Polish Drinking Vocabulary

Have you ever drunk very cold Polish vodka surrounded by Polish friends? Did you raise your short glass and loudly said "Na zdrowie"? It actually doesn't matter if you did or not - being interested in Polish culture means, you can't avoid drinking or at least knowing some important drinking vocabulary! Here I come with help so no drinking situation will surprise you :)

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Wódka ( also: czysta, gorzałka

When you buy 0.5 l you can call it połówka, if 0.7 - simply zero siedem but if you get a tiny 100 ml bottle it's called małpeczka (little monkey).

We drink vodka in kieliszki - short glasses. They used to be 50 or 60 ml big but due to some EU law nowadays restaurants in Poland will serve you vodka in 40ml glasses. In my grandma's times vodka used to be drunk in literatki - 150ml glasses. Hardcore!


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How do we drink vodka? First of all it must be really cold, almost frozen so when you pour it into your mouth you don't taste the strong taste. You drink the whole kieliszek at once, you shouldn't divide it into halves because it means you are weak or you have słaba głowa - weak head. (On the other hand people who can drink a lot have mocna głowa - stron head). After drinking it you should drink popitka - soda or juice to rinse your mouth off vodka's taste. You can also bite some zagryzka - a snack , usually ogórek kiszony, jajko w majonezie - eggs with mayo, paluszki - bread sticks or kanapki - sandwiches. After you are done with the first glass, the host would probably want to refill it asking nicely Polać ci? Should I fill your glass? There is no point in saying no. If you refuse drinking in Poland you are an abstynent.  And there are not many reasons for you to be abstynent which would allow you to maintain host's trust. Some of them are: Jestem w ciąży - I am pregnant, Prowadzę - I'm driving or, maybe, Jestem niepijącym alkoholikiem - I'm an alcoholic who quit. 

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Try to nie upić się  - not to get drunk in Poland. How to do it? Drink a lot of water while drinking. Don't mix different liquors. Eat a lot before and during the party. The hosts can offer you their homemade wine - wino domowej roboty or nalewka - very sweet liquor, also homemade. It's tasty but tricky! Also be careful if they offer you bimber - homemade very strong vodka, usually about 80% strong! It's a hell! If you drink it you would surely be: pijany - drunk. There are several words describing this state in Polish. If you are tipsy you can say you are wstawiony or podchmielony. If you can'r recognize your own wife and you wake up in a toilet you were probably narąbany, spity, napity, nawalony or nachlany. Avoid it! Drinking smartly will gain you respect. Trying to drink as much as your father-in-law can end up with serious humiliation. A person who had drunk too much can czuć sie niedobrze - to feel sick, tracić równowagę - to lose balance, bełkotać - to mumble,  zgonować (very colloquial) - to lose conscious or to fall asleep when drunk. You can also iść wężykiem do domu - to walk home in zigzags.


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After such a party your state won't be better. You will have kac - hangover. If it's a very strong kac we call it kac morderca - hangover the murderer. Your head can feel like cracking - głowa mi pęka, or humming - szumi mi w głowie. You can even wymiotować - to throw up or more colloquially saying - rzygać.

Piwo

We also love beer in Poland. Piwo can be also called browar which is actually the name of a place where piwo is brewed - a brewery. It's very common to order piwo lane - draught beer in a restaurant. Ladies used to drink piwo z sokiem malinowym lub imbirowym  - beer with raspberry or ginger syrup. We also like the foam - pianka. In nineties there was a popular commercial of beer suggesting pianka should be na dwa palce - two fingers thick. Now all Poles remember this rule.


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  Poles used to have very classic taste in beer and choose jasne piwo - light beer over ciemne piwo - dark beer but it's changing. Nowadays a lot of people choose piwo kraftowe - beer from small browary. I remember during my last visit to Kraków my friend took me to a place which had around 30 beczki piwa (barrels of beer) and I wanted to go crazy. I ordered piwo Earl Grey which was not that bad, but my husband got piwo kokosowe  - coconut beer which was the most disgusting thing I've ever tasted. 

