Przekleństwa – curse words Posted by Kasia on Mar 6, 2012 in Culture, Grammar, Phrases
Ah, swear words, what an underestimated subject… Considered rude, but, really, a true necessity of life. Don’t leave your home without them.
When it comes to Polish translation, in certain contexts, the swear words (curse words), przekleństwa, have their both prominent and well-deserved role to play. True, English is not completely toothless in this respect, but still there is no comparison. The Poles lead by far.
Sex related swear words are most useful and most common. Let’s see, the so called four letter word, or to be explicit, “f***” – no need to be prudish here – after all it is a linguistic exercise we are involved in corresponds rather well to its Polish counterpart, although, already from the beginning Polish has an advantage here – with a whole nine letter-word. There are certain similarities regarding the use of the word in both languages, a few examples:
To f*** – pierdolić
To f*** off – odpierdolić (się)
To f*** up – spierdolić
The Polish word, however, is much more flexible than its English counterpart and has many more uses, which can make it a bit hard to translate. There are so many verbs can be replaced by the “p”-word!
To beat up – napierdolić
To break – rozpierdolić
To run – spierdolić
To steal – podpierdolić
To throw away – wypierdolić
and so on…
Another “nice” Polish swear-word is “kurwa” literally a “whore”, although in some contexts translated as a “bitch”, or even as “sh*t”, a very useful word indeed. Please, note that although the “k”-word is also a swear word, it is often used instead of a “comma” in the speech, giving the speaker a chance to recover before continuing the argument.
Of course, the “kurwa” words still can be used as a regular swear word describing the quality of the person in question. “Ty kurwo”, meaning literally “you whore”, works well, but I’d rather translated it as “you bitch”, unless it has to do with the profession of the person concerned.
Speaking of the word “bitch”… When I first moved to United States, some of my friends called me like that “in a nice, funny way” (as I was explained this situation) a couple times. When they were jealous about something or I did something well. It was supposedly a fun, non insulting way. Well…do not try doing it in Poland! Poles do not have such a sense of humor!
Variation on the “k”-word is a “genealogical”-swearword: “skurwysyn”, i.e. in the literal translation “the son of a whore,” although translated frequently as “the son of a bitch”, which comes close. It is yet another widely used Polish expletive that is a must in anyone’s Polish vocabulary. Although, it does not have a direct correspondence in Queen’s English, the American “mother-f***er” comes close and could be used in some contexts to translate it. But the Polish “s” word is much more flexible than that. It can denote someone we dislike, someone that played a nasty trick on us, even a person we admire – all depending on the context and the way to pronounce it (which is hard to convey in translation.) Please note that the incest word that is used to translate the Polish “skurwysyn” is more or less a taboo in Polish.
The subject of swearwords is huge and a suitable subject for a number of doctoral dissertations, at least. I haven’t even touched the surface: what about calling someone “świnia” – a “pig”, which can mean many different things, besides denoting the proper animal, “diabeł” the devil (go to the devil, that translates as “go to Hell” is a frequently used swearword), “cholera” the name of the disease, yet another swear word, but also a way to abuse a person as well (similar in the function to the English “bastard”) and many, many more.
Here are some more words for you:
Bullsh*t – Bzdura!
A**hole, Bastard – Skurwielu
Idiot, cretin – Bałwan
Gut – Bandzioch
Loser, slouch – Cienias
Nut, loony, schizo – Czubek
Ass, klutz, dork, nerd, a**hole – Dupek
Cretin, dolt, fool, idiot – Głupek
Sh*t, crap – Gówno
You’ve got ants in your pants – “Masz w dupie robaki”
You’ve got a screw loose – Odjebało ci
Idiot, moron – Palant
Dried-up old turd, old coot – Pryk
Mind your own f***ing business – Trzymaj się swojego fiuta
I smell a rat – To mi śmierdzi
and many, many more….
Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)
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