Languages Polish

Comedy and idioms

Written by Ioannes Oculus

Learning a language is also a way to have fun. It is not easy, however, to understand comedy sketches. They are packed with words plays, puns, cultural references. To ease your learning I’d like to share with you one of my favourite, an old comedy sketch from 1970s if I’m not mistaken.

First some idiomatic phrases from the cabaret:

jest interes do zrobienia – there is business to do (usually a phrase to start presenting a business idea that you want to invite the interlocutor to)

przenieść się na łono Abrahama – to die

wyzionąć ducha – to die

w tym sęk – this is the main problem

tu jest pies pochowany (or: pogrzebany) – this is the problem

pies ci mordę lizał – get lost, fuck off

To understand the plot you need to know that ‘sęk’ in its first meaning is knot, a thing in a wooden board that looks like this:

It makes the board, plank weaker and can pose some problems.

The actors are using a specific dialect that can suggest they are of Jewish origin (if I’m not mistaken). Also the surnames would suggest than. The sketch is two friend talking about business but there are some misunderstandings which make the dialogue hilarious.

Some more vocabulary:

weksel – bill of exchange

tartak – sawmill

rżnąć – to saw (e.g. wood)

odczep się – butt out, leave me alone, stay away from something

podkusić – to tempt (perfective aspect of kusić)

A here is the video:

Photo: CC0 1.0,

Photo (cover): screenshot from the linked film from YouTube.

To my best knowledge the film was recorded by Polish TV. I do not hold any rights to the films and it is placed here only for educational purposes to illustrate how language humour works in Polish and how idioms are used in the language. The video miniature is automatically generated by YouTube not me.

About the author

Ioannes Oculus

I am addicted to languages, both modern and ancient. No language is dead as long as we can read and understand it. I want to share my linguistic passion with like minded people. I am also interested in history, astronomy, genealogy, books and probably many others. My goals now are to write a novel in Latin, a textbook for Latin learners, Uzbek-Polish, Polish-Uzbek dictionary, modern Uzbek grammar and textbook for learners. My dream is to have a big house in UK or USA where I could keep all my books and have enough time and money to achieve my goals.

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