Lit. “to caw” – as crows do. If this verb is referred to a person then this person is being accused of being extremely pessimistic and having a worst possible outcome in mind. This is why other, more optimistic, people taking part in the same enterprise often say “nie kracz” – don’t caw, don’t discourage us.

The expression is very popular among Poles and is the only meaning apart from the literal one. It might stem from crows’ cawing being a bad omen.

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Kaleczyć język


Lit. “to cut/wound a tongue/language” as in Polish the “język” noun is used to convey both meanings. The expression is a metaphor used to describe someone speaking a language poorly and making many grammatical or lexical mistakes. You can hear it when Poles talk about a foreigner trying to use their language – or a Pole speaking bad English or German.

You could also say “skaleczył się w język” – he cut/wounded his tongue – no metaphor, just bloody facts. This sentence is pretty unequivocal due to the use of reflexive form of the verb with “się” (herself/himself).

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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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