7 Pet Peeves of Polish Grandmothers

Polish GrandmaFirst, let’s be clear, Polish grandmothers are the greatest you could ask for, but we all know they have funny quirks and reactions to certain things. It’s with this in mind, that I bring you the 7 things that drive Polish grandmothers crazy.

When you’re too skinny:

The word skinny has a very broad definition in the Polish grandmother lexicon. It would probably be safe to say that anyone under 300 pounds is too skinny, but I’m sure there are Polish grandmothers who would expand that interpretation to 400 pounds.

The point is, you will always be too skinny for your Polish grandmother, and she will always want you to stuff your face with more pierogi. It’s a battle you cannot win, so don’t even try.

When it’s windy outside and you’re not wearing a jacket:

To your Polish grandmother, wind is a carrier of disease, destruction and death, even if it’s a light summer breeze. So if it’s 65 degrees out and you’re wearing short sleeves, be prepared to account for your actions when your Polish grandmother sees you.

She’ll probably yell, “Ubierz się, bo zmarzniesz!!!”

 

dinner
Standard portion sizes offered by a Polish grandmother

When you don’t finish everything on your plate AND  on the table:

 

This ties in with the too skinny  pet peeve. One does not simply finish dinner when his or her Polish grandmother is watching. Even if you clean your plate, she’ll still be upset that more food remains on the table which you are not taking advantage of.

Should you happen to finish all food on said table, your Polish grandmother will smile and bring you more food which she was saving in the pot on the stove.

When you’re not completely manhandling your competition in your school or work life:

If you have a Polish grandmother, you need to be THE BEST. THE VERY BEST. This goes for all aspects of life. It’s normal for your parents and grandparents to want you to succeed, but your Polish grandmother wants you to be a god.

So if you have a masters degree, you’d better be applying for that PhD program. If you are vice president of a multinational company, be prepared to justify why you are not president.

When you cough or sneeze…once:

You and your Polish grandmother are sitting at a table. Suddenly, some dust flies into your nose and you sneeze. As far as your Polish grandmother is concerned, you now have Ebola.

She will immediately ask,  “Co ty tak kichasz?” and warn you not to go out because you’re sick and you don’t want to make it worse.  Indeed, she will not be satisfied until you are in bed resting and sipping hot tea.

TV PGWhen  you watch anything violent on TV:

If you’re a fan of action or horror films, don’t reveal that side around your Polish grandmother since all such movies are a bad influence and represent the work of the devil. In fact, if you’re watching Star Wars Episode I, Darth Maul might be confused with the devil—not saying that did or didn’t ever happen.

When you have allowed any kind of food or drink to wystygnąć (cool off):

One of the worst things you can do in front of your Polish grandmother is let your food or drink  get cold. It’s like it becomes poison when it’s not scorching hot. Even if you are personally ok with eating lukewarm soup, your Polish grandmother will insist that it be warmed up at once.

As a result, such products as iced tea and cold cereal are abominations to your Polish grandmother and should be discontinued immediately.

Any other pet peeves of Polish grandmothers? Comment below!

Polish Villagers Claim Nazi Zombies Running Wild

Nazi zombieWhat’s worse than regular zombies? Freaking Nazi zombies! And that’s exactly what some inhabitants claim are haunting their village of Glinka in western Poland.

First the undisputed facts. In September, archaeologists dug up 27 German Nazi corpses buried near what used to be an old house that was torn down years ago. The Nazi soldiers died in that house in 1945 when the Russians took over the village. They were shot in the head.  After the war, the villagers buried the bodies right outside the house.

For decades, the villagers claimed that the house was haunted and avoided it at all costs. Eventually, people moved in but quickly left due to strange occurrences. Afterward, the house was burned, likely as an effort by the villagers to destroy the curse they believed possessed it.

According to some villagers, however, burning the house didn’t work, as the undead Nazis have been strolling around not just the house, but the entire village, since 1945! Supposedly  the sound of marching footsteps can be heard outside at night. What’s more, even in death, these Nazi zombies have retained their allegiance to Der Fuhrer, as shouts of “Sieg Heil” can be heard echoing across Glinka in the darkness, according to one 45-year-old resident.

One 67-year-old resident says he “had the feeling” that Nazi zombies were chasing him one day. They were allegedly in uniform and had decaying faces.  I don’t know how you have a “feeling” about something like that. Hmm, someone’s walking behind me in the dark. Must be those darn Nazi zombies! No other explanation.

In any event, some claim that the Nazi zombies have become even more active since the archaeologists dug up the 27 remains. To be fair, archaeologists believe that more corpses are buried in the area. That means these could be different zombies, and we are unfairly labeling them as Nazis, which is wrong.

10 Polish Words that Sound Like English Words but Mean Totally Different Things

I recently saw a great article where the author showcased 10 words that look the same in Polish and English but mean something totally different. Click here to read it.

Anyway, that article inspired me to do a list of Polish words that sound like English words when you say them, but mean something totally different. Check them out!

Polish problems1. Stól (Pronounced STOOL):
Stoł means table in Polish, but it sounds like the stuff you find in your toilet bowl. So never ask a Pole for stool samples, unless you hired a truck to carry all the free tables you’ll get.

2. Los (Pronounced LOSS):

Los means fate in Polish, but it sounds like loss when pronounced. Actually, the Poles pronounce los slightly more delicately than English-speakers would pronounce loss.

