Być zrobiony


Lit. “to be done” but this does not mean someone has completed a task or has had enough. Instead, in Polish this expression is used to point at a person being (completely) drunk. It is far from official language, rather a colloquialism mostly used by people below 30. It is sometimes used by victims themselves – “ale się zrobiłem” meaning “I’ve really had too much to drink and was intoxicated”.

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Wino marki wino


Lit. “the Wine brand of wine” meant ironically. The expression comes from this product that has been the weapon of choice of winos in communist Poland. After the collapse of the system, various brands of fruit wine remained their favourites and quite often also source of first serious hangovers for Polish teenagers. The original “brand” is no longer available but hundreds of local variants have blossomed in the meantime, some of them gaining a cult following. What they have in common is: a) all being produced out of fruits, mainly apples b) alcohol volume of around 18% c) contain high levels of sulphur.

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Człowiek nie wielbłąd, pić musi


Lit. “a human is not a camel and needs to (have a) drink”. It’s a polite and humorous way of complying to a suggestion of alcohol consumption. At times it might sound a bit like surrendering to a devil’s voice, even after you’ve done your best to oppose it and stay sober. This sentence usually precedes a serious drinking bout resulting in a really bad hangover and remorse. It’s also quite often used as a wedding party toast.

The perfidious and funny part of the saying is that camels, being reasonable and responsible animals, don’t drink alcohol, just water. However, “wódka” being a diminutive form of “woda” (water) brings them shockingly closer to being an animal patron of alcoholics.

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Pójść w tango


Lit. “to go onto/start a tango”, which in most cases describes a multiday drinking binge in different bars, dance clubs or house parties. What might be included as well is consumption of illegal drugs and one night stands with random people met in those places. To go on a bender.

When you say that someone “poszedł/poszła w tango”, his or her colleagues should not expect their presence at work. If the person in question is an alcoholic then the binge usually has very negative consequences for their health and social life as well.

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