20 Polish slang words you won’t find in coursebooks

Do you want to speak Polish like doll-like Mami from your coursebook or rather like your laid-back Polish friends? Right…

I try not to teach my students any swear words (they don’t need me to teach them these…) but I believe you must know Polish slang words if you want to sound natural! So I analysed my conversations with friends, phone calls and comments on Facebook and in this article I’m going to give you 20 words and expressions we use everyday!

  1. Czemu = dlaczego = why
    • I use both but I have to admit “czemu” sounds more natural and you will hear it a lot in the street.
  2. Spoko ( also: spoczko, sponio) = W porządku / Nie ma problemu / Nie przejmuj się = All right / No problem / Don’t worry
    • There are several meanings of this word. You can use them to agree, to assure someone his mistake is not important, to calm someone down. It comes from the full word “spokojnie” which means calmly.
  3. Gadać = mówić / rozmawiać  = to speak / to talk
    • It’s interesting how “gadać” can replace two verbs at once! When you are on the phone but you need to hang up you can say “Pogadamy później” – We will talk later. And when you’re telling your friend her new boy friend speaks a lot you can say “On strasznie dużo gada!”. 
    • There is a derived word from this verb – “gaduła” – a chatterbox
    • “wygadać się” means to speak to someone about problems to feel a relief or to spoil the beans eg. : “Mam problem i muszę się komuś wygadać!” (I have a problem and I need to tell someone about it)
  4. Ściema = kłamstwo = a lie
    • When you hear something unbelievable you can exclaim: “To ściema!”
  5. Git = w porządku = cool
    • This one is not used by everyone. I personally find it childish but maybe your friends use it – you always need to ask a couple of Polish person how they feel about certain slang words because it will vary depending on their age and social circle. 
    • Example: You are preparing a party and telling your roomates what they should do. ” Ty zrobisz zakupy, Wiola posprząta łazienkę, a ja zrobię jedzenie i będzie git!”
  6.  Nara (also: narka) = na razie = bye
    • Because “na razie” is suuuch a long phrase! When I hear someone saying “nara”, my inner ork shrieks. I stronly dislike this word because for me this word suits only a skinhead who practices slaviq squatting – a “dres”. But some people soften it to “narka” and this is what I  sometimes use too 🙂
  7. Mega = To niesamowite! = Wow
    • You can use this word on it’s on or to add emphasis instead of “bardzo”. 
    • Example: “Koncert Dawida Podsiadły był mega fajny!”
  8. Czaić = rozumieć = to understand
    • Every Polish person knows this word. Even my mother uses it from time to time (it sounds so weird then). How to conjugate it? Ja czaję, ty czaisz, on czai, my czaimy, wy czaicie, oni czają…. CZAISZ?!
  9.  Na luzie / Na lajcie = nie ma problemu/ bez pośpiechu = no hurry/ no problem
    • When your friend is telling you she will be late 45 minutes and you are… not happy, you will pretend it’s ok and say “na luzie”. 
    • Or when your partner is telling you you have 15 minutes before the gates close at the airport but you are still at home, you can ask “Zdążymy?” (Will we be on time?), they can reply “Na luzie” (For sure)
  10. Obczajać / obczaić = przyjrzeć się = to look closely / to notice / to understand
    • This verb is very often used in imperative “Obczaj” as a conversation connector when one person is trying to make the listener to focus and understand his point of view.  Also when you are showing something or someone to your friend you can say eg. “Obczaj jaką ładną kurtkę ma ta dziewczyna!” (Look what a pretty jacket has this girl!)
    • That’s not the end. You can also use “obczajać” like “czaić” – to understand. When you say “Nie obczajam” we will understand you don’t understand…
  11. Zarąbiście / zajebiscie = wspaniale = awesome
    • Long time ago my mother forbid me using word “zajebiście” because it was considered as a cursing word. She was very surprised when my elderly aunt visited us as complimented on her chicken “Jolu! Twój kurczak jest zajebisty!” (Jola! Your chicken is f^&%%g awesome!)
    • You can use “zajebiście” but don’t overdose it if you don’t want to sound like a drunk student of Technical University. Use “zarąbiście” to sound a bit softer (especially if you are a woman).
  12. Fer = sprawiedliwe = fair
    • Ok. I’m not sure if I should spell it like this because I’ve never seen it in any text! But no doubt we use it all the time with typical Polish rhotic “r”. You will hear even a kindergarten children shouting “To nie feeeeeerrrrr!”
  13. Sory = I’m sorry / Excuse me (but never “I feel sorry it happened)
    • We are terrible thieves. We just took this word from English, adjusted the use and pronunciation and voila! Everyone in Poland says “soRy”. We sometimes ever rhyme it with the name of one of our kings “Sory Batory!” for sort of funny emphasis. 
  14. Ekstra = świetnie = great / amazing
    • Nope, you won’t get potatoes if you ask for “coś ekstra”. You will rather get amazing fireworks or some special gift from the chef. “Ekstra” means amazing and you can hear it very often in Poland!
  15. Bez kitu = naprawdę = seriously
    • kit is something what used to (?) seal windows so the terrible Polish winter wind doesn’t kill you. “Wciskać kit” is to tell someone lies so to stuff someone with this substance. “Bez kitu” literally mean “without XYZ” so we don’t want to get any hay, just the truth. When you are very surprised say “Bez kitu?!” (Seriously?!)
  16. Co się tu odjaniepawla?=  Co się tu dzieje? = What is going on here?
    • I think no one treated this word seriously when it appeared in comments on Social Media for the first time. Especially given the fact Poland is such a catholic country and the verb contains John Paul’s name in it! (Jan Paweł)! It was meant to be a joke and still is but some people can get seriously offended by it so be careful! 
    • When to use it? (Better don’t but if your friends are too laid back) When you see some weird situation, for example you enter your kitchen and see your roommate invited drunk people over and they are sitting on the floor and eating your peanut butter and jam from your mum with their filthy fingers you can shout “Co się tutaj odjaniepawla?!” (What is going on here?!)
  17. Ale słabo! = Nie dobrze/ jestem rozczarowany/ zdegustowany = What a bad situation
    • “Słabo” literally mean weakly. When you hear about your friend’s evening, how she got all dressed up for a date and the guy just didn’t show up you can comment “Ale słabo!”
  18.  Na bogato! = Nie skromnie = That’s too much!
    • Imagine you are going to a house party and you see the hosts prepared a variety of snacks, alcohol everything like real grown ups! You can whisper to your partner’s ear ” Na bogato!” (That’s rich!). We often use this phrase with irony so in the same situation but with no snacks just one pack of Lays you can also say “Na bogato!”. Once my student saw all Locative endings and she commented “Na bogato!”. I found it perfectly used!
  19. Chrzanić to! = Nie obchodzi mnie to! = I don’t care!
    • “Chrzan” means horseraddish. As you probably know we love it and appreciate its presence in our country. But you also know it’s very strong and can make you cry so when you “horse raddish” something, you dislike it and don’t want to have anything in common with it.
    • Use this phrase when you’ve been working on something for long time but you realise it was a stupid idea (hopefully not learning Polish he he). Then say: “Chrzanić to!”
    • When something is “pochrzanione”, it means it’s messy and very complicated, not as it should be.
  20. Wypchaj się! = Nie mów do mnie! = Stuff yourself/ Get lost
    • I probably shouldn’t end this article with this phrase but I hope you know I like you and I don’t want you to “wypchać się” 🙂 The opposite! I want you to stay on my website and follow me on Instagram and Facebook so I can help you get to satisfying fluency in Polish faster. Cheers!

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