20 of the rib-tickling Polish phrases (and how to put them to use)

1. A Pole won’t tell you to get lost.

They’ll tell you to “stuff yourself with hay” (wypchać się sianem).

2. Poles don’t snack.

They “take something on a tooth” (wziąć coś na ząb).

3. A Pole never beats around the bush.

He prefers to “wrap the truth in cotton” (owijać prawdę w bawełnę).

4. Polish people are not nit-picky.

They are “looking for a hole in the whole” (szukać dziury w całym).

5. Polish people don’t count their chickens before they’re hatched.

They “divide the skin on the bear” (dzielić skórę na niedźwiedziu).

6. A Polish person doesn’t sulk.

He “has flies up his nose” (mieć muchy w nosie).

7. Polish people don’t mess things up.

They “make bigos” (narobić bigosu) or “brew beer” (nawarzyć piwa) instead.

8. A Pole doesn’t daydream.

They “think of blue almonds” (myśleć o niebieskich migdałach).

9. Poles will not speak bluntly.

They’ll “tell it straight from the bridge” (mówić prosto z mostu).

10. A Pole is not uninformed…

He just “fell from the Christmas tree” (urwać się z choinki).

11. Poles do not simply grin and bear it.

They “put up a good face for a bad game” (robić dobrą minę do złej gry).

12. A bad Polish writer doesn’t waffle.

He “pours water” (lać wodę).

13. A Polish person doesn’t just run away.

He “gives a leg” (dać nogę) or “takes his legs under his belt” (brać nogi za pas).

14. A Pole is never a know-it-all.

Instead, he “ate all wits” (pozjadać wszystkie rozumy).

15. Polish people won’t pull your leg.

They’ll “stick you into a bottle” (nabić kogoś w butelkę).

16. A Pole won’t take you apart.

He’ll “mix you with mud” (zmieszać kogoś z błotem) or “hang dogs on you” (powiesić na kimś psy).

17. A Pole won’t promise you the world.

But you might get “pears on a willow” (gruszki na wierzbie).

18. Polish people don’t run like hell.

They “run where the pepper grows” (uciekać gdzie pieprz rośnie) or “where the devil says goodnight” (gdzie diabeł mówi dobranoc).

19. Poles won’t pester you.

They’ll “drill a hole in your belly” (wiercić komuś dziurę w brzuchu).

20. Polish people don’t bite off more than they can chew.

They “jump at the sun with a hoe” (porywać się z motyką na słońce).

This article was originally published on March 5, 2015. Featured Photo: PolandMFA

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Henry Sapiecha

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