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Slang term for "pants" in Polish? Gacie.


ugobananas 1 | -
23 Aug 2013 #1
My great-grandmother (who was born in Poland) used to tell us in to pull up our pants using a Polish word that sounded like "gotches" or "ga-chez"

Anyone know what word this might be in Polish and how it's properly spelled?
jon357 63 | 14,286
23 Aug 2013 #3
It's actually a Yiddish word that's come into Polish. My ex uses it. It isn't in general use (a friend reminds me of that every time I say it) however people in the east of the country sometimes say 'gadżki'. It is nowadays regional slang.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
23 Aug 2013 #4
It's actually a Yiddish word that's come into Polish.

Any evidence to back that up?
jon357 63 | 14,286
23 Aug 2013 #5
Read Howard Jacobson. Or if you haven't the time or energy (I find him a dreary writer) look here:
yiddishslangdictionary.com/word/480/gatkes
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
23 Aug 2013 #6
Gacie / haće / gatě are a word found in many different Slavonic languages, and they mean "covering", "lower limb underwear", "pants", "trousers". There is also the Old Slavonic word "gatja". Overall, it seems much more logical that the word was assimilated into Yiddish than the other way round.
jon357 63 | 14,286
23 Aug 2013 #7
As the link shows, it's origin is probably a surname. Passed from the Yiddish throughout the lands in which the products were sold. The old Slavonic word is most likely unrelated.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
23 Aug 2013 #8
The old Slavonic word is most likely unrelated.

And why would it be unrelated if it has the same meaning?

Also, as the linguist that you are, please explain to me how the word "gatkes":

1) lost the "kes" part in all its "host" languages
2) traveled backwards in time to a period when it initially just meant "covering" (of any type) and products were not industrially made and marketed under a particular surname / brand name.
jon357 63 | 14,286
23 Aug 2013 #9
You've certainly made some interesting points, however they don't quite ring true and seem like you're trying to prove a pint. One that isn't backed up by any evidence. There is however a traceable history of the word's use in Yiddish.
Peter-KRK
23 Aug 2013 #10
Gacić/ogacić means also to warm or to insulate in folk architecture.
jon357 63 | 14,286
23 Aug 2013 #11
I used the word 'ogacić' recently and was told it was archaic. A nice word though.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
23 Aug 2013 #12
pl.wikisource.org/w/index.php?title=Strona:PL_Aleksander_Br%C3%BCckner-S%C5%82ownik_etymologiczny_j%C4%99zyka_polskiego_149.jpeg&action=edit&redlink=1

Please read carefully the entry for "gać".

Thank you.
jon357 63 | 14,286
23 Aug 2013 #13
Interesting, but it still doesn't explain how the term gadżki (and gacie and variants) came into common use. Not necessarily from old Slavonic to the modern day.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
23 Aug 2013 #14
but it still doesn't explain how the term gadżki (and gacie and variants) came into common use

The word "gadżki" does not exist. You might mean "gatki" - an abbreviation of "gacie".

The word "gacie" is and was a very common word. It didn't have to "come into use" - it WAS in everyday use, and still is as regional / slang word in Polish, and a regular / dialectal word in many other Slavonic languages.

As per your earlier post:

"You've certainly made some interesting points, however they don't quite ring true"

Please explain.

" and seem like you're trying to prove a pint."

Well, yes - I am trying to prove my point. What's wrong about that?

"One that isn't backed up by any evidence".

Except the history of Slavonic languages, that is.

" There is however a traceable history of the word's use in Yiddish."

I am not saying the word was not used in Yiddish. It obviously was / is. But it seems to be a borrowing from the Slavonic languages, not the other way round. Or is "kasza" also a borrowing from Yiddish, as "kasha" is a legitimate Yiddish word? How about "boychik" - is "boy" an English borrowing from Yiddish?
jon357 63 | 14,286
23 Aug 2013 #15
That's all very interesting, however words work a little differently to that, and I believe strongly that the word in its present form was recycled from Yiddish. Regardless of how it got there, though the surname theory is compelling.
4 eigner 2 | 831
23 Aug 2013 #16
I am not saying the word was not used in Yiddish. It obviously was / is. But it seems to be a borrowing from the Slavonic languages,

it will be most likely very hard to conclusively determine where this word really came from but when I try to google it out, it shows me that it is a Polish word so it makes sense to adopt a version that is commonly available than assume other possibilities. However, it's always good to keep your mind open and don't take anything for granted.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
23 Aug 2013 #17
however words work a little differently to that,

...a little differently to what - exactly?

I believe strongly that the word in its present form was recycled from Yiddish

Again - why? I see a strong continuity between "gać / gacić / gace / gacie / gatki".

though the surname theory is compelling.

