Rzeźbić w gównie


Lit. “to sculpt in shit”, which is used to describe an extremely tedious and often pointless task, especially if the tediousness and pointlessness result from revising of initial reasonable and consistent requirements for the job. So you use this to express your frustration if your ideas for a website or campaign design had first been approved and then your client or your boss introduce their own “brilliant” ideas that you know will result in a much increased workload for everybody in the project and, in the end, render them unhappy too. The expression describes well implementing countless feedback rounds that make your overall product worse and not better. Sometimes it is used to point at overall bad organisation in a project and resulting requirements changes.

Continue reading Rzeźbić w gównie

Chodzić po ścianach


Lit. “to walk on walls”. This expression is used in various contexts and situations to convey lots of meanings. In the past, it seems to me, it’s been mainly used to describe a person that is in stressed out, cannot control her- or himself. Or people doing their very best to achieve something considered unrealistic. I’ve also seen instances of “chodzić po ścianach” referring to someone being extremely bored.

The meaning I’m mostly used to and it seems, a more popular nowadays, is this referring to people being completely drunk or intoxicated with some other drugs, especially if this state is reached at a house party be a couple persons in unison. The spirits (we’re not talking about a beer or two here) lift their spirits so high, that they gain superhuman powers, even if cannot remember it the day after. By the way, if you want to learn about fifty, often poetic, ways to say “drunk” in Polish, head to this page. It has them all.

Continue reading Chodzić po ścianach

Wypić nawarzone przez siebie piwo


Lit. “to drink the beer one has brewed”. This metaphor is used in several variants, but ultimately means the same: you need to face the consequences of your (often unwise) decisions or deeds. Funnily, it is sometimes directed at kids to teach them a sense of responsibility, even though you only can legally buy a beer in Poland once you turn eighteen. The meaning is somewhat similar to “to eat humble pie” but stresses consequences more – and humiliation less.

Continue reading Wypić nawarzone przez siebie piwo



Lit. “a donor”. The word itself is most of the time used in expressions related to medicine: “dawca krwi” or “krwiodawca” means a blood donor and “dawca szpiku kostnego” – a bone marrow donor.

So much for the official Polish. But in drivers’ slang this term is only used for motorcyclists, whose sole reason to live is to overtake everyone else on the road, and set new records of accelerating and braking between tight turns. You can find the origin of it in what happens after an unlucky biker hits a car head-on.

Continue reading Dawca

Być w proszku


Lit. “to be powdered” – as in “powdered milk” or instant cocoa. This seems to be a metaphor for a state of not being fully prepared as the above don’t become beverages until dissolved in water. You will find many expressions containing the above like: “zupa w proszku”, “mleko w proszku” and even “oranżada w proszku“.

In most cases, you use the above to point that somebody or a group of people are far from being prepared for something: a meeting with a client, an exam, not packed up for a holiday. It might also refer to enterprises.

Continue reading Być w proszku