Useful Expressions – Spoko, spoko Posted by Anna on Nov 14, 2009 in Vocabulary
A friend asked me a very theoretical question, and it went more or less like this:
“OK, let’s say that, theoretically of course, I am going to be visiting Poland around Christmas, or at the very least – Greenpoint. What Polish words would I hear most frequently?”
“Oh, you mean like the k-word?” was my reply.
“No, not really, I mean like words that you can actually spell out on your blog without getting in trouble.”
Ahhhh… OK, let me think then…
Hmmm… so if you just happen to be listening to random people’s random conversations, what would you hear most often? (Apart from all the words that Poles are seemingly very fond of using and which I can’t include in here.)
There’s always “cześć” – the universal Polish greeting when “dzień dobry” seems too official.
There are always “Pan” and “Pani”, as in “Panie Waldku” and “Pani Aniu”, etc… that’s how we tend to address each other when using first names only seems either too rude or too familiar.
And then there’s “spoko, spoko”. I have to confess, I like “spoko, spoko” and use it a lot. Maybe even too much, according to some people.
So, what is “spoko, spoko”?
Spoko is shortened version of “spokojnie” when used to calm someone down, as in “it’s OK”, “it’s all right”, or even “take it easy.”
Spokojnie itself is an adverb and means “calmly”, “quietly” and so on, you get the idea. The adjective it came from is “spokojny” and here it is in all its glorious forms:
- spokojny (adj., fem: spokojna, neuter: spokojne, plural personal masculine: spokojni, plural all others: spokojne) – calm, quiet, unhurried.
And sometime along the way “spokojnie” got shortened to “spoko” and then repeated twice for emphasis – “spoko, spoko”.
- Spóźnimy się! – We’ll be late!
Spoko, spoko, zdążymy. – take it easy, we’ll make it (on time).
And that’s pretty much what “spoko, spoko” is all about.
So, what other most often heard words and phrases do you think should be included?
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