Nature In Polish Idioms

For what we are waiting right now? If you are dreaming about more sun, more green and picnics under the trees, this article will bring you to the beautiful nature world in Polish language.

In Polish we have quite a lot of idioms related to the nature. We can make few categories of those expressions. I prepared a general overview for you. Very popular in Polish idioms is word “kwiat” (flower), for example expression „ ładne kwiatki” (a pretty (fine) kettle of fish) is used to comment our state when we are shocked or surprised of some stories. When we want to say that someone is in his/her best age we use “być w kwiecie wieku” (to be in one’s prime). We have also very macabre one to say that someone is dead: “wącha kwiatki od spodu” (he/she is smelling/sniffing flowers from below). To describe the freshness, health and beauty of face we use a lot word “róża” (rose), for example in expressions “różane usta” (rosy lips) or “różana cera” (rosy skin).

In category “warzywa” (vegetables) very popular is word “kapusta” (cabbage). Idiom “groch z kapustą” (hotch-potch, mishmash) is used to describe really big mess, expression „kapuściana głowa” (cabbage head) is about someone who is not very clever. When someone is very annoying and does stupid and crazy things, he/she „rozrabia jak pijany zając w kapuście” (he/she paints the town red, cause the troubles like a drank hare in cabbage). As you see our popular plant “kapusta” (cabbage) has not very positive connotations in language. When we ask someone for something and our entreaties are never fulfilled, we say “rzucać jak grochem o ścianę” (to talk to deaf ears, literary “to throw the peas at the wall”). To characterize person who became shy and red on face we say “czerwony jak burak” (red as a beetroot). People who like to cook for sure have met in receipts expressions “ziemniaki/kartofle w mundurkach” (literary: potatoes in uniforms) which means the potatoes cooked without pilling them before, with skin. “Ząbek czosnku” (a clove of garlic) literary means “a little tooth of garlic” which is quite understandable in my opinion. In the summer when people are on holidays and not a lot of things happen in the cultural life, in the politics, in the towns we say that this is “sezon ogórkowy” (slack (silly) season).

In the category “owoce” (fruits) the most popular in language is “jabłko” (apple). Expression “jabłko Adama” (Adam’s apple) doesn’t need to be explained more. Quite picturesque is idiom “niedaleko pada jabłko od jabłoni” (literary: an apple doesn’t fall down far away from the apple-tree) which means that children are normally very similar to their parents. This idioms is often used in negative meaning when children are repeating the same wrong habits as their parents. Apple appears also in expressions “zbić kogoś na kwaśne jabłko” (to beat somebody like a pulp; to beat somebody black and blue) and “jabłko niezgody” (bone of contention).

In the fruits category very interesting are idioms: “obiecywać gruszki na wierzbie (literary: to promise the pears on the willow-tree, to promise pie in the sky, to promise castles in the air), “wpaść jak śliwka w kompot” (literary: to fall like a plum into the stewed fruit; to come at the wrong moment), “wpuścić kogoś w maliny” (to spoof somebody, to lead somebody up the garden path).

Expression “ni z gruszki ni z pietruszki” (neither from the pear nor from the parsley) always make me laugh. We use it when somebody is saying or doing something unexpectedly, without warning before, sometimes out of context, we don’t know why, for example: “Rozmawialiśmy i nagle on, ni z gruszki, ni z pietruszki, zaczął śpiewać” (We were talking and suddenly he… started singing).

There are a lot of idioms in Polish containing names of exotic pla