One more detail about drinking beer. The standard beer size is 0.5l so if you just say Poproszę jedno piwo you won't get a small one for sure. You need to ask Poproszę małe piwo for 0.3 glass.

Other types of alcohol

We are not big fans of other types of alcohol. Some people chose wino and in Polish supermarkets or sklep monopolowy - shop with alcohol you can find wino białe i czerwone in for versions - wytrawne - dry, półwytrawne - semidry, półsłodkie - semisweet and słodkie - sweet. The sweet ones are usually prefered as well as wino domowej roboty - homemade wide.  

We drink wine in lampki or kieliszki do wina - both words mean wine glasses. Students won't mind drinking wine in plastikowe kubeczki - plastic cups but they also won't say no to jabol (vulg.) - the cheapest wine in carton. It's not uncommon to mix tanie wino - cheap wine with coke. After this mix you can be sure you will be chased by kac morderca!


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If you have other questions about drinking culture and vocabulary in Poland, feel free to leave me a comment! And of course, don't forget to listen to the episode PD054!

Co zwykle mówią polskie mamy?

Większości nastolatków wydaje się, że ich mama jest zbyt surowa i że ciągle się irytuje. Okazuje się, że większość mam powtarza dokładnie te same teksty! Jestem ciekawa, czy Wasze mamy mówią to samo, ale w innych językach?

Most of teenagers think their mum is too strict and gets irritated all the time. It turns out most of mums repeat exactly the same sentences! I'm curious if your mums say the same but in other languages?

Oto kilka typowych tekstów, które możecie usłyszeć od polskiej mamy:

Here are some typical sentences you can hear from a Polish mum:

Przynajmniej mięso zjedz. Ziemniaki możesz zostawić

Eat at least the meat. You can leave the potatoes.

Wyjmij łyżeczkę z herbaty, bo oko sobie wydłubiesz!

Take the teaspoon out of the tea because you will gauge yourself!

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A oto słowa, które możesz usłyszeć szczególnie wtedy, kiedy zawołałeś/aś swoją mamę po imieniu zamiast grzecznego "Mamo!"

These words you can hear especially when you called your mum using her first name instead of polite "Mamo!"

Nie jestem twoją koleżanką

I'm not your friend!

Mamy zwykle narzekają, że muszą po wszystkich sprzątać i gdyby nie one, cały dom zamieniłby się w wysypisko śmieci. Mówią:

Mums usually complain they have to clean after everyone and if it wasn't for them, the whole house would turn into a landfill. They say:

Tylko chodzę i po wszystkich sprzątam!

 I only walk and clean after you all!

Jaki burdel w tym pokoju! Jeszcze tylko nasrać na środku.

What a mess in this room! There is only a shit in the middle missing!

Bozia rączek nie dała?

God gave you hands, didn't he?

Czasami udają też wróżki (a może rzeczywiście potrafią przewidywać przyszłość?!)

They also pretend to be fortune tellers (or maybe they can actually see into the future?!)


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Będziesz miała swoje dzieci to zobaczysz!

You will have your own children and you will see!

Za kilka lat mi podziękujesz!

You will thank me in a couple of years!

Nie zawsze są szczęśliwe z powodu twojego wyboru znajomych i autorytetów. Mogą wpaść w złość i powiedzieć:

They aren't always very happy with your choice of friends and role models. They can get mad and say:

Ty nie jesteś wszyscy!

You are not anyone!

Dokąd niby się wybierasz!?

Where do you think you are going?!

A kiedy zrobiłeś/aś coś, co wpędziło ją w furię and nie wiedziała, jak z tobą o tym rozmawiać, mogłeś/aś usłyszeć

And when you had done something what made her furious but she didn't know how to talk to you about it, you could have heard:

Poczekaj tylko aż ojciec wróci z pracy!

Just wait until your father comes back from work!

I najmocniejszy tekst, którego wszyscy się boimy bo jej głos staje się wysoki i zaczyna drżeć:

And the most powerful one which we all fear because her voice gets high pitched and shaky:

Nie zaraz tylko TERAZ!

Not in a moment but NOW!

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