Kawa na ławę


Lit. “(to put) the coffee on the table”. Which is used to signify that one is speaking plainly and straight to the point instead of using lenghtly introductions to a topic or being evasive about her/his real intentions. You can also use it with an exclamation mark to (quite bluntly) encourage your interlocutor to get to the point.

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Nawijać makaron na uszy


Lit. “to roll/twirl pasta around one’s ears” which is used to describe someone trying to convince another person in a very persistent and eloquent way, by using all the power of their rhetoric and logic. This is quite often used to describe activities of successful salespeople but also when a husband/wife try to convince their spouse to buy a new house/car/tv set or have a baby. It is sometimes used to stress that a splendid oration is devoted to a subject that actually is not that important at all and that it is a waste of time and the speaker’s skills.

I don’t know where exactly does the expression come from but the verb “nawijać” itself has been used as a colloquialism signifying a banter. It normally does not have much to do with past (but you can use it to describe twirling spaghetti with a fork). So maybe some bright mind put these ends together to create this new metaphor.

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Musztarda po obiedzie


Lit. “mustard after dinner” which means that a key/desirable element of your meal is being delivered too late and does not make any sense on its own, as no one eats spoonfuls of mustard. This can be roughly translated as “too little too late” and if somebody direct this comment at you, they no longer have use of what you bring now and are unhappy with your performance.

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Między wódkę a zakąskę


Lit. “between the vodka and the… chaser(?)” preceded by a verb describing movement. The problem here is that the word “zakąska” in this context, or colloquially “zagrycha”, is not really a chaser as it is a bite of food you follow a shot of pure vodka with to kill its taste or/and reduce the risk of your stomach refusing to take it. It is usually a pickled cucumber, mushroom or a marinated herring but never a liquid which has another name in Polish: “przepitka”. You could simply call zakąska “a snack” but then you lose the connection to the alcoholic beverage.

Anyway, the clou of the expression is that you cut in between two inseparable parts or interrupt when one or more people are talking or disrupt another activity which is not really of your business. It is used as a means of rebuking or condemning an action and pointing a finger at the culprit.

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