The first complete, reliable and easy to use etymological dictionary of the Polish language since the times of Aleksander Brueckner.
Visit any of its 800+ pages and 4,600 entries to learn about:
- meanings, structure and origin of words of contemporary Polish
- semantic and grammatical changes occurring in words over centuries
- sources of borrowings from foreign languages
- how words moved across Eurasia
- why language taboos come into being
- how word-formation processes are related to culture and civilization.
Wieslaw Borys's **dz:Słownik etymologiczny języka polskiego /Etymological Dictionary of the Polish Language** is both an impressive compendium of the Polish language for linguists and a fascinating read, full of linguistic curiosities and riddles, for all Polish language users.
We have long felt a need for an etymological dictionary of the Polish language that would reflect the contemporary status of knowledge and cater for the needs of a wide spectrum of readers. This gap has been splendidly filled by Professor Wieslaw Borys' work. It gives concise, accessible and precise information about the age, origin and changes of the form and meaning of some 4,600 words of contemporary Polish against a Slavic and Indo-European backdrop. It provides an invaluable insight into the history of the Polish language as well as culture and custom. (Professor Henryk Markiewicz, author of Skrzydlate slowa. Wielki slownik cytatow polskich i obcych).
10 reasons why Wieslaw Borys's Słownik etymologiczny języka polskiego should be on your bookshelf:
- Have you got any idea what 'biedronka' [ladybug] has in common with 'krowa' [cow] and zdrowie [health] with 'drzewo' [tree]?
- Do you know that the incorrect spelling of the word "halka" [slip] (with an "h") has been triggered by the popularity of Moniuszko's opera?'
- Do you believe feminists to be wrong in attacking the male-centered nature of the language? Well, the word "czlowiek" [human being] originally stood for a "meski czlonek rodu" [a male member of a family]...
- Guess which is the first day of the week, given that the names "czwartek" [Thursday], "wtorek" [Tuesday], "piatek" [Friday] suggest the precedence of Monday, while "sroda" [Wednesday] testifies to the counting of days from Saturday?
- Are you curious what was first: chicken or egg? Now it is clear: in Proto-Indo-European the word "jajo" [egg] was derived from the word "ptak"[bird].
- Do you agree that kobieta [the woman] is a mystery? You are bound to, for no linguist has yet come up with a convincing etymology of the word.
- "Nie mysl tyle bo zostaniesz mysliwym" [Don't think so much or you become a hunter]. Funny? Partly. In the old times hunting was considered an occupation that took brains and cunning. The word "mysliwy" [hunter] was actually derived from the verb "myslec" [think].
- "Nie wszystko zloto, co sie swieci" (All that glitters is not gold)? Well, it is! The core of the word "zloto" (gold) comes from the verb meaning "swiecic sie" (to glitter).
- Can kibic (a sports fan) be elegant? Must have been once, for this word used to describe an elegant person.
- Do you know that due to mistakes made by old Poles "pieg" [freckle] is a grammatically incorrect form? It should be "piega". Similarly, "szabla" [sabre] should be "sabla".
Do you find these questions intriguing? For answers, look up Wieslaw Borys's Słownik etymologiczny języka polskiego.
- Wiesław Boryś
Słownik etymologiczny języka polskiego /
Etymological Dictionary of the Polish Language
Wydawnictwo Literackie, Krakow
145 x 205, 862 pages, hardcover
Source of Polish version: www.wl.net.pl/ksiazka