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Why do Polish people say “kurwa” all the time?

15 Why do Polish people say "kurwa" all the time?

15 Why do Polish people say “kurwa” all the time?

Glad you asked, but… the same I can ask English speakers: Why do you use “fuck” and its derivatives so often? “Kurwa” is the most popular Polish curse, which is very universal as it can be used in many different contexts and meanings:

  • Simple curse: O, kurwa! (Oh, fuck!),
  • the general expression of frustration: Kurwa! (Fuck!),
  • interjection: Byłem, kurwa, wczoraj… (something like: I was fucking yesterday…),
  • invective (usually to women): Ty stara kurwo! (You old fuck (whore)!),
  • the emphasis on the negative mental state: No, I co ty, kurwa, robust? (What are you fucking doing?),
  • and in its basic dictionary meaning (= whore): Ta laska to zwykła kurwa. (This chick is a whore.).

Notice the same phenomenon goes for the English fuck and its derivatives.

However, though I can agree that “kurwa” is the most famous curse, I must strongly underline that—unfortunately, in contrast to English—the Polish language is extremely rich in offensive vocabulary, curses, and abuses with a significant amount of synonyms (of different origins/etymology).

Let me demonstrate it on a few examples:

  • English: fucking
  • Polish: pierdolony, pieprzony, jebany, zasrany, kurewski, skurwysyński…
  • English: fucked up
  • Polish: pojebany, jebnięty, popierdolony, popieprzony, pokurwiony, spierdolony, zjebany…
  • English: fuck, screw (to have sex)
  • Polish: jebać, pierdolić, pieprzyć, ruchać, bałamucić, chędożyć, zapinać, bzykać, ujeżdżać, walić, rżnąć, żądlić…
  • English: dirty (you don’t have specific vulgar synonyms, do you?)
  • Polish: ujebany, upierdolony, ukurwiony, uwalony…
  • English: as fuck
  • Polish: zajebiście, kurewsko, w chuj…

And so on, and so on. I am conscious that English has a lot of slang words I’m not familiar with, but as a Pole, I’m incredibly proud of the Polish heritage of vulgar words.

You know, it’s so fascinating to watch English subtitles, converting Polish wealth like: “Jebany skurwiel pierdoli ją ostro w chuj” into poverty like: “Fucking motherfucker fucks her hard as fuck”.

Why do Polish people say “kurwa” all the time?

Polish people say ‘kurwa’ all the time for the same reason English people say ‘fuck’ all the time.

Every country has its own ‘main’ swear word, the most common one. It’s just a case of what it is.

Why do Polish people say “kurwa” all the time?

KURWA in Polish is like a Comma for us 😉

KURWA means FUCK in English (but not that Fuck to Fuck Someone in Pussy or Ass), but it means a “Comma” or an expression, for example:

You were walking and bird poop on your new jacket – you will say: FUCK! This fucking bird pooped on me! – in the Polish language, this sentence will look like KURWA! Ten pierdolony ptak obsrał mnie!

Or a situation like this: you were walking in your room, and you hit the little toe in the corner of the bed and felt a great pain – you will say in this situation: FUCK! MY TOE! IT HURTS SO MUCH! FUCK! – in the Polish language, this sentence will look like KURWA! Mój palec! Tak bardzo boli! KURWA MAĆ!

I hope you understand what KURWA often means in our Polish language. This word – KURWA – is very often used to show expression – often an aggressive expression of something terrible happened to us.

But KURWA in Polish means also WHORE or BITCH.

For example: Call for bitches, let’s get fuck! – in Polish: Zadzwoń po kurwy! Będziemy się jebać!

Why do Polish people say “kurwa” all the time?

I’d say it’s used like when you say f**k or s**t when something goes wrong, f***ing when you’d randomly insert it into a sentence when you’re angry; in Polish, you say ‘o kurwa.’ It can also mean ‘its/that’s amazing!’, it can mean oh no, can mean omg or it directly translates as wh*re/ prostitute. These are just some of the ways it’s used, and if you go to Poland, you’d probably hear it everywhere…unless you’ve already been and noticed it like that!

Why is “Kurwa” a popular word in Polish?

It is Hungarian borrowing meaning “whore,” but some Polish people with low personal culture use it to emphasize something in their speech. It is sad but true. In that case, it is as offensive as the English word fuck. Yet, if said directly to someone, it is very offensive.

Why do Polish people say “kurwa” all the time?

