MIESIĄCE W POLSKIM KALENDARZU – ORIGINS AND MEANING OF POLISH NAMES OF THE MONTHS

Posted on Posted in Beginners, Intermediate, Upper Beginners

Many students struggle to remember names of the months in Polish as they sound nothing like in any European language. We didn’t adopt Roman names, like many other countries. Polish names of the months are related to the farmer’s calendar through the year and changes of the seasons.

 

Learn the meaning of the names:

 

styczeń – from the verb stykać (to meet, to abut); that’s the time when the old year meets the new year
luty – from the Old-Polish adjective luty (frosty, freezing)
marzec – the origin is not clear could be from the verb marznąć (to get cold) as it is still a winter time or from the verb rozmarzać (to defrost) as the first signs of spring appear then
kwiecień – from the word kwiat (flower), the time when flowers bloom
maj – from the name of Roman goddess Maia who embodies concept of growth
czerwiec – from the word czerwony (red) as in this months fields get red from the blooming poppies or from the word czerw, which describes a larve of a bee. People used to pick the larves up, dry them and use to produce a red pigment
lipiec – from the name of the tree that blooms in this month – lipa (linden)
sierpień – from the name of a tool sierp (sickle) used for cutting the hay or grass
wrzesień – from the name of the plant ‘wrzos’ (heather) that blooms beautifully in this month
październik – from the word paździerz (wooden dry parts remained after flaxing) in the past in that time of the year people make clothes and the wooden waste could be seen all over the fields
listopad – from the words liście (leaves) and padać (to fall); the time when the leaves fall
grudzień – from the word gruda (frozen and hardened piece of the ground)

 

On culture.polishsite.us you may read: some of the months names are similar to several Slavic lanuages for instance ‘listopad’, which is 11th month, has the same name for October in Croatian and Slovenian and November in Czech. The most similarities are between Polish and Czech languages. In Czech ‘kveten’ is the fifth month but its name resembles Polish April’s name – ‘kwiecień’, ‘cerven’ for Czech May is similar to Polish ‘czerwiec’ for June and ‘srpen’ to Polish August (sierpień).

Let’s practise some grammar

Complete the exercise and learn names of the months in miejscownik (locative)

If the exercise doesn’t work you may find it here

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2 thoughts on “MIESIĄCE W POLSKIM KALENDARZU – ORIGINS AND MEANING OF POLISH NAMES OF THE MONTHS

  1. Talked to my mother in polish in New Zealand but never learned to read and write. But finally made out the words and got it right. Thanks for the lesson. Helena

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