which one do you have in mind?
Seems like the toy, not the bird.
Contrary to what some respected Polish encyclopaedia (and many other second hand useless sources) say: "zbijanie bąków", "puszczanie bąka" or "strzelanie bąka" had originally nothing to do with the poor Great Bittern bird nor with the foul and loud physiological effects. The latter meaning came later in the process of imitation of the humming sound that some spinning tops were making.
Bąki, the simple lovely toys, became most popular in Poland during middle ages. Their design though was not exactly the same as the modern ones: there was no screw for propelling the toy, but the top was given the spinning motion by striking it with a little whip from the laying position until it reached enough speed to enter into the spinning and precession motions. The experts were able to maintain the motion by skillfully lashing the top from time to time - the same way as a skillful wagoner occasionally strikes his horses to maintain their speed. [Political correctness do not apply to the Middle Ages, especially in this topic]
I read somewhere that this top propelling method was still known among Polish folk before WWII. So now, here are the meanings of the phrases:
"zbijać bąki" - to strike the spinning tops
"puszczać bąki" - to start the tops
"strzelać bąki" - to crack the whip when spinning the tops
Bąk had many other names in Old Poland: cyga, kręglica, fryga, wartołka, warchołka. Andrzej Kochanowski, a nephew of the great Jan, wrote:
- Jaką po długich salach grą się bawią dzieci. W długiem kole patrzając, ta biczmi pędzona, krzywem kołem polata.
Pious £azarz Baranowicz, Archbishop of the Greek Rite of Czernihow, writing in XVII c used the metaphor of this game:
"Serce jako cyga, gdy ją zacinają
Obrót ustalon z cygi z zajęciem miewają.
Serce jak cyga nasze obrot stroi,
Pańskiego bicia jak cyga się boi."
I'd prefer "uwznioślenie"...
or another one, very much fancied by the CC clergy: ubogacenie.
just to give Catsoldier something to do ;)
How about that - was I "wzniosły" enough for you? :-)