Oh, and not only Polish but also Czechs and Slovaks use this word often. Maybe other Slavic nations, too. I am not sure. It is probably the most used swear word around the place, and it has many uses, like “f*ck” in English.

Back in the day, kur*a meant “prostitute” (a name of the trade, one of those names to be exact) or simply any woman with questionable morals. Later, it turned into a simple swear word with many uses.

Example: You hit your toe = Kur*a!, Your woman cheated on you = That filthy kur*a!

Not to mention that, at least in my language, it has variables; you can also use it as an adjective.

Example: Life is hard = Skur*ený/Pokur*vený life!

You can also say kur*afix! Which is the same, but it cannot be used on women anymore. Only as a swear, in cases, something backfires or you hit something.

But you can also use it as an expression of positive emotion.

Example: Something is tasty = It was kure*sky delicious. Or kur*va, that was great food!

The simple answer is that it is used like English *f*ck* but with a bit wider meaning. Imagine using the word “slut” all the time, lol. With harmful and positive emotions behind the word.

Why do Polish people say “kurwa” all the time?

No, they don’t. Well, some of them do. Avoid such people if you can.

It means “a whore”, but used in everyday speech, it is perhaps the most vulgar and obscene curse in the Polish language.

Why do Polish people say “kurwa” all the time?

This is a good question. Why do English-speaking people use F***k all the time? 🙂

Kurwa – actually means Whore/slut, but it’s used commonly as English people use the F***k


  1. Oh F***k! – oh kurwa
  2. You whore! – ty Kuro
  3. You are such a slut – Ale ty jesteś kurwa.

2 and 3 will usually be used in an argument between men and female.

Why do Polish people say “kurwa” all the time?

the correct answer is because of a lack of verbal skills

that’s precisely why people operating in English are using “fuck”

Not only Poles are using “kurwa” – it’s also used in Russia, Ukraine

of course, it also expresses some emotion, so sometimes (as also “fuck”) it’s justified, but mostly “kurwa,” “fuck” or “scheisse” are used because of poor language skills

Yes, indeed, Poles are unfortunately overused “kurwa” and other swear words, and it is also true they generally have problems with the descriptive function of the communication.

Why is “Kurwa” a popular word in Polish?

Two previous answers explained the word’s meaning, so that I won’t get into that. What they got wrong, though, at least for Poland, is that only low-class people use it. Incorrect, everybody and their momma use it.

Now, the frequency or extent to which someone uses the word in public is another story, but there are no saints here. Also, it’s not a myth that some use the word as a comma.

As for its popularity, well, it’s one of the most potent words in Polish; although you can certainly create descriptive strings of profanities that would make Satan blush, it simply rolls off the tongue nicely and allows you to easily let off some of that steam our daily lives make us build up inside. It’s been scientifically proven that swearing alleviates pain.

Why do Polish people say “kurwa” all the time?

I have heard for 40 years that “kurwa” is still the most popular word in Polish heard on the streets …

#1 The most common “Kurwa” meaning is mainly used to add more expression/power dynamic to what people say in a simple way that 50% of Poland will understand as funny and smile to You, and the other 50% will be disgusted by.

In Poland, the judgment (funny/disgusting) is strongly biased upon personal likes or dislikes toward the speaker and also the mood changing day by day.

So even somebody who is usually very disgusted by “kurwa” can do You some favor and smile at Your “Kurwa” if he/she likes You.

#2 is “Kurwa of Frustration,” expressed when angry, pissed off, or frustrated – the 2nd most popular use.

Why do Polish people say “kurwa” all the time?

kurva! is a Polish equivalent to:

  1. Damn it!
  2. fuck!
  3. What the fuck/hell!
  4. Holy crap!
  5. Shit!

Looks like the English language has had better developments in that same direction.

1/5 it’s quite a big difference.

But in an old-fashioned Polish dialect that many Polish citizens of Lithuania still speak, kurva is rarely used in that manner. It’s used as an equivalent to slut, bitch, whore, and similar… Because the Russian words have already been adopted and well accepted for replacing the Polish word kurva.

Some Polish find it cool and fashionable to use this word whenever possible.

So sometimes they might ask you:

  1. “Co ty kurwa tutaj robisz?” – What the fuck are you doing here?
  2. “Co ty kurwa sobie myślisz?” – What the fuck are you thinking?
  3. “Co to kurwa jest?” – What the fuck is this?

Some more excellent Polish alternatives to kurva are “kurde” and “kurczę”. But these are less common.

How do you say yes in Polish?

TAK is a short and both formal and informal answer.

