Have you ever heard the Polish slang like siemanko used by the locals instead of the classic cześć or hej to say hello? Even if you surround yourself with glutted bookshelves, some expressions in the Polish language don’t seem to have a direct meaning based on textbooks. In today’s post, we will expose all the Polish slang expressions that are not taught in coursebooks and are guaranteed to make you sound like a native speaker. If you are ready to unlock the secrets to connecting with the locals easily, keep reading below!
There is no denying that learning a foreign language is never easy. For native English speakers, it generally takes about 44 weeks of consistent practice to gain proficiency in the Polish language. Given that it translates to around 1100 hours of learning, many are unsure whether they have enough time and resources or should even consider challenging themselves with this endeavor at all. If any of those rings true to you, then we’ve got a solution.
Why not try to make learning fun and relevant by focusing on Polish slang words?
Learning at least one Polish slang word per day can pave the way for you to understand the locals better and appreciate their native language. While slang terms are usually used in the streets, the internet, and in casual conversations, they reflect a lot about their society and culture, the perceptions of the masses, and how meaning naturally shifts in their language.
If you still need some convincing, let us walk you through the reasons below why you should learn and speak Polish slang.
What Is The Value Of Slang In The Polish Language?
Have you ever binge-watched Polish movies only to find yourself hitting on pause every few minutes? Perhaps, one of the reasons you are doing that is to avoid confusion due to unknown Polish slang words and phrases. Well, you are not the only one!
Having the ability to distinguish slang expressions can help you discover new meanings and ways of thinking depending on who uttered them. Sometimes, a slang term may hold a different effect if a local says it vs. when foreigners use it. The same difference can be observed when a child vs. an adult speaks a specific slang term. But the question is… why is that so?
The answer to that is simple.
Slang expressions are ever-changing and belong only to people of the same social groups. If you want to break through the barrier and fit in with the Polish people quickly, knowing these will definitely help you out.
Below are five more reasons why we think you should start nerding out on this topic to improve your skills in this West Slavic language.
- Using Polish slang words can make our speech appear shorter yet meaningful.
- Utilizing Polish slang can smoothen conversations and make interaction with somebody more relaxed. After all, you want people to be comfortable around your, right?
- The more you use slang in Poland, the more likely it is for you to sense (or at least train your senses) when it is acceptable to use. You can also gauge its correct usage based on the expression of the person you are speaking with.
- Slang expressions in Polish are generally fun to use and can be your springboard to building stronger relationships with the locals.
- Using slang can help add “colors” to your sentences and make them seem more interesting.
- While learning slang is optional, you can view it as an advanced topic that will help you understand how the language is used more profoundly.
And there we have the reasons why we think you should learn slang to improve your linguistic skills and boost your chances of making lifelong friends! As a warning, please remember to think twice before using them, as they may rub off the wrong way when misused. Our advice? Familiarize yourself with their meanings first.
Best Polish Slang Words For Beginners
Looking for a casual way to liven up conversations with strangers? Whether you are taking a quick getaway to Poland or planning to migrate for good, we highly advise you not to miss out on adding some slang words to your speech. With this said, we will now walk you through our list of the top slang to use today.
This word literally translates to “stick” but is often used to describe an attractive woman. Its English counterpart is “chick” and can be used among guy friends. According to the locals, some girls do not like this slang as it holds a negative connotation, meaning that they are all “beauty” but have no brains.
If you have been learning about animal names in Polish, perhaps you know that this word actually refers to a peacock. In their culture, they have a saying which goes something like “letting out a peacock” when someone is too drunk. Paw is the shortened version of that saying and refers to puking.
When something or a situation is just too incredible, you can use this slang word to fill in the void. It is a slang term that is safe to use in various contexts and will certainly not offend anyone.
Smoking remains one of the top ways most Polish men cope with stress. For this reason, it is unsurprising that they have a slang term that refers to cigarettes. Don’t be confused since some locals also use the Polish word fajka to refer to the same thing.
When describing someone from a wealthy background, the Poles usually use kapusta to describe their wealth. This word refers to “cabbage,” but perhaps the green color of this vegetable reminds many of money.
This slang refers to the act of criticizing or dissing someone’s face, behavior, or action. According to the locals, this describes the situation wherein one person rides over another.
Polish men have some of the most attractive features. If someone catches your eye, you can use this term as it means that the guy is truly handsome.
General Polish Slang Expressions
Words are sometimes not enough to express our feelings. Due to this, we will go over some basic slang expressions you can use in Poland.
Polish Slang For Saying Hello
Polish people are warm and friendly but not suckers for big hugs. When greeting someone for the first time, it is always recommended to give a firm handshake. During family-related occasions, kisses on the cheeks are also given. Now that you know those tips, we will help you win over the hearts of the locals by simply saying hello. Feel free to use any of the words below.
|Siemanko||Hey / What’s up?|
|Czołem||Hi (used for military)|
FAQ Related To Polish Slang
If you want to get a grip on all things related to Polish slang, we invite you to click through some of our readers’ most pressing questions below. If you also want your questions answered by our team, feel free to send them in through the comments.
Can we use Polish slang at work?
Generally, slang expressions are informal and can be used with everyone. However, we urge you to use them with your co-workers but never with your bosses. As we stated in the post, not everyone reacts kindly to these as it may appear impolite, especially when spoken by a foreigner. If you want to be viewed in a professional light, it is better if you stick with general Polish language words and sentence structures.
Are Polish slang words the same as curse words?
In linguistics, slang and curse words are both viewed as informal forms of speech. The main difference between these two is that slang refers to all the general expressions that can be used in various contexts. On the other hand, swear words are only limited to taboo words that are meant to sound dirty, offensive, and derogatory.
When is the right time to use Polish slang?
It’s better if you use this when…
- you are among family members and close friends
- you are within a specific social group
- you are having an informal interaction outside of work or school
Boost Your Skills In The Polish Language Today!
As we reach this part of the post, we hope you can learn all the slang we covered today. We highly recommend that you try to use them as much as you can so that you may be able to fit in with the crowd and surprise the locals with your skills.
With this said, allow us to ask you a question. Would you like to start learning Polish more deeply? There’s still so much more to know about this beautiful language, so we encourage you to take it a step further.
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