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POLISH LANGUAGE CONTRIBUTIONS TO ENGLISH


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446  
22 Jun 2008 /  #1
POLISH CONTRIBUTIONS TO ENGLISH are not very numerous but they do exist.
Among them are:
SPRUCE - seamen shipping timber from northern Poland in the Middle Ages were asked in Britain what they were bringing. They thought they were being asked where they were from and repleid "Z Prus" (from Prussia), and that gave created the English name for the coniferous tree and timber.

OGÓREK, possibly also Russian OGOREC - went into German as Gurke and English and gherkin
DROSHKY - an open horse-drawn carriage known as a dorożka in Polish
VOIVODESHIP, also VOIVDSHIP - from województwo (province)
POLONIA - the Latin word for Poland came to mean Polish emigre communities
POLONIAN - a member of such a m=community, an emigre Pole
POLONISM - a Polish lingusitic infleunce
(TO) POLONISE - to impart Polish linguistic or cultural influence to sometthing
POLONIUM - an element discovered by Maria Skłodowska-Curie and named after her homeland
REVERSE POLISH NOTATION - a mathematical concept said to have paved the way for comptuer science
POLISH STRIKE - the original sit-in used by workers in the 1930s who downed tools but remained in their workplaces (more difficult to remove by police or security gurads than picketers otuside the works gate)

SEVERAL SPECIES OF DOGS : Polish Lowalnd Sheepdog, Polish Scent Hound, Polish Hound, Polish Greyhound
KONIK POLSKI - a primitive small horse species akin to Przewalski's horse
POLSKI - name given in UK to the Polski Fiat (4-door saloon and estate car) exported in the 1970s
sausage 19 | 777  
22 Jun 2008 /  #2
not very numerous

I think this may be so, but I don't think your list really contains many valid examples.
VaFunkoolo 6 | 654  
22 Jun 2008 /  #3
It's a great topic for a thread but I'm not overly impressed by your list. Surely there are more valid examples. Although that said, the spruce example was interesting to read

Very soon after Pruce was borrowed into Middle English, the initial and still mysterious s was added to get the word spruce. This additional form with initial s appears very early in English documents, by 1378. On the other hand, the first documented use of Pruce in the form Pruz is about a century earlier, on a ship's bill of lading written in England around 1300 in anglicized Norman French: "Dec. de stokfisshe venaunt del Pruz, quart" which may be translated 'about a hundred Prussian stockfish, in good condition.'

So Pruce and Spruce both meant Prussia in early English. By the middle of the seventeenth century, Spruce was completely replaced as the name of the country by Prussia . By then however spruce was firmly established as the name of a fir tree. As an adjective and a verb it also still carried its meaning of dressed-up and to dress up.

billcasselman/canadian_garden_words/cgw_four.htm
pawian 180 | 17,057  
22 Jun 2008 /  #4
It's a great topic for a thread but I'm not overly impressed by your list. Surely there are more valid examples. Although that said, the spruce example was interesting to read

The list is a bit longer but do not expect any revelations.

Vodka comes from wódka.
Pierogi.
Mead comes from miód.
Kielbasa.
Polka.
Mazurka.

That is rather all.
VaFunkoolo 6 | 654  
22 Jun 2008 /  #5
The mead example is interesting, especially the Baltic connection. This is the explanation wikipedia offers, for what it's worth

The English usage is derived from the Old English medu, from Proto-Germanic meduz. Slavic miod / med, which means "honey" and Baltic *midus, which means "mead", derive from the same Proto-Indo-European root (cf Welsh medd, Old Irish mid Sanskrit madhu).

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mead
osiol 55 | 3,922  
22 Jun 2008 /  #6
Polka

From Czech. It's not the same as the Polish word. I think it might have more to do with the word pół, meaning half.

Names of food products, unless the food itself is taken up widely by native English speakers (like spaghetti, croissant, etc.) don't really count. I would say that the word vodka was borrowed from Russian rather than Polish, although this can't be absolutely certain. English has a habit of retaining foreign spellings, although W could easily change into V.

I've said more than enough about gherkins before. As much to do with Farsi, Greek or Dutch as it is to do with Polish.
LondonChick 31 | 1,133  
22 Jun 2008 /  #7
Vodka comes from wódka.

I thought that this stemmed from Russian though... diminutive of water "voda" (sorry, I don't have cyrillic keys on my laptop).
Jukrek - | 58  
22 Jun 2008 /  #8
voda in Polish is woda
LondonChick 31 | 1,133  
22 Jun 2008 /  #9
Which came first? Russian or Polish though?

I'd be inclined to guess Russian, because English language spells it vodka rather than wodka...
Jukrek - | 58  
22 Jun 2008 /  #10
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vodka

Poland

In Poland, vodka (Polish: wódka), has been produced since the early Middle Ages.

Large-scale vodka production began in Poland at the end of the 16th century, initially at Kraków, whence spirits were exported to Silesia before 1550. Silesian cities also bought vodka from Poznań, a city that in 1580 had 498 working spirits distilleries. Soon, however, Gdańsk outpaced both these cities. In the 17th (1600's) and 18th centuries, Polish vodka was known in the Netherlands, Denmark, England, Russia, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Moldavia, Ukraine and the Black Sea basin.

Russia

The first written usage of the word vodka in an official Russian document in its modern meaning is dated by the decree of Empress Elizabeth of June 8, 1751

First Wódka/Vodka in UK was form Poland.

We pronounce W in different way than Brits. So It could be changed into V to save original sound.
osiol 55 | 3,922  
22 Jun 2008 /  #11
The first written usage of the word vodka in an official Russian document in its modern meaning is dated by the decree of Empress Elizabeth of June 8, 1751

So from Polish to Russian to English then?

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