You could throw in some other words like “dziękuję” or “poproszę”(thank you, please), although it depends on the question asked. For example:

Q: Czy lubisz koty ? (Do you like cats?)

A: Tak.

Q: Napijesz się herbaty?(Would you like some tea?)

A: Tak, poproszę.

Q: Ten rysunek jest piękny, czy ty go zrobiłaś?(This drawing is beautiful did you do it yourself?)

A: Tak, dziękuję.

Apart from TAK, you can use the words NO (pronounced like French or Italian “no”) or NOM only in informal conversation.

Do Polish people react negatively when foreigners try to speak Polish?

Most Polish people will react very positively and probably compliment foreigners for trying. We know that Polish is very hard for foreigners (grammar and pronunciation), and on top of that, Polish is only beneficial in Poland. So whenever someone even tries, we’re delighted.

Just be aware that if you hear a compliment that “your Polish is excellent,” that means “very good compared to foreigners who don’t know Polish at all,” not “you sound like a Pole.” It’s practically impossible for a person not raised in Poland to speak like a Pole. Even Poles who grew up in Poland and then lived in another country for several years can sometimes gain a slightly foreign accent while speaking Polish.

Is “kurwa” a ubiquitous word in the Polish spoken language? I googled what it means, and it seems strange that my Polish neighbor uses it in every second sentence.

Your neighbor is simply an extremely vulgar man. The word is a curse word, and its frequency in a person’s speech is based solely on how polite the person is. Just like with anglophones or users of any other language, you have people who speak with class, and you have complete potty mouths. You have the misfortune of living next to one of the latter.

Are Irish people unfriendly towards Polish people?

I’ve been living in Ireland for over five years, and all the Irish people I’ve met were very nice to me. I studied at the Dublin Institute of Technology and worked in two IT companies. I made friends from a lot of countries. I’ve never felt any hostility because of my nationality.

That said, many Poles who came here did so for desperation and economic reasons. Their situation in Poland was poor, so they temporarily moved to Ireland, sometimes leaving their families behind. Many of them were happy enough to take a minimal-wage job, which the lower classes in all countries take as “they’re stealing our jobs.” Due to the size of the Polish diaspora here, some Poles didn’t need to integrate with the rest of the community and stuck to other Poles, sometimes without even learning good English. They lived in specific isolation. Many of them managed to break out of that bubble, get better jobs, and make more local friends, but not all.

The friendlier, more educated/skilled, and willing to integrate with the community you are, the friendlier everyone will be to you. This is universally true across all of Europe. It will depend on who you are, but in general, I think it’s wrong to say, “Irish don’t like Polish.” I would recommend this country as a destination.

Is the word curvă (kurwa) in Romanian used the same way as Polish?

Let me have a swing at this…

While, indeed, kurwa and curvă can be translated with each other, especially in a word-for-word translation, I think Romanians use different words for “fluent” cursing. I don’t think “curvă” is used as often while cursing as the Polish would use kurwa.

Depending on the area and personal liking, the most commonly spread way of cursing in Romanian and using foul language in general usually revolves around the genital area, both male and female and some equivalents of “Fuck”.

When depicting a shitty situation that does not involve a female person, other words will be used to “colorize” the language. We tend to use curvă and its synonyms when referring to women of low morals, cheaters, or a woman who has done wrong, regardless of the nature of the wrong. But this is just my perception from my tiny corner in North East Romania.

My favorite go-to curse words (and by all means, this is not an exhaustive list) for Romania are:

  • Pulă (meaning dick, or cock, or penis) with its myriad of derivatives;
  • Pizdă (pussy, or vagina) again with its various derivatives;
  • Coaie (balls or testicles);
  • the various forms of “a future,” which means “to fuck”;

With these basic building blocks, you can curse quite well, get out any steam you may have accumulated or let the other know they really fucked up, or they’ll soon be fucked-up. Sure, as most people, we can be pretty inventive at cursing. But I stand by my idea that we have different go-to words for cursing than the Polish.

Edit: We also share this thing of using slang words among best friends.

Just like an Irishman would greet his best friends with a loud “Oi there you cunt!” (I’m not Irish, nor do I speak properly “Irish” so I stand to be corrected here), a Romanian would greet his friends from “the hood” with a loud “Ce face coaie!” (roughly translated with “How’s it going, testicles!”).

Do Polish people who speak English think in the Polish language?

I had an interesting conversation with my girlfriend about this recently, who is Polish-born and speaks both English and Polish fluently.