I think the surname theory is absolute tosh, if only for the reason that surnames in general, and Jewish surnames in particular, are a thing of the very recent past, while the word has been used for a hell of a long time (and all over Central and Eastern Europe).
jon357 63 | 14,286
23 Aug 2013 #18
Personally I believe there is a break in continuity - this is common linguistically.

BTW, the surname is not necessarily a Jewish one.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
23 Aug 2013 #19
Your personal beliefs, I am sorry to say, are neither here nor there. Do you have even the slightest proof of any such break in continuity?

BTW, the surname is not necessarily a Jewish one.

OK then. Let me tell you a story...
A long, long time ago, there was an underwear producer called Gaciowski. Or maybe Gatkes. It must have been at least a 1000 years ago. In a time before factories and marketing, he was able to start underwear production on such a mass scale that his name became the synonym not only for underwear itself, but also: the furry hindlegs of bears, insulation, feathery bird's legs, and many other similar objects, animal parts and concepts. His production was so prolific that the word seeped into every corner of the Slavonic world - but nowhere beyond it, for some reason.

Sounds legit - not.
jon357 63 | 14,286
23 Aug 2013 #20
Your personal beliefs, I am sorry to say, are neither here nor there.

Beliefs, as discussed in other threads, cannot be questioned. It is a matter of Faith.

long, long time ago, there was an underwear producer called Gaciowski

More likely called Herr Gatke.

It must have been at least a 1000 years ago. In a time before factories and marketing

I doubt that.

the furry hindlegs of bears, insulation, feathery bird's legs

That seems unlikely

His production was so prolific that the word seeped into every corner of the Slavonic world - but nowhere beyond it, for some reason.

It only needs to be a small area for a usage to be revived or spread.
4 eigner 2 | 831
23 Aug 2013 #21
Geez, you guys must be really bored as hell. Why the hell are we talking about GACIE? LOL
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
23 Aug 2013 #22
Beliefs, as discussed in other threads, cannot be questioned. It is a matter of Faith.

I understand now. I stand corrected. I thought we were discussing etymology, diachronic and comparative linguistics, stuff like that. Facts. Research. Science. If it's a matter of Faith - please, continue believing in your theory. I wouldn't want to warp your Faith.
jon357 63 | 14,286
23 Aug 2013 #23
That's kind of you. And good that you acknowledge that Faith and 'facts' can often seem at variance, yet Faith always triumphs because it is a Belief.

;-)
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
23 Aug 2013 #24
yet Faith always triumphs because it is a Belief.

Yeah, right ;->
Michael Y 6118
26 Feb 2015 #25
I always remember my 'Polish' mother referring to GACIE as to my 'long john's' today's 'thermal underwear'
It is freezing out you better put on your GACIE's!
Trynka
17 Mar 2016 #26
Gatchkas=trousers was in common use in my family, who were 2nd & 3rd generation Jewish immigrants from Poland & Western Ukraine. (ie the former Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth)

I heard a very similar word being used in Yugoslavia and immediately recognised it.
So whatever the terms origin is, it's quite widespread.
I also wonder whether the term "Gouster" (used by young black Chicagoans in the 1960's to refer to their baggy suits and pants) might have been a misheard version of this word, picked up from Yiddish-speaking tailors?
Justin1
9 Aug 2017 #27
I use the word "gotches" whenever I talk to my two daughters. I love those words and grew up in a Polish family and loved when my Mom used the Polish words. You may not believe this but our dog (Tex) who lived for 16 years ALSO understood Polish words when he got "yelled" at. He knew to head to the door to go outside cause he was in trouble just like up!!! We grew up in Evanston, IL and lived 4 doors away from a Polish Catholic church. Damn, I wished I learned Polish. I texted our daughter and told her I am packing my "gotches" and she understood clearly and said make sure "skid" marks are out. We are going to San Diego. You may not realize this but you only get your kids for a "short" time and love them and your grandkids with all you have!!!!!
Wrzosia
22 Aug 2017 #28
There's a strong case that gacie came into Slavic languages from the Middle East . And then from Polish, Russian and Ukrainian into Yiddish.
v-stetsyuk.name/en/Scythian/Cimmer/SlavIr.html
Dirk diggler 9 | 4,619
23 Aug 2017 #29
Gacie is more slang for underwear esp a mans. Long johns that you wear in winter are kalesony. Majtki is the more proper name for underwear.

For pants we call em either spodnie to be more proper or portki which is more slang in a way. Shorts are known as spodenki or krutkie spodenki
mafketis 23 | 7,829
23 Aug 2017 #30
Gacie is more slang for underwear ....For pants

This is a UK / US difference (not sure where Ireland comes in)

UK pants = majtki / figi damskie = US panties

US pants = spodnie = UK trousers


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