Polish swear words - introduction

If you ask foreigner to say something in Polish, you’ll probably hear…

Kurwa

Our language is full of swear words and curse words. We’ve got little basic swear words and by adding prefixes, changing cases or using reflexive verbs we can create new one with totally different meaning.

Basic swear words:

  • kurwa f - whore / fuck
  • chuj m - dick
  • pierdolić (impf.) - to fuck
  • jebać (impf.) - to fuck

Prefixes

If you know basic swear words, you can add a prefix. Let’s take a look at

jebać

:

  • rozjebać
  • wyjebać
  • ojebać
  • ujebać
  • odjebać
  • dojebać
  • zjebać
  • podjebać
  • pojebać
  • przejebać
  • wjebać
  • zajebać

The only synonyms here are wjebać and zajebać (sometimes also wyjebać) - almost every single word means something different.

Cases

Slavic languages are known for system of cases. Using a wrong case can change the meaning of the sentence. Now let’s use a word pierdolić:

pierdolić + acc. (kogo? co?) - to fuck sb / sth
pierdolić + dat. (komu? czemu?) - to talk bullshit to sb / sth

Reflexive verbs

Our reflexive verbs contains verb + się (generic reflexive pronoun). I use a word ujebać:

  • ujebać - to fail or to cut
  • ujebać się - to get dirty

Notes:
I’m going to make posts about these words - how to use them, what case should be used, if it’s possible to create a reflexive verb. Stay tuned!

Anna Bondaruk a Szeptunka from the village of Rutka prays at her home. Bondaruk claims to have a personal connection with Mary and sees villagers throughout the day for healing.

Location: Podlasie Province, Poland

Photographer: Diana Markosian

In remote northeastern Poland there lives a group of elderly Orthodox devotees who are said to possess special powers. They can heal the sick, cast out demons — even still a foe’s heart. Living at a mystical crossroad of Christian faith and folkloric superstition, they consider themselves members of the church, though the church does not. They are called “Whisperers or Szeptun in Polish.

No! No? Noooo...

Okay, we are not going to scream NOOOO! for the rest of this post, don’t worry.

Originally posted by find-a-reaction-gif

We’re going to take a look at this weird Polish word…

NO

This word is usually translated as YUP or YEAH. Is that true? 

Czy to prawda? - Is that true?
No tak średnio bym powiedział. - I wouldn’t say so.

Where the fuck is YUP or YEAH in the sentence above?

But let’s start from the beginning…

1. Yup yeah

Of course, the word no can be translated like that:

A: Idziesz do kina?
B: No

A: Are you going to the cinema?
B: Yup! / Yeah!

Depending on the intonation, it means different kinds of yup / yeah. I think it’s the same as in other languages, in English for instance.

Easy? So what’s about no nie and nie no? Yes no and no yes? It doesn’t make any sense, does it? 

2. No nie and nie no

Before we start to differ them, you need to know that no nie and nie no have different meaning though the difference is very subtle! Let’s create some sentences.

A: Zapomniałem kupić chleb…
B: No nie! Znowu?

A: I’ve forgoten to buy bread…
B: Oh no! Again?

A: Nie kupiłeś chleba, co?
B: Nie no, kupiłem, ale już zjadłem.

A: You haven’t bought bread, hm?
B: No, I’ve bought but I’ve already eaten it.

Sometimes it is possible to use it interchangeably and native speakers will probably understand you even if you make a mistake. Although no nie is used as a form of:

  • complaining
    No nie! Znowu? Oh No! Again?
  • denying (but not so categorical as simple nie - no)
    A: Zgadzasz się ze mną? Do you agree with me?
    B: No nie. Nie do końca. No. Not completely

There is a famous film frame from “Jak się pozbyć cellulitu” (the film itself is horrible, don’t watch it, love yourself). Let’s take a look:

Kurwa, no nie. No po prostu, kurwa, no nie. Boże, czy ty to widzisz?
Fuck, no. Just no, fuck, no. God, do you see it?

Check the video:

A phrase nie no can be used interchangeably with no nie but nie no is a little bit more gentle.

Nie no, spróbuj jeszcze raz.
No, try again.

3. No dobrze…

This phrase expresses an agreement but it’s rather unwilling:

A: No to zrobisz ze mną ten projekt?
B: No dobrze… Zrobię…

A: So will you do this project with me?
B: Ugh, okay… I’ll do it…

Notes:
As you can see, we also use no as “so”. Unfortunately it’s so intuitional that I’m not able to explain it to you :(

4. No, no, no… No! Nooo!

It also can be translated as yup / yeah but it means nothing in fact. It’s connected with a dialouge or rather - a monologue. While one person is talking about something, the other one usually respond with simple no, no, no. You can hear this kind of conversation especially on streets. It’s also popular while talking on the phone. Depending on the intonation this whole no, no, no can be positive or negative.

  • while expressing interest you rather don’t “extend” vowels. No is short and frequently used:
    No, no! No dokładnie! No! Yeah! Yes, exactly! Yes!
  • while being uninterested in the topic we tend to “extend” vowels and make our voice lower and bored:
    Nooo… Nooo… No co ty nie powiesz? Yeah… Yeah… You don’t say?

5. Omitting no

Usually no, even in colloquial language, is not necessary. Without it the meaning is the same. For instance:

  • (no) dawaj! (no) dalej! - Come on!
  • (no) nie wiem… - I don’t think so…
  • (no) nie do końca; (no) nie bardzo - not really
  • (no) tak jakby; (no) mniej więcej - more or less
  • (no) chyba… - I think so…
  • (no) i co teraz? - And what now?
  • (no) a ty co teraz robisz? - And what are you doing now?

Notes:
I think no is one of the most popular words in Polish colloquial language. You can add it to almost everything. We don’t use it in formal situations, but it’s quite common in semi-formal. Usually it has no meaning but sometimes means yup / yeah. So while being in Poland you hear a lot of no and nodding, it doesn’t mean we can’t decide to yes or no. We just simply use our colloquial language.

You won’t be able to properly use no if you use only textbooks. No book will explain it to you. The only thing which can help you to properly use no is talking to a native speaker (they probably won’t tell you how to use it, but you will understand it from the context). 

No, powodzenia! Good luck!

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Crystals of blue dumortierite - a boron silicate mineral - included inside a now-polished quartz crystal.