She answered that she thinks in Polish when speaking to Polish people, reading Polish, etc.; when speaking English, she will think in English.

She told me that if she dreams of me (I’m English), she will have a dream in English, but if she dreams of her parents, the dream will be in Polish. So, I’d say the answer is fluent bilinguals can think in all languages they speak.

Another thing is that just because you’re fluent in one language, it doesn’t mean you always know the word you’re looking for. My brother-in-law (Again, Polish-born) recently completed a Master’s in physics at a UK university. Although he is a native Polish speaker, he was taught physics in English and found it a lot easier to explain his thesis to me in English than to his parents in Polish.

My girlfriend commented how her Polish had gotten worse since she moved out and stopped speaking it so regularly. If we go to her parents, it takes her a little time to get used to speaking in Polish again.

The brain is incredibly adaptable and can quickly think in two languages. You may not see this when you first try to learn a language and have to decode every foreign word, but for fluent bilinguals, this happens as automatically as your native language.

Do Polish people say “czesc” instead of “dzień dobry”? If so, why? 2024

Poles frequently use “hi/hello – czesc” instead of the more formal “Good Morning/Afternoon – Dzien Dobry” (literally means Good Day; Poles skip the afternoon greeting). The use of both is, however, somehow conditional. There are some social rules of when you could use it interchangeably and some situations/encounters when you will never think of switching those.

So there are certain cases when we should use the formal form (incl. Dobry Wieczor/Good Evening roughly after 6 P.M.) and never switch it to “Czesc” (with no exceptions):

  • It is generally considered “polite” to tell Dzien Dobry aloud when entering public spaces filled with people we don’t know – e.g., medical waiting rooms, administration waiting rooms, some official/professional training & courses, etc. (generally places where we will spend some time with strangers with whom we have a “similar goal” in common that led us there in the first place). You may otherwise decide to remain silent, but this may not be nice. Saying “Czesc” would be considered inappropriate.
  • When you start a conversation with a stranger whose age is uncertain, it is always better to use the formal version.
  • When an older person approaches a younger one for the first time (this does not apply to kids) – it is also better to start it formally. However, using “czesc” by the elderly person instead of the formal “dzień Dobry” will have lesser or generally no consequences. 🙂
  • When you encounter someone on business or relatively official matters (clerk, doctor, salesperson, etc.). Also, when you approach the restaurant receptionist. Does not apply to the situation when you encounter someone you know very well (e.g., a good colleague, friend, or family member).
  • If the person with whom you start a conversation is older and he or she is not your grandparent, you should use “Dzien Dobry” as a token of respect (at all times). There is one exception, but I will discuss it below (*).
  • When the person is of highly respectable social status or comes with authority, e.g., policeman, judge, your school/academic teacher/promotor (also after graduation), your kid’s teacher, president, prime minister, ambassador, etc., you should start with the more formal and polite “Dzien Dobry.” Again, each one of those people can be your friend, but it is advisable to avoid “Czesc” when there are more people in the room.
  • When presenting – when we don’t know the audience personally

In other life situations, there is no difference if you decide to stay with Good Day/Good Evening or Hi. It applies to:

  • Co-workers at the same level but most of the time also direct supervisor/employee relation. (Exception: Your direct supervisor may still be a prime minister or feel superior and want to keep the distance between you. So unless you want to step on his foot, it is wise to follow the official greeting).
  • There is a progressing trend in Poland as the country has been under strong “Westernisation” since 1990 – to skip the typical “Polish protocol” when addressing older people. It is obvious and often promoted within corporations’ work environments. I had the doubtful “pleasure” to observe it for some time, and I can tell it is not for everyone (both sides). It can lead to situations when younger and relatively inexperienced people address older people without a typical “Pan/Pani – Mr/Mrs.” It also applies to the “Dzien Dobry/Czesc” situation. It’s pretty controversial for me, and I would still wait for the verbal incentive from the person even to consider it. Even though it is allowed in some places – I consider it rude and stupid.
  • (*) You can use informal “czesc” when addressing an older person when he or she wants you to do it (however, some people may have a problem with that – myself included).
  • Family members and friends encounters.
  • Informal situations when people of the same age are involved (e.g., yoga class, fitness).
  • When an older person addresses a younger person.
  • Small Kids (up to 4–5 y.o.) addressing kids, teens, and adults – we all know this is an element tough to control, and in Poland, most, if not all, the people understand that. 🙂

