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How ENGLISH has been affected by POLISH


EwaPolska
20 Mar 2011 #1
Hello everybody!
I'm a polish student doing Erasmus exchange in UK and I have to presentation on subject: "How English has been affected by your mother tongue" (which in my case is Polish of course). We can use many different connections between these languages - words of polish origin, influences in grammar etc. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to find something!!! I could really use some help! Every little suggestion will be appreciated!!!

Thanks in advance to all helpful people :)
FlaglessPole 4 | 669
20 Mar 2011 #2
Just say kielbasa, it pretty much sums it up...
Vincent 9 | 805 Moderator
20 Mar 2011 #3
Maybe you might find something in these threads here and here
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
20 Mar 2011 #4
There isn't much, but there's one good story for your presentation. The English verb 'to spruce up', and the type of tree, spruce (świerk). Originates from the Polish phrase 'z prus'. It used to be imported from the Baltic by Polish traders who brought it from Prussia, z Prus.

Plus the American word 'hooey' meaning rubbish, nonsense. It probably comes from chuj. I've also heard Americans refer to money as 'cabbage' perhaps a calque from the slang 'kapusta'.

And (potentially racist, so be careful), I know Poles in the UK (young men largely) who refer to British Asians as a 'czapaki', from 'chapatti' and 'paki'. A new Polish word but coined by Poles in the UK.

There are also a few words in English that have come from Yiddish and came into Yiddish from Polish. Schlep, for example.
dudelz 2 | 7
20 Mar 2011 #5
According to krysstal.com/display_borrowlang.php?lang=Polish there are two words borrowed from Polish.
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
20 Mar 2011 #6
One of which is true, the other not.

Interesting it mentions the mazurka. 'Polka dot' patterns probably comes from Polish. Plus the old-fashiones sausage, 'poloney', based on Polish sausage.
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
20 Mar 2011 #7
Interestingly, the "Polka" isnt a Polish dance.....off the top of my head its Hungarian.
southern 75 | 7,096
20 Mar 2011 #8
I guess kurwa will soon enter the english vocabulary.
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,884
20 Mar 2011 #9
you're gonna have a hard time doing a presentation on how english has been affected by polish.
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
20 Mar 2011 #10
the "Polka" isnt a Polish dance

It originated in Bohemia. It's Czech.
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
20 Mar 2011 #11
Still dont know why its called a Polka though :)
gumishu 11 | 5,127
20 Mar 2011 #12
because of its metrum 2/4 i guess
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
20 Mar 2011 #13
How about droshky from dorożka (horse-drawn carriage)?
chichimera 1 | 186
20 Mar 2011 #14
I guess kurwa will soon enter the english vocabulary

I think it already has. Or at least it's at the top of the list of best known Polish words
ShortHairThug - | 1,103
20 Mar 2011 #15
It originated in Bohemia. It's Czech.

And the word Chech itself is from Polish word (Czech)

How about droshky from dorożka (horse-drawn carriage)?

This reminds me of Britzka (bryczka).
uhlan (ułan)
rendzina (rędzina) a type of soil
nudge from Polish (nudzić się)
Do some researches you’ll be surprised what you can find. Some Polish words made its way indirectly to the English language either through German or Yiddish like: saber polish (szabla) and already mentioned nudge respectively. For a school project I wouldn’t bother doing an extensive research on etymology of the English words as direct borrowing from Polish but rather on anecdotal or trivial association as it will make it a far more interesting for the audience.
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
21 Mar 2011 #16
Id go with the Uhlans thing,except we call our "Uhlans" lancers.
alexw68
21 Mar 2011 #17
I think it already has. Or at least it's at the top of the list of best known Polish words

In the speech you hear around Shepherds Bush High Street, it functions pretty much as a punctuation mark.

How about droshky from dorożka (horse-drawn carriage)?

