" derives from a generic Polish word for a sausage.
This is a list
English words of Polish origin, that is words used in the English language that were borrowed or derived, either directly or indirectly, from Polish. Several Polish words have entered English slang via Yiddish, brought by Ashkenazi Jews migrating from Poland to North America. Other English words were indirectly derived from Polish via Russian or West European languages, such as French, German or Dutch. The Polish words themselves often come from other languages, such as German or Turkish. Borrowings from Polish tend to be mostly words referring to staples of Polish cuisine, names of Polish folk dances or specialist, e.g. horse-related, terminology. Among the words of Polish origin there are several words that derive from Polish geographic names and ethnonyms, including the name Polska, "Poland", itself.
Derived from common words [ edit ]
Directly [ edit ]
The following words are derive directly from Polish. Some of them are loanwords in Polish itself.
Babka, baba A leavened coffee or rum cake flavored with orange rind, rum, almonds, and raisins
Polish and Ukrainian
babka, a yeast cake ← diminutive of baba, "old woman"
AHD: babka, AHD: baba
Bigos A Polish stew made with meat and cabbage
bigos ← possibly German begossen, "doused"
Britzka, britska A type of horse-drawn carriage
bryczka ← diminutive of bryka, " wagon"
Kielbasa A spicy smoked Polish sausage
kiełbasa, "sausage" ← Turkish kül bassï, "grilled cutlet" ← Turkic kül bastï: kül, "coals, ashes" + bastï, "pressed (meat)" (from basmaq, "to press")
Klotski A sliding block puzzle
klocki, plural of klocek, "toy block"
Game Concepts: Klotski, Origin of Klotski
Konik A horse breed
konik ← diminutive of koń, "horse"
Marrowsky A spoonerism (transposition of the initial consonants of two words)
Said to be from the name of a Polish count
Ogonek A hook-shaped
ogonek ← diminutive of ogon, "tail"
Paczki A Polish jam-filled doughnut
pączki, plural of pączek ← diminutive of pąk, "bud"
Pierogi A semicircular dumpling of unleavened dough with any of various fillings
pierogi, plural of pieróg, "dumpling"
Rendzina A dark, grayish-brown soil that develops under grass on limestone and chalk
rędzina ← rzędzić, "to chat"
diet or parliament Polish
sejm, "diet" or "assembly"
The word spruce entered the English language from the Polish name of Prusy (a historical region, today part of Poland). It became spruce because in Polish, z Prus, sounded like "spruce" in English (transl. "from Prussia") and was a generic term for commodities brought to England by Hanseatic merchants and because the tree was believed to have come from Polish Ducal Prussia.
Zloty Polish currency
Indirectly [ edit ]
The following words are derived from Polish via third languages.
Hetman Historically, a Polish, Czech or Cossak military leader
Ukrainian гетьман, get'man ← Polish hetman ← Czech hejtman ← German Hauptmann ← Middle High German houbet, "head/high" + man, "man"
Horde A nomadic tribe; a crowd or swarm
Middle French horde ← German Horde ← Polish horda ← Russian орда ( ordá) ← Greek (Byzantine) hορδή ( hordé) ← Mongol or North-West Turkic ordï, "camp" or "residence" ← Mongol orda, ordu, "court, camp, horde".
Gherkin A small cucumber
German Gurken, plural of Gurk, "cucumber" ← East Frisian Augurk ← possibly Polish ogórek ← possibly Medieval Greek αγγούριον, angourion ← possibly Persian angārah
Nudnik A bore; a boring person
nudnik ← Polish nudny, "boring", nuda, "boredom"
Quartz A hard white or colorless mineral
Mid 18th century: from German Quarz, from Polish dialect kwardy, corresponding to standard Polish twardy 'hard'
Schav, schaf A
sorrel soup Yiddish שטשאַוו,
shtshav, "sorrel" ← Polish szczaw
Schlub, shlub A clumsy, stupid or unattractive person
zhlob or zhlub, "yokel", "boor" ← Polish żłób, "manger"
Schmatte, shmatte A rag
shmate ← Polish szmata
Schmuck, shmuck A clumsy or stupid person
shmok, vulgar for "penis" ← probably from Old Polish smok, "grass snake" or "dragon"
Uhlan, ulan A cavalryman
Uhlan ← Polish ułan ← Turkish oğlan, "boy" or "servant"
Derived from geographic names and ethnonyms [ edit ]
polonaise (in musical notation)
Italian alla polacca, "in the Polish manner, Polish style"
Bialy A flat, round baked roll or
bagel topped with onion flakes
Yiddish bialy ← short for bialystoker, "of Białystok", a town in north-eastern Poland
Cracovian A mathematical symbol used in cracovian calculus
krakowian ← Kraków, a city in southern Poland, former capital
Cracovienne, krakowiak A lively Polish folk dance
(danse) cracovienne, "Kraków (dance)", feminine of cracovien, "of Kraków"; Polish krakowiak, "inhabitant of Kraków"
MW: cracovienne, MW: krakowiak
Crackowe, cracowe, crakow, crakowe, A long, pointed shoe popular in the 14th-15th centuries
Middle English crakowe ← Cracow, the English name of Kraków
Czech Of or related to the
Czech Republic or its people Polish
Czech, "a Czech or Bohemian man" ← Czech Čech
Mazurka A Polish dance or a piece of music for such a dance
Russian мазурка, mazurka ← Polish (tańczyć) mazurka, "(to dance) the mazurka", accusative of mazurek ← diminutive of Mazur, "inhabitant of Masovia or Masuria", regions in north-eastern Poland
AHD, OED, SWO
Polack A Pole; formerly a neutral term, now considered offensive (see also
List of ethnic slurs) Polish
Polak, " Pole"
Polonaise A stately, marchlike Polish dance or a piece of music for such a dance
(danse) polonaise, "Polish (dance)", feminine of polonais, "Polish"
Polonaise A woman's overdress popular in the 18th century
(robe à la) polonaise, "Polish (style dress)", feminine of polonais, "Polish"
Sprinkled with browned butter and bread crumbs (of food, mostly vegetables)
polonaise, feminine of polonais, "Polish"
Polonium Chemical element with atomic number 84
Medieval Latin Polonia, "Poland"
Polska A Scandinavian folk dance or a piece of music for such a dance
Swedish polska ← feminine of polsk, "Polish"
Poulaine (The pointed toe of) a crackowe shoe (see above)
(soulier à la) poulaine, "Polish (style shoe)" ← feminine of poulain, "Polish"
Silesaurus An extinct genus of
dinosauriform reptiles from the Late Triassic Medieval Latin
← Polish Silesia Śląsk, a region in south-western Poland + Classical Greek saura, "lizard"
varsovienne A graceful dance similar to a mazurka
varsoviana ← feminine of varsoviano; French varsovienne ← feminine of varsovien; both from Medieval Latin varsovianus, "of Warsaw" (Polish: Warszawa), the capital city of Poland
References [ edit ]
See also [ edit ]