10 popular and funny Polish saying and idioms

Polish language Vocabulary

written by
Pawel
posted

I haven't published recently anything regarding Polish language, so I decide to write and record quickly 10 useful Polish idioms. Now, there is always a problem with such list because it is quite easy to publish something that is cool to know but not necessary used. It is always better, in my opinion, to learn something useful, something that people actually use.

So, to sum this up, I spent a few moments thinking about the fairly popular and funny Polish saying that we can now and then come across in real conversations or, at least, to use ourselves.

Firstly, I will try to explain their meaning and then, below, you will see the whole list together with translations and audio. We will end this lesson by doing a short exercise where you will have to find the correct Polish idioms to the translation given by dragging and dropping them to the correct spot.

I hope you will find it interesting. Let's go 😀

10 popular Polish idioms and sayings

We will start with a quite funny expression Nie ucz ojca dzieci robić literally it means Do not teach father how to make children 😀 There is similar phrase in English: Don't try to teach your Grandma to suck eggs. Of course, the meaning of these two expressions is the same: you should not try to teach somebody who is more experienced than you and know the job better.

tonÄ…cy brzytwy siÄ™ chwyta, literally it means a drowning person grabs a razor. It means, that in difficult situations, under stress, we sometimes choose something makes the situation worse instead of better.

robić z igły widły to make a pitchfork from a needle means to exaggerate, to blow out of proportion.

porywać się z motyką na słońce to fight the sun with a hoe It means to bite off more than one can chew, to overestimate one's capabilities.

być między młotem a kowadłem to be between . It means to be in a difficult position where you have to choose between two equally unpleasant courses of action. English has got similar expressions to be between a rock and a hard place. Incidently, the literal meaning of the Polish phrase is to be between the hammer and the anvil. Probably, not the best place to be 😀

biednemu zawsze wiatr w oczy the poor always have wind in their eyes. Probably the best English synonymous expression is it never rains but it pours and it is used when one bad thing happens, followed by a lot of other bad things that make a bad situation worse.

Co ma piernik do wiatraka? that's an interesting one, literally it means What a gingerbread has to do with a windmill? . Not a lot 😀 So you would use to say there is no connection between two different things. A similar English saying is What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

kopnąć w kalendarz to kick the calendar means exactly the same as to kick the bucket which is to die, to pass away.

The last two expressions wstać lewą nogą to get up with the left leg and być nie w sosie to be not in a sauce has got similar meaning. They both mean that somebody is unhappy or upset and quite annoying to others. The first one, with the leg, can be use if this situation happens in the morning, just after getting out of bed. The similar English expression are to be out of sorts or be in a black mood.

Vocabulary

  • Nie ucz ojca dzieci robić Don't try to teach your Grandma to suck eggs
  • tonÄ…cy brzytwy siÄ™ chwyta trying desperately to find a solution (often bad)
  • robić z igÅ‚y widÅ‚y to exaggerate, to blow out of proportion
  • porywać siÄ™ z motykÄ… na sÅ‚oÅ„ce to overestimate one's capabilities
  • być miÄ™dzy mÅ‚otem a kowadÅ‚em be between a rock and a hard place
  • Co ma piernik do wiatraka? What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?
  • być nie w sosie be out of sorts
  • kopnąć w kalendarz to kick the bucket
  • biednemu zawsze wiatr w oczy it never rains but it pours
  • wstać lewÄ… nogÄ… be annoying in the morning

Exercise

Drag and drop expressions to their correct translations.

to kick the bucket

be annoying in the morning

Don't try to teach your Grandma to suck eggs

What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

it never rains but it pours

be between a rock and a hard place

be out of sorts

być nie w sosie kopnąć w kalendarz biednemu zawsze wiatr w oczy wstać lewą nogą Co ma piernik do wiatraka? Nie ucz ojca dzieci robić być między młotem a kowadłem
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