A couple of exceptions…

  • R.C. Churches and associated personnel (Priests) may (most of the time) address other human beings in their way. :). It means some of the above rules may not work, e.g., they may openly or secretly (you will tangibly feel they are not content :)) encourage you to address them “Szczesc Boze / God bless you “ or “Niech bedzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus / May be praised the name of Jesus Christ” instead of Dzien Dobry. And “czesc” may be considered rude and offensive (of course, it does not apply to family members, friends, etc. – I guess). I don’t say it is good or bad – all I’m saying is, “It may just be a completely different experience.”
  • Some people may start the phone call by saying the word “Halo” before coming to the usual “Dzien Dobry” (“Halo, dzien dobry” or “Halo, czesc”) – I find it a relict of times. I’m not sure if it was part of usual etiquette or if the quality of the phone calls was so questionable people were using this “call” to check if there was a soul on the other side of the line. The rest of the rules will remain the same.

Overall, it is not much off compared to the rest of Europe.

What do the Polish think of the Germans?

Which Germans? Do you mean cosmopolitan Berlin hipsters? Hanover BMW factory workers? Dresden skinheads?

To me, it’s a nation like any other, full of lots of great people, lots of ordinary people, and a couple of assholes. Excellent infrastructure, though.

Are Polish people unfriendly?

Polish are friendly, but it will take time for Polish people to trust and get comfortable with you.

Once you get to know a Polish person, they are extremely friendly and easygoing.

I always have a theory that Polish people have two personas:

Public persona: reserved, bit distance

Private persona: emotional, friendly, warm

Again, that is just my opinion

15 Why do Polish people say “kurwa” all the time?

Do Polish people hate Asians and Blacks?

As a Vietnamese, I can’t speak for other Asians and Blacks. But from my observation, most Poles have a neutral to positive view toward Vietnamese. Compared to the Middle Easterners or South Asians, for instance, we are indeed viewed much more favorably. Why?

Well, Vietnamese are the biggest non-European community in Poland, with estimates at about 30,000–60,000 people. There were two big waves of Vietnamese immigration to Poland. The first way was from the 1950s when both countries were in the USSR’s camp in the Cold War. Thousands of Vietnamese were sent to Poland by the state to study and work there. The second and more enormous wave was after the 1990s when Poland and Vietnam began to open up their economy, and thousands of Vietnamese emigrated to find better career opportunities and a better life. My aunt was one of those immigrants during the second wave. She has lived with her children for 20 years in Warsaw after divorcing her ex-husband. Not only in Poland, the Vietnamese diaspora is also influential in Russia, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic, all ex-communist Eastern European countries.

Vietnamese restaurants in Szczecin, Poland

But this is the most important thing that sets us Viets apart from, say, the recently arrived Middle Easterners. The Poles generally perceive Vietnamese to be hard-working, law-abiding, excel academically, and keep our culture to themselves. You will never see a Vietnamese person yelling at the authorities of the host country and demanding they accommodate us. Instead, we try our best to adapt, integrate, and make our community an asset to the host country.

(A Vietnamese Buddhist temple in Poland)

The second-generation Vietnamese Poles are well-integrated into Polish society yet keep their ancestral roots. Given Poland’s reputation for being a homogenous nation not very friendly to foreigners, the Vietnamese have done an excellent job. We are considered to be the “model immigrant community” by the natives in other European countries as well.

Moreover, the Vietnamese community in Poland knows how to promote itself. Numerous cultural festivals are held by the community each year and are well attended by Polish people. For example, the Vietnamese organize cultural festivals in Poland to show our gratitude to the host country: 

According to anecdotal evidence, incidents of xenophobia and discrimination against Vietnamese in Poland are virtually unheard of. My aunt and her family members are doing well there. Their children are Polish citizens and face no trouble at public schools. Nobody’s going to vandalize their properties.

Thanks to my work, I had the chance to meet and befriend a lovely Polish gentleman. We get along well; he even invited me to visit Szczecin, where he lives. So far, my perception of and experience with Poland and its people has been positive.

Thank you, Poland, for welcoming and accepting our people during the hard times in the past. You are held in high regard here in Vietnam.

Bonus: It’s also noteworthy that Vietnamese and Polish history share a similar pattern: our relentless struggle against foreign invaders for national liberation and independence. I heard Vietnamese have even nicknamed “the Poles of Asia.” The Poles who know history well and have contact with our people may consider Vietnam, a distant brother in Asia.

More insight into Vietnamese people in Poland: Vietnamese and pleased to be Polish.

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