Friday, November 22, 2013

Cutting Edge: Ciąć

The root "-ciąć" means "to cut."  There are several variations of this word, and most of them have pretty close-knit meanings; that is, the meanings of the derivative words don't seem to wander much from the main root, unlike with other Polish verbs.  The main distinguishing feature of this group of words seems to be the irregular present-tense conjugation:


This conjugation seems to follow all the "ciąć" words through the different variations with different prefixes.  On occasion, one might stumble upon the slangy imaginary infinitive "tnąć," which is an incorrect form of "ciąć" reverse engineered and bastardized from the irregular conjugation, though there does exist a participle "tnąc" (with no accent mark on the final consonant).

The words that end in the variation "-cinać" have a more regular "-am -asz" conjugation, for example:


The main word related to this root is:

ciąć, pociąć - to cut, to cut through, to clip, to chop, to hack

ciąć na kawałki - to cut into pieces
ciać na plastry - to cut into slices, to slice
ciać na kostkę - to cut into cubes, to dice
ciąć się o coś - to fight over something

docinać, dociąć - to cut (all the way) through, to cut extra, to cut to fit; to taunt

docinek - taunt (noun)

nacinać, naciąć - to cut down

nadcinać, nadciąć - to nick, to score

nadcięcie - (surgical) incision; nick, notch (noun)

obcinać, obciąć - to cut, to clip

obcinać włosy - to have one's hair cut
obcinać paznokcie - to cut one's nails

odcinać, odciąć - to cut off, to chop off, to cut away

pociąć - to cut up, to chop, to shred; to incise

podcinać, podciąć - to trim, to prune, to clip

podcinać komuś nogi - to trip somebody (up)
podcinać/podciąć sobie żyły - to slit one's wrists
podciąć skrzydła - to take the wind out of somebody’s sails

przecinać, przeciąć - to cut, to slice; to cut short, to interrupt

przeciąć sobie palec - to cut one's finger
przeciąć wstęgę - to cut a ribbon
przeciąc zakład - to close a bet
przecinać na pół - to cut in half
przecinać ciszę - to break silence
przecinać kłótnie - to interrupt an argument

przecinek - comma (noun)

przycinać, przyciąć - to trim, to crop; to catch

przycinać na wymiar - to trim down to size
przycinać drzewa/krzewy - to prune trees/bushes
przyciąć sobie język - to bite one's tongue

przycinanie - pruning (noun)

rozcinać, rozciąć - to cut, to cleave, to sever

rozcięcie - dissection, slit; vent (noun)

ścinać, ściąć - to cut off, to fell (tree); to smash (ball in sports); to coagulate

ścinać zakręty - to cut corners
ściąć żniwa - to cut down the harvest
ściąć się - to flunk

ucinać, uciąć - to break off, to cut short; to have, to do

ucinać/uciąć sobie drzemkę - to take a nap

wcinać, wciąć - to cut into

wcięcie - indenture, notch (noun)

wycinać, wyciąć - to cut out

zacinać, zaciąć - to cut; to whip, to lash; to clench, to set; to jam

zacinać się, zaciać się - to cut oneself; to be stuck; to persist; to stammer
Coś się zacięło - Something got stuck

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cursing In Polish

Probably some of the most important words you can learn in any language (after you learn where you can run off to when you are doing the pee dance, and where you can get something to eat that is not currently squirming) are swear words.  Expressing frustration, anger, ridicule and disgust are important parts of creating shades of meaning, and Polish seems to be especially expressive in this regard, next to maybe Russian.  The Polish nation has been through a wide range of historically frustrating experiences (to put it mildly), and this has colored the vernacular with a wide palette.

One site that has a plethora of cussage is "YouSwear" which has a number of Polish curse words, among other languages (curiously enough, they also have curse words in "Chicken").  There is also the Toolpaq Guide To Polish Curse Words as well, which is more systematic and discriminating in its treatment.  Another list is on Nawcon, which has a page called "Polish Language Swearing."

A site that is not quite as comprehensive is the "Cursing And Swearing Dictionary," which, nonetheless, seems to cover some of the basics.  There is another short list on, and a short blog post on Transparent, which discusses usage somewhat but not nearly enough.  Also, there are some words on Memrise, but you can only see five words a page and there are a total of twenty.

Doubtless there are other sites out there as well...let me know if you find the gold mine.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Just Had To Remove A Link To An Infected Site

I just had to remove a link in my list of language learning blogs to a site that is apparently infected with malware.  It was called speakingadventure-dot-com (it's spelled out...DON'T GO THERE!!!).  I did not click on the link at any time after that site was compromised so I doubt I was infected.  The link had been on there for quite some time but the site must have recently gotten infected as Google Chrome would no longer let me on my blog site and gave a malware warning about content from this other site.

Though I could not get to my blog at all, I could get to the maintenance pages, and I just searched all the gadgets for any trace of the site that Chrome was telling me harbored the infection.  And, bingo, I found a link to it and just deleted it, resolving the problem in less than ten minutes after getting the warning and being blocked from my site.

So keep in mind that at any moment, any link that you have posted on your site could become infected somehow.  Or, even worse, someone could hack into your site and it could become infected as well.  Sobering thought.

Whew...I'm glad it was not something more involved, and I'm glad I figured it out quickly.