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10 popular and funny Polish saying and idioms


asked by
Rob Calfee
about 2 years ago

Hi! I'd like to know some funny Polish sayings or idioms. Can you tell me some?

3 answers
answered by
about 2 years ago

Hi! 😀

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.

tonący brzytwy się chwyta 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.

answered by
3 months ago

Thanks a lot for these interesting funny Polish sayings. I know some of them already 😀

Any chance to add more Polish idioms with pronunciation, please?

answered by
3 months ago

Hi, thanks for your question. The Polish language is full of idioms. Here are some of them with an explanation.

"Spaść na cztery łapy" to fall on all fours is to avoid the consequences of wrongdoing, to get out of a difficult situation alive. The cat usually falls on four legs without being injured.

"Żyć jak pies z kotem" live like a dog with a cat refers to people who live together like a dog with a cat. This means that they live in great disagreement and are constantly arguing.

"Darowanemu koniowi w zęby się nie zagląda" you don't look in the teeth of a donated horse means that if we receive something for free, as a gift, we should not criticize it or complain about it in any way.

"Ziarnko do ziarnka, a zbierze się miarka" grain to grain and the scoop will be collected. The grain is very small, but by patiently setting aside more amounts, it can accumulate quite a lot.

"Apetyt rośnie w miarę jedzenia" appetite grows with eating means that the more we have, the more and more we want to have it. If we manage to achieve one goal, we want to move on to the next goal.

"Nie chwal dnia przed zachodem słońca" do not praise the day before sunset They can be explained so that we do not enjoy the positive effects too soon, because we can be disappointed.

"Fortuna kołem się toczy" fortune revolves around the wheel it means that at any moment fate can change unexpectedly, for good or for bad. Happiness alternates with unhappiness. This is the way things are. I hope my answer has been helpful to you.

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