Original derivation is Russian, no?
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
21 Mar 2011 #18
Britzka (bryczka)

Archaic but interesting.

uhlan (ułan)

From Turkish via French

rendzina (rędzina) a type of soil

A good one!

nudge from Polish (nudzić się)

From Norwegian 'nugge', to jostle.
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
21 Mar 2011 #19
ShortHairThug: uhlan (ułan)From Turkish via French

Well this brings up the question are we talking Polish words that are well known in English or Polish words used daily in the English languages because,like I said,we may describe French uhlans as Uhlans but our own have never been called uhlans,always plain ,english,lancers.

Some people may have heard of kielbasa but no one this side of the atlantic would use it as short hand for bangers etc
alexw68
21 Mar 2011 #20
From Norwegian 'nugge', to jostle.

There's another derivation for the second meaning of nudge (US only I suspect) - a complainer or nagger. (No, I didn't know of it either till I checked here) But it's the Yiddish nudnik - Polish would more normally use marudzić or its cognates for this meaning.
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
21 Mar 2011 #21
are we talking Polish words that are well known in English or Polish words used daily in the English languages

Exactly. Shorthairthug might mean the Yiddish noun 'a nudge' that none of the OP's audience would be familiar with. Britzka isn't exactly in day to day use. But the OP has a few. To spruce up is a good one, and it has a story behind it that can fill a bit of the presentation, and tell them something about historic links between the UK and Poland.

edit @Alex68, you beat me to the send button! I only came across that word too when I checked it.
Bzibzioh
21 Mar 2011 #22
And there is always pogrom.
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
21 Mar 2011 #24
I was surprised when I first came across 'pogromca' in Polish, however I understand pogrom is from a Russian word.
Bzibzioh
21 Mar 2011 #25
It's the same in Polish.
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
21 Mar 2011 #26
There's quite a few words like that. The question is: from which language did they come into English?
Bzibzioh
21 Mar 2011 #27
The question is: from which language did they come into English?

I remember reading years ago in some Jewish newspaper an essay saying it came from Poland.
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
21 Mar 2011 #28
Perhaps, though you may find this interesting,

pogrom 1882, from Yiddish pogrom, from Rus. pogromu "devastation, destruction," from po- "by, through" + gromu "thunder, roar," from PIE imitative base *ghrem- (see grim).

etymonline.com/index.php?term=pogrom
Barney 14 | 1,469
21 Mar 2011 #29
There's quite a few words like that. The question is: from which language did they come into English?

Redzina I think is from Russian they invented soil science.
ShortHairThug - | 1,103
21 Mar 2011 #30
Now here’s something an English speaker would recognize be it British or American "ogoneki" as used in Polish fonts or "konik" (horse breed). Seriously though like I said in my previous post as there are only a handful of Polish words in English language that came directly from Polish I would throw in any word be it in modern English or archaic in American English or Queens English just to stretch the time of my presentation and a nice anecdote to go with it as in the spruce example. Does it really matter if it came from Yiddish like the words: "schlub" or "schmuck"? They have their origins in Polish and are well known in American English.

How about other American words like "babka", "kielbasa", "kasha", "pirogies", "bigos", "schav"
Other words like "Intelligentsia", "vodka" you will probably find as derived from Russian too but are they? Just because English might have come to know this word from contact with Russians as Poland did not exist at that time therefore not much chance of diplomatic contact but I wouldn’t be so sure as all Slavic languages use them, hack even a word "Polack" used as an ethnic slur in US comes from Polish word "Polak" interestingly enough it was first written in English as such by Shakespeare "you from the Polack wars" in Hamlet, of course the meaning was different back then too.

[quote=JonnyM]Archaic but interesting.[/quot"]
Speaking of, how about English "poulaine" and "cracoves" (type of shoes used in XV century)ironically enough they were known as "delfiny" in Poland.

I believe "sejm" is also widely known to English speakers as well as "zoty" (as in currency) and "horde" (horda), examples are numerous and one can make a hell of a presentation that would be both educational and entertaining. After all she’s not writing a book about this subject where everything has to be thoroughly researched and documented, is she?


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