Polish word, idioms and slang for the word lame

One of my favorite words in English is the word ‘lame’. However, for many years I thought there was no good translation for this word as when I watched films in Polish they always translated it as ‘słabo’. This means weak.  However, if you say a movie is weak it does not have the same linguistic impact as lame. Lame is a bit slangy, but really conveys the message.

Słabo or za słabo (too weak) is OK but I found a better Polish word. Here is how it happened.

One day I was watching a program on Polish TV. It is called Kiepski. It is about this couple who lives in a block of flats. It is kind of like the old show with Jackie Gleason called the honeymooners. Well I have watched this show for years and I have only made the connection recently. That is, the guys last name Kiepski means lame.

Polish idiom slang word kiepski

The Polish word Kiepski is also the title of Polish TV show. Andrzej Grabowski plays on the Polsat series called Kiepski.

It happened because I actually asked my wife for what it means and she made the connection. It’s funny how many times I do the same for her in English. There is an English word and she asks me what it means and when I think about it, I find a root word or hidden meaning to a word I had used in English for many years.

This is one of the advantages of living in a bilingual home. It opens doors and ways of thinking that could not be done by simply reading a book. If you marry a Polish guy or girl consider yourself lucky in love and in life.

Uses of this Polish idiom

You can say a date or a film or a book or a person is kind of ‘kiepski’. This is now one of my favorite words in Polish.

Kiepski żart (lame joke) or kiepski humor (which means lame moody). Kiepsko u mnie (I am short in money or better yet ‘I am broke or do not have the ducats’ Kiepski z językami (I am not good with languages). Kiepski kucharz (lame cook).  You can have  kiepski smak (lame taste) or a really lame boring day – kiepski dzień.  If you are a Polish native speaker let me know if you have some more idioms like this. I do not want to write a kiespki post.

Although I have a Polish grammar site one of the basic pillars of my philosophy is to learn Polish by accumulating a massive database of words in your memory.

I like to convey these types of idioms as it is not something you would find in a dictionary or electronic translator. It is something that you pick up when you live in Poland. If you were to pull this Polish word out in the right situations you would your Polish would be ‘czadowy’ (that means ‘with smoke’, which is slang for amazing in Polish).