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Whats that thing when Polish people take a shot of vodka by locking arms and after saying first names?


AlexBya
11 Apr 2016 #1
I've seen it in a couple of movies like seksmisja and Kariera Nikosia Dyzmy (the new one). The two guys say "po imienu?" interlock arms and drink then say they're first names and kiss each other on the cheeks. Anyone know about this cultural practice. I'm half polish and speak fluently and have lived in Poland but haven't seen this in real life. Is it a thing?
terri 1 | 1,665
11 Apr 2016 #2
Yes, this practice still exists and is done frequently. I think it is called brudershaft - or something similar.
You do this when you want to start calling someone by their first name and referring to them by 'ty' (you) (instead of Pan, Pani). To a Polish person, calling them by their first name (Adam, Ewa, Gosia, franek, whatever) is a great insult unless you have gone through this practice.
mafketis 24 | 8,851
11 Apr 2016 #3
It's two separate things;

The linking arms is called bruderszaft (from the German Bruderschaft, meaning 'brotherhood').

The other is part of the informal ceremony of shifting from formal address (Pani, Pan) to informal address (ty). Each person gives the version of their name that they'd like the other to use (many people have preferred diminutive forms) and they have a drink usually after clinking glasses.

They can be linked or the second can be done without the first (the usual way I've seen it done). Also the linking arms thing can be done on its own occasionally as a symbol of strong friendship between two guys (kind of Polish bro behavior).

I've never seen the cheeck kissing with either of the two. that's more seeing someone you really like after a longer than usual period of not seeing them. IME the Polish cheek kissing standard is three times.
Atch 17 | 3,305
11 Apr 2016 #4
To a Polish person, calling them by their first name (Adam, Ewa, Gosia, franek, whatever) is a great insult unless you have gone through this practice.

Ah come on now Terri. They just have to tell you that it's ok to drop the Pan/Pani.
Wulkan - | 3,251
11 Apr 2016 #5
The linking arms is called bruderszaft (from the German Bruderschaft, meaning 'brotherhood').

and that's done to start being per "ty" with someone, it's commonly short formed to "brudzio"
Lyzko 25 | 7,016
11 Apr 2016 #6
Sounds very similar to a now perhaps somewhat outdated practice in certain circles in Germany known as "Bruederschaft trinken", aka "drinking to brotherhood", whereupon a person locks arms at the local tavern (and only over a traditional alchoholic beverage, naturally) and pledges to become a "Duzbruder" forever, upon pain of eternal ostracism for violating said "pact"!

While it seems perfectly ridiculous to Americans and other Anglo-Saxons, certain Europeans do take it seriously, quite seriously indeed:-)
terri 1 | 1,665
12 Apr 2016 #7
Ah come on now Terri. They just have to tell you that it's ok to drop the Pan/Pani.

Just try it. If anyone would 'dare' to call me by my first name, they would get such a dressing down, they would have 'ants in their pants'. Many people, even after 20-30 years of knowing each other call themselves 'Pan, Pani', even when they are in the throws of an extremely verbal exchange of words.

@Lyzko,
Yes, you are right, it is the Bruederschaft trinken.
Atch 17 | 3,305
12 Apr 2016 #8
Just try it. If anyone would 'dare' to call me by my first name

Terri, I don't think you understood. I said that they, as in the person being addressed, would tell you if and when you can drop the Pan form. I was just pointing out that it doesn't have to be done with a ceremony involving linking and drinking!

In reality younger people (people under the age of thirty most definitely) tend to simply address each other informally from the outset and there are other factors difficult for an outsider to navigate, for example social class. Working class Poles will often address neighbours or slight acquaintances in the informal way if they feel the person is 'one of them' so to speak. In the workplace co-workers often don't use the Pan and Pani forms nowadays if they're at the same level as each other, but they may still use Pan/Pani for people senior to them. In multinational companies where English is the main language in common and different nationalities work together, Pan and Pani aren't generally used.
mafketis 24 | 8,851
12 Apr 2016 #9
there are other factors difficult for an outsider to navigate

Yes. One thing to remember is that the ty - Pani/Pan distinction is partly based on positive close feelings and partly based on social distance. You can have very positive feelings about someone but social distance factors might require Pani/Pan. You can have neutral or negative feelings and still use ty for social reasons (students invariably use ty with each other regardless of how well they get along).

In the workplace co-workers often don't use the Pan and Pani forms nowadays if they're at the same level as each other, but they may still use Pan/Pani for people senior to them

And the seniors will surely use Pani/Pan with them as well (unless maybe there's an individualized mentor/mentee relationship)

different nationalities work together, Pan and Pani aren't generally used.

Because just by being Polish in a multi-ethnic environment decreases their social distance.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
12 Apr 2016 #10
Poles are (except for the very young ones) very formal in their way of addressing each other compared to Latins and Scandinavians who very quickly switch to the "ty" equivalent in their respective language (including sometimes in the very .... first meeting (without need to drink, sleep or whatever ;) ). I know quite a few Poles aged 50 or older who still use Pan/Pani with colleagues (of SAME level) they have been working with for over 25 years in same office ;).
Ziemowit 13 | 4,243
12 Apr 2016 #11
I know quite a few Poles aged 50 or older who still use Pan/Pani with colleagues (of SAME level) they have been working with for over 25 years in same office ;)

What utter BS you are telling here. One is fully entitled to use the Pan/Pani form in the Polish language. It is the equivalent of the German form of address 'Sie' or the French 'vous' or the Spanish 'usted'.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
12 Apr 2016 #12
@Ziem: did you read or you just want to be nasty? I just said that Poles when addressing each other are MORE formal than let's say Latins or Scandinavians who use the "ty" form in their respective language very quickly (including for some of them in the very first meeting). For sure, "Pan/Pani" corresponds to "Sie", "vous", "usted"... but French (in Belgium and Quebec even more so than in France) and Spanish speakers DO switch to "tu" very quickly (to talk about what I know) Other Latin populations as well as Scandinavians are very quick too.
terri 1 | 1,665
12 Apr 2016 #13
I remember hearing Ms. Bardot (French actres somwhat known) saying that the worst thing her father ever did to her, was to tell her she was to address him as 'Pan' (in French).

