10 Polish Words that Sound Like English Words but Mean Totally Different Things

I recently saw a great article where the author showcased 10 words that look the same in Polish and English but mean something totally different. Click here to read it.

Anyway, that article inspired me to do a list of Polish words that sound like English words when you say them, but mean something totally different. Check them out!

Polish problems1. Stól (Pronounced STOOL):
Stoł means table in Polish, but it sounds like the stuff you find in your toilet bowl. So never ask a Pole for stool samples, unless you hired a truck to carry all the free tables you’ll get.

2. Los (Pronounced LOSS):

Los means fate in Polish, but it sounds like loss when pronounced. Actually, the Poles pronounce los slightly more delicately than English-speakers would pronounce loss.

3. Syn (Pronounced SIN):

In Polish, syn means son, but it sounds like sin when you say it. Does this mean that Poles prefer their daughters? :o)

4. Ryć (Pronounced RICH):

This Polish word, meaning to dig, engrave, or burrow sounds like rich in English. I thought of a rich guy burying all his money when I discovered this comparison.

"Raj" Bread

“Raj” Bread

5. Raj (Pronounced RYE):

Raj is the Polish word for paradise, but it sounds like rye, as in rye bread. Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase  “the bread that comes down from heaven.”

6. Mak (Pronounced MOCK)

Mak refers to poppy seed in Polish, but it sounds like mock in English. I always knew those poppy seeds had a derisive air about them.

7. Lis (Pronounced LEASE):

If you say “I want to take out a lease” in Poland, they might give you a little brown, furry animal because lis means fox in Polish.

8. Typ (Pronounced TIP):

In Polish, typ means type. The two look similar, minus the “e,” but typ sounds like tip in English. I don’t even know if there is a word for tip in Polish based off my conversations with Polish servers ;P

9. PIS (Pronounced PEACE):

This isn’t a word, but an acronym for a major Polish political party (Law and Justice). I have no idea how peaceful that party is, but PIS sounds like peace in English.

10. Być (Pronounced B**ch):

I’m trying to run a clean blog here, but the Polish language isn’t letting me. Anyway, być means to be in English. This is always the most awkward word to say in Polish around other Americans. I always feel like I’m cussing, but I’m not…er…that means I am, but I don’t mean to be….sigh….

Any others? Share in the comments!!!

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5 thoughts on “10 Polish Words that Sound Like English Words but Mean Totally Different Things

  1. PiS is the second largest political party. We have 2 really strong political parties: PO and PiS. PiS means Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (bullshit 😉 I think “być” is much softer than b**ch. I’d love to concentrate on pronunciation with you. 😉

    The words that come on mind are: 1) Pan ENG. sth what is used for cooking; PL. is used when you talk about someone – means “Mr”, like Pan Adam Nowak – Mr Adam Nowak;
    2) Most – ENG: the majority of sth; PL: bridge 😀

    I enjoy the picture about paradise/raj – Polish bread! Hahahaha, that’s so true! British/American bread is like a sponge. I hate toast bread. I’ve bough a loaf of bread in Poland and brought it to the UK recently. It’s in the freezer now. 🙂

    All the best,
    ~K.

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  2. There are false similarities like this between many languages. For example, the casual French word for “university” is “fac” (short for “faculte”, but to English speakers it sounds exactly like “fu*k. There are also many very interesting and often tricky false similarities between Czech and Polish. For example, the Polish word for Miss is “panna”, which in Czech means virgin. So every unmarried Czech woman is in Poland automatically a virgin.

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