3. Syn (Pronounced SIN):

In Polish, syn means son, but it sounds like sin when you say it. Does this mean that Poles prefer their daughters? :o)

4. Ryć (Pronounced RICH):

This Polish word, meaning to dig, engrave, or burrow sounds like rich in English. I thought of a rich guy burying all his money when I discovered this comparison.

"Raj" Bread
“Raj” Bread

5. Raj (Pronounced RYE):

Raj is the Polish word for paradise, but it sounds like rye, as in rye bread. Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase  “the bread that comes down from heaven.”

6. Mak (Pronounced MOCK)

Mak refers to poppy seed in Polish, but it sounds like mock in English. I always knew those poppy seeds had a derisive air about them.

7. Lis (Pronounced LEASE):

If you say “I want to take out a lease” in Poland, they might give you a little brown, furry animal because lis means fox in Polish.

8. Typ (Pronounced TIP):

In Polish, typ means type. The two look similar, minus the “e,” but typ sounds like tip in English. I don’t even know if there is a word for tip in Polish based off my conversations with Polish servers ;P

9. PIS (Pronounced PEACE):

This isn’t a word, but an acronym for a major Polish political party (Law and Justice). I have no idea how peaceful that party is, but PIS sounds like peace in English.

10. Być (Pronounced B**ch):

I’m trying to run a clean blog here, but the Polish language isn’t letting me. Anyway, być means to be in English. This is always the most awkward word to say in Polish around other Americans. I always feel like I’m cussing, but I’m not…er…that means I am, but I don’t mean to be….sigh….

Any others? Share in the comments!!!

Strange Things Only Polish People Will Understand: Part 1

Growing up in a Polish-American household, I was exposed to a number of things that, though they seemed normal to me at the time, later turned out to be very abnormal, at least when it came to American society.

So I’m beginning a series here that will highlight some of these very weird things that only Poles, specifically Polish-Americans, may understand…

Hot Milk:

milk skin, boiling milk
The sight of boiling milk was a common one for me growing up.

I didn’t just drink warm milk for years, I often drank hot milk to the point that it actually coagulated in the mug, forming milk skin…All of my Polish family members thought this was normal. Maybe it was. But eating cereal in near-boiling milk most certainly was not. Yes, I essentially ate “cereal soup” for years. Oh well. Us Poles are big on our soup anyway.

Hot Soup in the Summer

Fresh Rosół
Rosół is amazing, even in the summer.

While we’re on the topic of soup, you should know that Polish people eat a lot of it. Soup is delicious. However, when it’s 95 degrees and humid outside, it’s not exactly your food of choice. Nevertheless, there was one consistency in all those hot summer days I spent in Poland as a kid: we had soup every single day. Most people need something cool to refresh themselves from the heat. Poles need something warm.

Wearing Socks in Your Sandals:

socks in sandals
The classic “socks in sandals” look.

I never actually did this, but I notice that many Polish people do. Isn’t the entire purpose of sandals to keep your feet cool when it’s warm? Doesn’t wearing socks in them defeat that purpose? I don’t know. Maybe it has something to do with Polish grandmothers telling their grandchildren to dress warmly.

 

This is just the beginning of what is sure to be a long list. Please share your own Polish oddities in the comments section. I will include them in the blog.

 

How to Tell if your Grandma is Polish

Grandmothers are awesome in general, and Polish grandmothers are among the most loving and unique on earth.

In case you’re not sure if you have a Polish grandmother, here are some tell-tale signs:

It’s 80 degrees outside, and she tells you to put on a jacket:

kid bundled upPolish grandmothers care for their grandchildren very much, and they don’t want them getting sick. This often results in an obsessive fear that it’s always “cold” outside. A light summer breeze will result in a chest cold, while a few drops of rain are sufficient to induce pneumonia. As a result, young Polish or Polish-American children are often overdressed for the weather. So the next time you see a child wearing a hood when everyone else has shorts on, there’s a decent chance he has a Polish grandmother.

You’re always skinny and need to eat more:

Are those ground pierogies?
Are those ground pierogi?

Even if you’re six years old and weigh 350 pounds, you’re still skin and bones for your Polish grandmother. The phrase “Jedz więcej” (eat more) is all too commonly heard by people with Polish grandmothers. She wants you to be healthy and strong, so as long as she’s watching, you’d better down those pierogi like it’s no one’s business.

You WILL be at church on Sunday:

A Polish grandmother cares for her grandchild’s eternal soul as much as she cares for his/her physical body. So you’d better be at church on Sunday, the earlier the better. If you’re not, hell awaits…when you see your Polish grandmother again.

She buys you clothes without any regard for style:

polish dress
Not a kid, but you get the point.

For Polish grandmothers, the main function of clothes is, well, to clothe. Style is irrelevent. Remember, Polish grandmothers grew up in communist Poland—where clothes wore you. The result of all this? Let’s just say a certain Polish guy remembers receiving very girlish-looking sweaters and long underwear as a little kid.

You mean the world to her:

They say that grandmothers love their grandchildren more than their children. This couldn’t be more true when it comes to Polish grandmothers. They’ll stick up for you no matter what. When you come home from the world’s stresses and problems, they’ll have a nice hot bowl of soup (or three) waiting, even before you manage to take your hood off.