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!!!”


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!

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!!!