Polish Language Blog

Names of the months and their meaning Posted by on Jun 10, 2011 in Culture, Vocabulary

We already talked about days of the week and their meaning (https://blogs.transparent.com/polish/days-of-the-week-and-their-meaning/), so now it is times for months!

The names of Polish months are unique in the way that Poland did not adopt Roman names – like many other countries in Europe (France, Germany, Russia). Original, non-Latin names for the months of the year also exist in some other languages – like Czech, Croatian, Lithuanian or Basque. But this is rather an exception than the rule.


The months names are related to the farmers calendar through the year.

Styczeń – stykać means “to meet” – “to join” since the old year “meets” the new year in January

Luty – luty in old Polish means “fierce”, “bitter frost”, “freezing cold”

Marzec – from marznąć meaning ” to freeze”. Some people believe that this name comes also from Roman God “Martius” – in Polish Mars.

Kwiecień – from kwiecie – flowers – a blooming month.

Maj – this is the only name which was adopted from Roman calendar devoted to goddess Maia. Maia was the Roman female deity of growth or fertility.This name gained its own meaning in the Polish language, for instance as majówka- the outdoor trip.

Czerwiec – from czerw meaning “grab” – the larva of a bee or moth. In this month people were picking up the larvas, dry them in the sun and then made from it a red or purple die (pigment); therefore the name “czerw” comes from “redden” and some sources also derive the name of Polish June from a Polish word “czerwienić” – to redden or ripen

Lipiec – from lipa – “linden tree” – which flowers in that time; this tree is very popular in Poland (There is a famous poem by Kochanowski “Na lipę” )

Sierpień – sierp is “a sickle” used for harvesting (tool to cut the hay, grass or wheat)

Wrzesień – from wrzosy – “heather” that beautifully purple in that time of the year

Październik – from paździerz – tow, wooden dry part remained from flax or hemp. In the past flax and hemp was used for making cloths. In that time of the year the wind was carrying out “paździerze” – the wooden waste remained after flax and hemp – all over the fields.

Listopad – spadające liście – falling leaves.

Grudzień – gruda – hardened ground which is caused by cold weather.

By the way, Polish names of the months are written not with capital letters like in English.

Please let me know if I missed anything in comments below.

Keep learning Polish with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author: Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew near Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with their Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they were born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.


  1. Barbara:

    I always enjoy reading your posts and learning from them.

  2. Oszkár:

    That’s great, Kasia! Dziękuję! I have only one question. Does stykać have anything to do with spotykać?

    • Kasia:

      @Oszkár They are very similar. You usually use stykać when you talk about objects and spotykać is usually used when you talk about people.

  3. Hoosier41:

    Really enjoyed this post. Is there any way to print just this post for future reference?


    • Kasia:

      @Hoosier41 You can probably just highlight the text and paste it into word document.

  4. lorraine enlow:

    How very interesting….I’m printing this one out so I can remember the names when I change our calendar each month. Thanks,

  5. Kazimierz:

    Pażdziernik “tow, wooden dry part remained…” do you mean the chafe allowed to blow away while winnowing or the stalk left in the ground?

  6. jjjw:

    In the past instead of May the name used was: trawień. Word comes from “trawa” which means “grass”.

    In different regions of current Poland the name was different, for example: rozhelony or róžownik.

    Why it have been changed to latin origins? I do not know. I can only guess, or search through publications of other guessers.

    Btw, in Czech language a May is called květen – which is similar to polish name of April: kwiecień.