And just to make it clear - not everyone in Poland is under 30 years old. I take on board that in multi-national companies the form 'ty' (you) could be used, but never ever when you go and buy something in a shop, when you ask someone for directions or anything else. We are not talking about any other country and what people do there - we are talking about Poland where this form exists and is well used. There is also another form (wy) (you in the plural) which is used in villages to older people.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
12 Apr 2016 #14
@Terri: sorry, B. Bardot who is over 85 years old and coming from a very unusual family is no generalization and also no criterion ;). Anyway, yes, the formal way of addressing people is more often used in Poland than let's say among Latin and Scandinavians. Since I am from a culture in which people get to first names very quicky instead of Mr. X or Mrs. Y and then to "ty" forms, I do say that Poles are MORE formal. On the other hand, people from places such as Spain, Portugal, Italy, Romania, Belgium and Sandinavian countries (as what I personal know) are much more informal. It is NOT usunusal for them to even use the "ty" form in their respective language in the first meeting. During numerous stays in Belgium, I have also noticed that and was not always comfortable ;).

@Terri: my (Polish) husband when he met his biological father for the first time at the age of 10, called him "Pan" so if we go by the way you do, does it mean that Polish kids do it?????? My husband at the time knew that the guy was his father (but in a old bourgeois/aristocratic and I expect very cold family, it was maybe to be expected). In my husband's case, it was ONE instance and in B.Bardot's, it was also ONE instance and nothing to do with the way 99.99% people react ;).
Ziemowit 13 | 4,243
12 Apr 2016 #15
For sure, "Pan/Pani" corresponds to "Sie", "vous", "usted"... but French (in Belgium and Quebec even more so than in France) and Spanish speakers DO switch to "tu" very quickly

Maybe. But it is not the case in Germany and as far as I know among the French people of older generation you may even find married couples addressing one another with 'vous' (wasn't president VGE or Chirac and his wife one such example?)
InPolska 11 | 1,821
12 Apr 2016 #16
@Ziem: VGE and Mrs. (not he who is a cool guy)) are very old and very old fashioned and aristocratic people (Mrs. Chirac is an aristocrat but VGE is not, his father who was a diplomat bought the title, and so did Dominique Galouzeau de Villepin's father) and such people represent 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000001% of population so please be smart enough not to generalize out of a couple of examples.

If you knew 21st century France, we would know that people call others by their first names right away and switch to "tu" very quickly too (maybe not those aged 95 but up to 50/60 it is the way)! ;).

No, Ziem! It is very rare and only among very very old and very old-fashioned aristocratic families. I have met several younger aristocrats (including from "best families") and trust me, they just say "tu" to each other and the younger ones .... swear like sailors...
Atch 17 | 3,305
12 Apr 2016 #17
ncluding from "best families"

It was the best butter. Any Lewis Carroll fans out there?

The winky faces are indeed a trial to the spirit, together with the exclamation marks!!!!!! Zut alors!!!!
And we're all more than weary of hearing about one's aristocratic connections.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
12 Apr 2016 #18
I don't know how you say it in English, I meant from what we formally call the "oldest families" (= connected to Royalty).... And what % do they represent in popluation so obviously their lifestyle does not represent the whole population's ;). It would be as stupid as to pretend that all Britons do, live and talk like the Queen does ;).....

But nevermind, there is so much ignorance in PF that it is even hard to believe...

Tchao; leaving for work (some do here! ;))
Atch 17 | 3,305
12 Apr 2016 #19
swear like sailors...

Swear like a trooper is the phrase you're looking for there.

I don't know how you say it in English

Whaaaaat??? Mais non! Quelle horreur! Mais c'est impossible, c'est incroyable!!!
I think you'll find that the genealogical term 'a family of great antiquity' would fit the bill there.

there is so much ignorance in PF

Mmmm.

leaving for work

Yes, how the mighty have fallen. The impoverished scion of the aristocracy obliged to use her meagre language skills, the only weapon a 'lady' has with which to fight this cruel world. Do you have a washer/drier and a decent ironing board? You could always do an executive laundry service from home. At least it's clean, dry and warm, which is more than can be said for many jobs.

With emphasis of course on the executive, wot wif 'er bein' a great lady an' all..........

Anyway back to the topic. My husband's granny who is 90ish won't use the ty form with anyone other than blood family. One of her son-in-laws made the fatal error of dropping the Pani on Christmas Day in the heat of the festive moment..........not a happy ending.
mafketis 24 | 8,851
12 Apr 2016 #20
Swear like a trooper is the phrase you're looking for there.

Swearing like a sailor (or truck driver) are perfectly cromulent American expressions.

I think you'll find that the genealogical term 'a family of great antiquity' would fit the bill there.

In the American south "Old money" could cover it (it actually refers to upper class ancestory rather than mere money, which is so vulgar - a lot of old money is broke flatter than pıss on a pancake).


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