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Calling a person a 'potato' (ziemniak/kartofel/burak)


dannyboy 18 | 248
24 Jul 2007 #1
Why are some Polish people called 'potatoes' by other Polish people?

Is it a derogatory statement or just a regional joke?

How would this person react if I (non-polish) called them 'potatoe'
Lady in red
24 Jul 2007 #2
I never heard of that b4. Must be regional ?

Weird comment ..

no doubt someone may know :)
truhlei 10 | 332
24 Jul 2007 #3
Sometimes peasants in Belarus were called "potato" or "bulba'sz" in their dialect. Some intellectuals of peasant origin from Belarus call so themselves.
OP dannyboy 18 | 248
24 Jul 2007 #4
Its quite common in Poland around WielkoPolska I believe, and also around Krakow.
I don't recall the exact expression.

We have a similar type of word where I live, if an outsider used it, everyone would die with laughter.
methatron - | 10
24 Jul 2007 #5
I've never heard anybody calling anyone "potato" (ziemniak, kartofel - the second one considered incorrect).

In Wielkopolska there is a dialect word "pyra", which means quite the same as "potato". Sometimes people from Wielkopolska are called by other people "pyra", or "pyry". It's not derogatory, but not quite nice as well.

Oh, and some time ago there was this fus when a German paper called Kaczynski twins "kartofle" ("potatos"), so maybe that's when it's started?
OP dannyboy 18 | 248
24 Jul 2007 #6
Yes methatron, thats the one I was talking about, pyra.

Do you what the english equivalent would be?

If you called someone, rolnik, would that be considereb derogatory?
Jane Done - | 24
24 Jul 2007 #7
I live on the South of Poland and I have many times have heard when people calling the others ,potato' and especially children. Just it's in some sense nickname.
methatron - | 10
24 Jul 2007 #8
I think there's no english equivalent of "pyra", but I'm not sure. Pyra means just "potato".

It's something like british english "bloke", and general english (yeap, I'm making up terms now :D) "guy" - a guy is a bloke, and a bloke is a guy.

Rolnik is not derogatory, but if you would like to offend somebody you can call him "wieśniak". It's offensive, so if you call some that be sure he's no match for you, otherwise he will beat the crap out of you (I would). "Wieśniak" to some extend means "rolnik", but it is used to describe stupid people, or people with no manners. To be frank when you're polish you don't think much about the meaning of words in which you offend other people :)
wozzy 8 | 206
24 Jul 2007 #9
Not heard thay one before Dannyboy..........hear people call someone" Baran"(ram)...if someone was considered slow and clumsey............
Osiedle_Ruda
24 Jul 2007 #10
I've never heard anybody calling anyone "potato" (ziemniak, kartofel - the second one considered incorrect).

Really? I never knew that. My family always used the words "kartofel/kartofle", whereas my ex-wife's family used "ziemniak/ziemniaki".

Does that mean my family iz a bit thick innit? :D

round here, you sometimes hear kids calling someone a "doughnut" which always makes me smile... "ty pączek"... lol :D
slwkk 2 | 228
24 Jul 2007 #11
Why are some Polish people called 'potatoes' by other Polish people?

Maybe burak? For example 'ty buraku', lol, and that's for sure derogatory. What about the subject... I've never seen people calling somebody a potato :)
OP dannyboy 18 | 248
24 Jul 2007 #12
Not heard thay one before Dannyboy..........hear people call someone" Baran"(ram)...if someone was considered slow and clumsey............

LOL, wozzy my girlfriend often calls me that!

She burst out laughing when she discovered by star sign was Aries.

Very informative replies guys, thanks
polishguy
24 Apr 2010 #13
Calling a person 'kartofel' is an equivalent of calling him a redneck. It is rude and is considered an insult. Stronger version of the insult is burak (beetroot).
Lyzko
24 Apr 2010 #14
Danes often refer in a jocose vein to fellow countrymen, especially from Jutland, as "kartoffeldanske", if they are slightly less sophisticated than folk from Copenhagen, for instance.
Lyzko
24 Apr 2010 #16
In Danish, the equivalent would be more 'country bumpkin' or 'rube' in English (not literally "potato Dane", which sounds patently ridiculous.)
I believe the Polish expression 'przybysz' exists, but I'm not certain.
Amathyst 19 | 2,702
24 Apr 2010 #17
I quite like the term "Ya Plumb" which means "you idiot" in English :D
MarcinPL - | 6
27 Apr 2010 #18
I've lived in Poland my whole life and I've never heard of it from anyone except for one newspaper. It's definitely not common.
Miguel Colombia - | 351
27 Apr 2010 #19
It would be a pejorative when used against A german.
shush 1 | 212
27 Apr 2010 #20
I've lived in Poland my whole life and I've never heard of it from anyone except for one newspaper. It's definitely not common.

Yes, I have not heard it either. "Burak" is common and known in every part of Poland and the meaning is deragatory as it was already said.
z_darius 14 | 3,968
28 Apr 2010 #21
Both "ziemniak" and "burak" do function in Polish slang as derogatory terms and they do so regardless of weather any posters in this thread have any direct experience with the usage or not. Slownik Jezyka Polskiego (The Polish Language Dictionary) even lists "burak" (in its secondary and tertiary meanings) as:

2. pogard. «o osobie pochodzącej ze wsi»
3. pogard. «o osobie zachowującej się prostacko»

2. derogatory about a village/country person
3. derogatory about a person with poor manners

kondzior 12 | 1,197
30 Apr 2010 #22
"Burak" is not someone frome a village. But it is derogatory.
The meaning changes with region, I guess. In Bielsko "buraki" are driving Volskwagen Golf with dark windows and listen to the loud music while in traffic."What a burak!"
Seanus 15 | 19,706
30 Apr 2010 #23
Wieśniak or wieśniara are village people. Wieśniaki, LOL.
krakowiak
30 Apr 2010 #24
In Germany "Kartoffel" is a common insult towards 'real' Germans often used by migranst (like Turks) in argues etc.
TheOther 5 | 3,758
30 Apr 2010 #25
In Germany "Kartoffel" is a common insult

I don't know where you heard this one, but it's definitely not true. Insulting a Turk would be to call him "Kanacke", but not "Kartoffel"...
Lyzko
30 Apr 2010 #26
"Kanacke" or "Kuemmeltuerke", at least that was the expression during the late 60's, early 1970's.
Lyzko
1 May 2010 #28
I take it then you're from Gemany too. In the Fassbinder film from the later 60's 'Ali oder Angst frisst die Seele auf' (Ali or Fear Eats the Soul), several characters refer to the protagonist by the invective 'Scheissturke' and 'Kuemmeltuerke'.

Didn't realize it was still in use as late as the 90's. Interesting.
noreenb 7 | 557
1 May 2010 #29
do you mean: 'you potato?" ;) - "Ty ziemniaku?"
;0
I've never heard it.
"burak" is somebody who is an oaf with a red face. And it is definately degratory.
alijturner59
30 Jun 2010 #30
Does anyone know is there a Polish expression that is equivalent to the English saying 'not the sharpest tool in the box?"


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