Polish Language Blog

Sknery R Us Posted by on Feb 7, 2009 in Culture, Vocabulary

I am what you might call “dusigrosz” or “sknera” in Polish. In other words, I’m cheap, as in “I’m a cheapskate.”

I travel on a budget, drive an old car (but I keep it running perfectly) and I don’t like to spend money on things I don’t need. If there are things I do need and I have to buy them, I tend to buy the high quality stuff, because it will last and I won’t need to replace it for a long while.

Even though I consider myself a tightwad, I don’t mind spending money on food. Because eating right keeps you healthy and being healthy saves you money in the long run.

So that’s my odd “sknera” philosophy. I save where I can but within reason.

I stuck to my budget principles when coming to Warszawa this weekend. PKP (Polish Railways) had a weekend deal to Warszawa – almost 50% off. And that’s on InterCity, which is, supposedly, the fast train. Which had a 30-minute delay by the time we got to the capital.

In Warszawa I chose to stay at Hostel Kanonia. It’s a lovely hostel located just a short walking distance from Zamek Królewski (the Royal Castle). And because I’m a cheapskate who likes her privacy, I decided to book prywatny pokój z łazienką (a private room with a bathroom). That room turned out to be a massive attic-like space on the top floor. It was spotless. The bathroom was squeaky-clean, too. The hostel kitchen, where I’m sitting right now, has wireless internet access. And the whole thing set me back all of 140PLN. But a bed in a dorm room can be had for as little as 50PLN.

I’ll definitely be staying here again.

And this was the view from my room.

  • oszczędzać (pieniądze) – to save (money)
  • skąpić (czegoś) – to skimp (on sth)
  • sknera (noun, masc. pl. sknery) – tightwad, cheapskate
  • dusigrosz (noun, masc. pl. dusigrosze) – literally: one who squeezes every penny (grosz), so – a penny pincher
  • skąpiec (noun, masc. pl. skąpcy) – scrooge
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  1. JR:

    Wow, that’s a pretty incredible deal! What other great deals are there in other Polish cities (I know of Mama’s Hostel in Krakow, which is pretty spectacular.)

  2. Basia Lomnicka:

    Aniu: Hope you are having a great time! I adore the word “sknera”, it is such a great word. Rolls off the tongue so beautifully and so expressively. I confess to certain frugal practices as well. The hostel/hotel you are staying at looks terrific. I know who to come to for travel advice when the time comes.

  3. michael:

    Dzien dobry,

    I would be delighted if people would interact with each other on this blog rather than just be passive readers, nie czytałem terms and condtitons of this blog but I think it is ok if someone asks a question czy mówi coś po polsku! Co myślisz?

    Mam pytania, jaka jest twója ulubiona piosenka?

    End of rant 🙂 🙂 🙂

  4. Thomas Westcott:

    Hi Anna,

    Hostel Kanonia appears to be a great place to stay. Their foto galeria shows nice clean rooms. Just how big is the hostel? I do not think all of the buildings shown in the pictures are a part of the hostel. Are some of those pictures of the castle? The ‘ulica’ look like what I expected to see in the old town back in the old country.

    Could you please go back to including audio files?

    Basia, “sknera” may roll off your tongue but not off mine. I have to learn each word by rote. Yes I know everyone learns words by memory. Other people seem to be able to read a new word then pronounce it correctly from having read it and then repeat it a few times to affix it firmly in their memory.
    I can not do that! I am having to expend as much energy on each word in Polish as you might on learning a poem. Each letter for me is like a whole line in a play.
    I have to write a word out 30 times to get the spelling. I have to hear it and repeat it in like manner to get the sound. and then I have to put the two together.

    Anna, I do like your posts. This one does not have too great a number of new words to learn at the same time. I like the way you develop the vocabulary from your narrative. The way you summarize the vocabulary with gender, part of speech, plural spelling etc. is also helpful. But for me the most helpful would be one download of all the audio files and to advance to listening and repeating the next word like a slide show advances while reading through your posts.

    Keep up the good work, Thomas.

  5. Pól Mac Cana:

    I’ve had the pleasure of staying in Warsaw twice. Once in a youth hostel dormitory and once in an appartment. I was very impressed by the standards of the accommodation – so clean and all the facilities available! Just like being at home, but with the advantages of beign in Warsaw and Poland.

    Pałac Łazienkowski was spectular – like a fantacy palace in the summer!!

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