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Polish nationality insults in Polish?


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
14 Mar 2011 #1
The names or nicknames of other nationalities, generally used in a pejoprative way, have made their way into the words and idioms of Polish, as they have into other languaegs as well.

The Swedes say 'Polish parliament' to mean total chaos. Germans use 'Polnische Wirtschaft' to denote total mismanagement. The French say 'drunk as a Pole'. As far as I know, English lacks such references to Poles, but it does contain the notion of getting gypped (from Gypsy) or to jewing someone down (haggling to pay a lower price). An 'Indian giver' is someoen who gives soemoen a gift, then takes it back.

In Polish readily called to mind are:
--oszwabić (to trick, deceive)
--wycyganić (to extort, obtain through trickery)
--jak na tureckim kazania (as at a Turkish sermon - of something completely incomprehensible
--popamiętać ruski miesiąc (to remember something unpleasant for a long time)
--udawać Greka (to play the fool)
--czeski film (one of the more recent additions - nobody knows what's going on.
Anyone know any others?
Ziemowit 13 | 4,393
14 Mar 2011 #2
In the Middle Ages, the following verse was known in several European languages:

Polski most, niemiecki post,
włoskie nabożeństwo
Wszystko to błazeństwo

skysoulmate 14 | 1,296
14 Mar 2011 #3
Just to clarify, "en polsk Riksdag" in Swedish has to do with the old "Liberum Veto" parliament of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth which in effect doomed the country's existence.

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberum_veto

It basically means ungovernable. However, no one uses this term to denigrate the current Polish parliament.
Marynka11 4 | 675
14 Mar 2011 #4
To call someone Anglik, means someone is very picky and hard to accommodate.
Stu 12 | 522
14 Mar 2011 #5
Well ... in the English language you have:

1. Going Dutch: paying seperately when going to a party
2. Talking double Dutch: talking gibberish

Because of our war with England, the Dutch weren't very well loved and it still shows in the English language.

In German you have the expression "wie im Polnischer Reichstag" (like in Swedish), which means every gathering in which the mood is "stormy" and in which no decision is made
mafketis 25 | 9,324
14 Mar 2011 #6
I've also heard 'czeski błąd' used for typo.
euphore - | 6
14 Mar 2011 #7
1. Going Dutch: paying seperately when going to a party
2. Talking double Dutch: talking gibberish

Great, I didn't know about that but this makes sense.

I haven't heard any proverbs in Holland connected with Poles yet. Do you know maybe?
Teffle 22 | 1,321
14 Mar 2011 #8
1. Going Dutch: paying seperately when going to a party
2. Talking double Dutch: talking gibberish

Also Dutch courage (artifical courage from alcohol)
& Dutch uncle (a term describing someone who provides "tough love" type of advice, harsh but well meaning criticism etc)

I've certainly never heard any negative connotations or insults based on Polishness though.
Stu 12 | 522
14 Mar 2011 #9
Also Dutch courage (artifical courage from alcohol)
& Dutch uncle (a term describing someone who provides "tough love" type of advice, harsh but well meaning criticism etc)

Isn't it amazing that these wars have found their way into the English language?! I mean, when were these wars? 17th century yet you can still find traces!

I can't think of anything that entered the Dutch language because of the Anglo-Dutch wars.

I haven't heard any proverbs in Holland connected with Poles yet.

Come to think of it, the Dutch also use the expression "Poolse landdag", similar to the German "Polnischer Reichstag" and the Swedish "en polsk Riksdag".

But all in all, I don't think they should be called "insults" as such. I don't feel particularly offended if Teffle accuses me of talking double dutch ... ;) It's well-known anyway, isn't it ... ;)?
Teffle 22 | 1,321
14 Mar 2011 #10
17th century yet you can still find traces!

Yeah - don't know about Britain, but in Ireland, Dutch courage is the only one that is in regular use - it's not even that common. Double Dutch maybe but it's a bit quaint/old fashioned.

Probably need to probe the Germans and Russians further to get phrases based on Poland!

czeski film

As in something that's crazy or illogical? Makes sense then. Not so sure about the films but certainly the animation!
Bratwurst Boy 9 | 10,548
14 Mar 2011 #11
One springs to mind immediately:

"Dann ist Polen offen"
(It even got it's own wiki entry)
de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dann_ist_Polen_offen

Its reserved for a situation gone out of control...can be used also as threat (to expect the worst).
Contrary to "polnische Wirtschaft" or "polnischer Reichstag" this saying is still very much commonly in use!

Like...fore example:

"If the reactor in Japan explodes dann ist Polen offen!"
;)

or

"If you really steal my helmet then...I swear....dann ist Polen offen!"
:)

(But I'm not sure if it counts as "national insult")
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
14 Mar 2011 #12
And Polnischer Fruhstuck, a complete mess.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,393
14 Mar 2011 #13
Wyjść po angielsku - to leave a party without saying good-bye to anyone.
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
14 Mar 2011 #14
Do the Poles still call the Lithuanians "greybacks" because of their homespun wool garments, or "beet eaters" because of that root's prominence in their diet, or have these appellations become extinct?
Teffle 22 | 1,321
14 Mar 2011 #15
Wyjść po angielsku - to leave a party without saying good-bye to anyone.

