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Texas Silesian Language

delphiandomine 88 | 18,177
29 Feb 2012 #1
I stumbled across this -

Texas Silesian (Silesian: teksasko gwara) is a language used by Texas Silesians in American settlements from 1852[1] to the present. It is a variant of Silesian derived from the Opole dialect. The dialect evolved after Silesian exile around the village of Panna Maria.[2] It contains a distinctive vocabulary for things, which were unknown for Polish Silesians.[3]

Very curious - does anyone know any more?
ShawnH 8 | 1,497
29 Feb 2012 #2
I wonder if they use the word Busia?

gumishu 13 | 6,134
29 Feb 2012 #3
I stumbled across this

the word szczyrkowa is curious - but I am no dialects expert - there is a place Szczyrk near Ustroń and Wisła - there must be some connection but I don't know what szczyrk means - there are so many words from the past that have been forgotten or are retained only in some place names or old sources

I can figure out where all other words listed in the wiki article come from

I wonder if they use the word Busia? Ducks....

I'm pretty sure they don't call their babcias 'Oma'
ShawnH 8 | 1,497
29 Feb 2012 #4

Silesian babcia? If so, I learned something today.
pgtx 29 | 3,146
29 Feb 2012 #5
isn't it German?

check this out:
gumishu 13 | 6,134
29 Feb 2012 #6

Silesian babcia? If so, I learned something today.

it's from German - but as they migrated well before major inroads of German into the spoken language of Silesia they probably don't use 'o(u)ma's' 'opa's' 'fater's' ( Silesians from Opole region often say 'fater' instead of ojciec but they curiously never say 'muter' nor 'muti' for mother, always 'mama' (also brat and siostra are spared and not called bruder i szwester)

check this out...

have you seen these wedding photos - te chopoki rychtyk wyglundajo jak ze Ślunska :) even after a generation or two in America :)
BBman - | 344
29 Feb 2012 #7
I wonder if they use the word Busia?

bahahaha this is the first thing that came to mind when i clicked on the thread. I'm sure delphi is furiously researching that right now..
JonnyM 11 | 2,615
29 Feb 2012 #8
Bloody Hell, this one goes round like a f*cked penny.
boletus 30 | 1,361
29 Feb 2012 #9
he word szczyrkowa is curious - but I am no dialects expert - there is a place Szczyrk near Ustroń and Wisła - there must be some connection but I don't know what szczyrk means

I guess "szczyrkowa" comes from the highlander word "szczyrkać"; in Polish - terkotać, grzechotać, brzeczeć; in English - to rattle. Hence szczyrkowa => rattlesnake.

The etymology of the name "Szczyrk" is not obvious, as there are at least two distinct possibilities.

Recently, for example, residents and local authorities of Szczyrk pushed through another form of the adjective: "szczyrkowski", rather than "szczyrecki" (the one that figured in dictionaries so far). So long they persisted in the form of szczyrkowski, given to the street names and the institutions, such as "Szczyrkowski Ośrodek Narciarski" (Szczyrk's Ski Resort) that it finally found its way to "Wielki Słownik Ortograficzny PWN" (Great Spelling Dictionary PWN) as an alternative to "szczyrecki", and it was even placed in the first place (by adding a qualifier old to "szczyrecki"). The argument was apparently persuasive. According to the highland tradition, the name of Szczyrk comes in fact from "szczyrkanie" (For example, stones in Żylica river, flowing through the city, rattle ("szczyrkają") and bells on the necks of sheep grazing on mountain pastures also "szczyrkają", rattle). According to the "old" explanation the adjective "szczyrecki" comes from the word "szczyrek, szczerek", which means 'sandy soil, gravel'.

As an addendum, this joke demonstrates a use of the word "szczyrkać"

Było to w Opolu. Jest to szczyro prowda. Jeden pijok szedł do dom i po drodze wpodł do świeżo wykopanego grobu. Nad ranem było jednak trochę zimno, to się obudził i zaczął zębami szczyrkać i wołać: "Brr...jak mi zimno". Groborz to usłyszoł i pado:
- To po cos sie pieronie wykopoł?!

This was in Opole. And this is a true story. One drunk fell into the freshly dug grave on his way home. In the morning it was getting a bit cold, so he woke up with his teeth chattering and he cried out: "Brr ... I'm so cold!" A gravedigger, hearing this, responded: So why did you dig yourself out, by thunder!?
1 Mar 2012 #10
It would be at least perplexing to hear the Silesian dialect while in Texas. I'm wondering whether there are any other Polish dialects incorporated in the US.

honestly, i lol'd first xD
14 Feb 2015 #11
The Silesian migration to Texas in the 1850s created a unique set of communities that were isolated from their European roots. These communities were located in central Texas and many exist to this day. Panna Maria, St. Hedwig, the Polish Quarter of San Antonio, and Bandera (Spanish for flag) were settled by Silesians. These Silesian Texans had their cowboys, gunfighters, ranchers and American Civil War veterans. When in the 1870s and 1880s, non-Silesian Poles came into these communities the difference in language was a point of contention.

In the 1950's when I attended the first grade, I spoke Silesian, like many of my contemporaries in the community of St. Hedwig, Texas. I have since lost facility in the language, however, my earliest recollections are of my father and grandfather telling stories of a Silesian trickster named "Soovedro (sp?)". Any help with the origins of this character would be appreciated.

I have studied the area around San Antonio, Texas and have written about its development during the 19th century. Here a two of several accounts of the Silesians: and
15 Feb 2015 #12
24 Feb 2015 #13
PLSK - Thank you! I am in your debt.

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