of Scandinavian soil scientists (Barth 1856; Forchhammer 1857; Miller 1887). Subsequently, the term gained acceptance among - and was used by - soil scientists in many countries, irrespective of the classification actually in force (Muir 1961; Ponomariewa 1969; Petersen 1976; Mokma, Buurman 1982; Boul et al., 1989), or else served in the devising of new regional names, such as popioloziem in Poland (Chodzicki 1933). To afford misunderstandings, the present study uses the diagnostic spodic horizon to be the criterion considered to distinguish podzolic soils. The definition of the spodic horizon was first set out in the American taxonomy of soils (Soil Survey Staff 1960, 1975), and then applied in FAO classifications (Dudal 1968, 1969), soil systematics (SGP 1989) and the World Reference Base for Soil Resources (1998). In fact, the Polish soil systematics consider the podzolic earths soils to encompass, not only the podzols (Densic Podzols according to the WRB Classification) and podzolic soils (Haplic podzols according to the WRB Classification) but also the rusty soils (Distric Arenosols according to the WRB Classification), with their diagnostic sideric horizon (Kowalkowski et al., 1981; Prusinkiewicz, Bednarek 1985; SGP 1989).