Many variations on this one - the English say "to take French leave" LOL
jablko - | 106
14 Mar 2011 #16
theres 'francuski piesek' meaning 'french puppy' in polish
its used to describe someone who is very choosy/fastidious
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
14 Mar 2011 #17
syphilis Alternative names Wiki

syphilis had been called the "French disease" in Italy, Poland and Germany, and the "Italian disease" in France. In addition, the Dutch called it the "Spanish disease", the Russians called it the "Polish disease", the Turks called it the "Christian disease" or "Frank disease" (frengi) and the Tahitians called it the "British disease".

Daisy 3 | 1,227
14 Mar 2011 #18
English lacks such references to Poles, but it does contain the notion of getting gypped (from Gypsy) or to jewing someone down (haggling to pay a lower price)

Never heard of either, I take it you're in America?

Also Dutch courage

Dutch courage refers to drinking gin for courage, gin originating in Holland

Dutch uncle

a Dutch uncle is a man you call uncle but isn't related, usually used to refer to a man your mother is having an affair with.
Bzibzioh
14 Mar 2011 #19
"Dann ist Polen offen"

What does it mean? Google translates it as "Wtedy Polska jest otwarta".
Stu 12 | 522
14 Mar 2011 #20
What does it mean?

"Then Poland is open". Some say it seems originated in 1981 when the communists declared the state of emergency in Poland and Russian and East German tanks took up positions at the Polish border.

Others say it goes back to the situation of the Polish partitions in the 18th century. Poland "disappeared", so it was vulnerable to attacks from abroad.

"Dann ist Polen offen" could be translated in English as "then it gets out of control". Like if that is the case, anything can happen.

Hey, I'm just Dutch (albeit with a German history), so maybe BB has a better answer

Daisy

Teffle

The English' hate of the Dutch is getting worse and worse -S

*** hides shamefully under the carpet ***
Bratwurst Boy 9 | 10,548
14 Mar 2011 #21
What does it mean? Google translates it as "Wtedy Polska jest otwarta".

Look here:

The proverb is then open or Poland now, Poland is open means colloquially as much as "out of control situation." The phrase can also function as threat are needed.

The English' hate of the Dutch is getting worse and worse -S

*** hides shamefully under the carpet ***

You can still unify in hating the german football Mannschaft together! Heh:)
Bzibzioh
14 Mar 2011 #22
"Dann ist Polen offen" could be translated in English as "then it gets out of control".

Thanks. I'm still not fully confident I get the meaning though :s

The proverb is then open or Poland now, Poland is open means colloquially as much as "out of control situation."

It kinda sounds like 'open season for screwing Poland' :/
Bratwurst Boy 9 | 10,548
14 Mar 2011 #23
Thanks. I'm still not fully confident I get the meaning though :s

"If you really don't get the meaning...then...I fear...then Polen is offen!"

;)
Stu 12 | 522
14 Mar 2011 #24
You can still unify in hating the german football Mannschaft together!

When I get my grandmother's bike back, I will stop hating die Mannschaft ... :P.

Come to think of it ... maybe my German grandmother got my Dutch grandmother's bike ... Hmm ... too late to ask I am afraid.
Bzibzioh
14 Mar 2011 #25
"If you really don't get the meaning...then...I fear...then Polen is offen!"

offen yourself

;o

Twice.
Bratwurst Boy 9 | 10,548
14 Mar 2011 #26
It kinda sounds like open season for screwing Poland :/

No, screwing Poland wouldn't mean a situation going out of control....and it wouldn't pose a german threat (between Germans that is). It has not much to do with Poland actually...just an old saying...like "polnische Wirtschaft" or "polnischer Reichstag".

It's more about chaos in Poland than agression against Poland!

...and all of that is history anyhow. Who knows which new sayings Poland will invoke in Europe? ;)

When I get my grandmother's bike back, I will stop hating die Mannschaft ... :P.

Nah...it's more fun that way! :):):)
Bzibzioh
14 Mar 2011 #27
"polnische Wirtschaft"

Is that for crappy Polish quality?

"polnischer Reichstag"

That's for messy Polish parliament, right?
Bratwurst Boy 9 | 10,548
14 Mar 2011 #28
Is that for crappy Polish quality?

No...more for the general chaotic state of the economy...(but that changed for sure) :)

That's for messy Polish parliament, right?

Yup!
It seems Poland was recognized in many countries for chaos...;)
Bzibzioh
14 Mar 2011 #29
Yeah, it warms the heart :/

czeski film

As in something that's crazy or illogical? .

No, more like 'it doesn't make any sense'. It's based on similarity between Polish and Czech languages. We think we can watch Czech films in original but then we realize that it makes no sense to us.
Daisy 3 | 1,227
14 Mar 2011 #30
The English' hate of the Dutch is getting worse and worse -S

Where did I say gin was a bad thing?


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