5 Best Polish Proverbs and Sayings

When I say the best, of course, I mean according to me 🙂 Some of these proverbs could be classified as idiomatic expressions, but it all depends on the source. Here goes:

1. Nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy

“Not my circus, not my monkeys” or the Polish monkey proverb is actually a saying I didn’t know until my British friend told me about it. In translation it’s pretty popular among English speakers and it has become one of my favorite Polish proverbs.
What does it mean? It’s an end-of-discussion kind of commentary, letting other people know that something isn’t your problem.

2. Z piasku bicza nie ukręcisz

I’m actually being a bit disingenuous here, I like the saying that translate to English to “you can’t make a whip out of sand” but it’s not actually my favorite one… I much prefer the slightly more vulgar version of it: Z gówna bicza nie ukręcisz (“You can’t make a whip out of sh*t”).
If you consider the meaning of this saying, it’s a close English equivalent “You can’t make something out of nothing.”. True that!

3. Na bezrybiu i rak ryba

When there’s no fish, crayfish becomes fish“, this brilliant proverb teaches us that sometimes we have to accept much less than our expectations suggest we should accept. Now, as you can see we’re just not very excited about crayfish in Poland.
I think it’s an amazing saying because it shows how are circumstances may change our perception of things. Sometimes simply anything will do and has to do because “beggars can’t be choosers“.

4. O jednym oku, byle tego roku

This saying roughly translates to “He/she may have one eye as long as I meet him/her this year.”. It’s a comment on desperation of some people to get into a relationship, regardless of the qualities of the new partner. I’m sure you know people whose worst fear is being single even for a moment.

5. Nie ucz ojca dzieci robić

The last saying on my last of personal favourites is “Don’t teach the father how to make children.”. In a simple and straightforward manner, just like we like it in Eastern Europe, it reminds you not to lecture people who know more about a given topic than you do.

A sweet and short post today! Have you enjoyed reading it? Which saying/proverb is your favourite one? Share your thoughts in the comments’ section, asseblief. A presto!