Polish Language Blog

Odd and Funny Place Names in Poland Posted by on Dec 15, 2009 in Culture

One of the joys of traveling in a foreign country (or reading a map, if you can’t travel) is seeing all the strange, wonderful, funny and otherwise goofy names along your route. That applies to just about any country, as people living in F*@#$g (Austria) and Climax Springs (USA) can tell you. And Great Britain is just chock full of odd place names.

It’s a very entertaining way of passing time during long and otherwise boring road trips. And since the holidays are right around the corner and may of you will travel to Poland to spend Christmas and New Year with your loved ones, I thought it might be a good idea to show you just what kind of odd names you can encounter while driving from one end of the country to the other. Yes, Poland. Poland has its own share of strange (and some are really strange) place names.

For example, take this village in kujawsko-pomorskie voivodeship – Złe Mięso. Yep, a place named “Bad Meat.” Let’s just hope no food processing plants are located there.

Bad Meat can definitely be one of Stanisława’s Problems. Yes, there is a village between Siedlce and Białystok called Kłopoty Stanisławy.

Fancy traveling a bit further than just boring, old Poland? No worries, you can do that without ever leaving the country. There’s a Korea in podkarpackie voivodeship (wonder if they make kimchee there), Ameryka (America) nearby Opole. Not enough? We also have Węgry (Hungary), Paryż (Paris) and Wenecja (Venice).

click on the map for a larger view

Here’s a very cool map of most of the places with goofy names in Poland. Some of them I will not list here, because I want to keep it as a PG blog.

And what’s my favorite name? I heard about this one a while back, but didn’t quite believe it. Mała Wieś przy Drodze – Little Village by the Road.

Now, courtesy of yellerbelly’s most excellent photography skills and his Warsaw Daily Photo blog, I have visual proof that Little Village by the Road is not an urban legend and does indeed exist.

So, what are some of your favorite Polish place names?

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  1. Gabriel:

    My favorite polish place names are Bialystok, Zielona Góra and… Szczebrzeszyn \o/

    Btw, what do you think about a post on Brzechwa’s famous poem?

  2. kuzeymavisi:

    i like the last one. it is really interesting :))
    ”little village by the road”..is it indeed little?;)

  3. Marek:

  4. Pools vertalen:

    I have thought that this city is very funny: Zimna Wódka http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zimna_W%C3%B3dka

  5. alp:

    Some more, not included in the map: Brzozowa Gać (Lublin-Warszawa route), Baba not far away and Czołomyje in the Siedlce region. Cheers!

  6. paweł:

    My favourite was a tiny village of ‘Nowy Jork’, which was unfortunately erased from maps on 1 January 2010 as almost no one lived there any more:)

    But in Austria they really have names! Graham norton showed this on his show to Roseanne… you can search it on YouTube… In quiet Upper Austria there is a lovely village of… Fucking. If that was too explicit, there is also Petting.

  7. Peggy Novak:

    I was born in a little village in Poland by the name of Krzydlowice ( not sure of spelling) I know that Zelona Gora was the capital. Can’t find it at all on the map has the name changed?