Introduction to Polish Vodka: Dictionary of the Most Common Phrases

Vodka is an inseparable part of the Polish culture and it plays a significant role in social life in Poland. Drinking vodka is followed also by many habits, toasts, and vocabulary.
In order to bring you closer polish vodka culture, I’ve prepared short dictionary that explains the commonly used phrases that Poles say while they drink. These phrases might be very useful when you are guessed by Polish family or when you ever join Polish wedding. It can help you get connected with non-English speaker Polish people. It has been tested by Göksel and we can ensure you that it works :)


Polish vodka



  •  biesiada- feast
  •  rozchodniaczek- the last shot having before leaving
  •  małpka- little monkey- the name for small bottles of vodka (50-150 ml)
  •  czysta- clear- the name of pure vodka
  • po maluchu- drinking little one ( a little glass of vodka)
  •  z gwinta- drinking straight from the bottle
  •  wypić brudzia- form germ. Bruderschaft – eng. Brotherhood; drinking a shot of vodka to make a friend or to reduce the distance between people


  • Do dna!- To the bottom! - in Poland vodka is drunk in one gulp to the bottom.
  • Na zdrowie!-  For the health!- the most common toast in Poland, as well in other Slavic countries. It’s worth to remember- will be very useful while you travel through the Eastern Europe.
  • Gorzko! – Bitterly!- you may hear it often on polish wedding- People shout: gorzko, gorzko- they mean that vodka is too bitter and newlyweds have to make it sweeter by kissing each other.
  • Chluśniem, bo uśniem- Let’s drink, otherwise we will sleep
  • Cyk, jak powiedział budzik do zegara- Tick, like alarm clock, ays to the watch
  • Rybka lubi pływać- Fish likes swimming. It refers to herring- very often snack eating while drinking vodka. 
  •  Polak nie kaktus, pić musi- Pole is not a cactus, he has to drink
  •  Za tych, którzy nie mogą- For those, who cannot (drink)
  •  Na zdrowie, bo na rozum już za późno- For the health, because for the mind it’s too late

Many of phrases don’t sound good in English at all, but believe me- it’s very funny in Polish. I’m sure that if you quote some of the on any polish party, the Poles will be overjoyed. If you want to learn more about polish vodka culture or you are too afraid to start this adventure alone- book our vodka tour in either Krakow or Wroclaw. With us you will discover all secrets of polish vodka and will be able to join any Polish feast without fear :)


We are Delicious Poland. We run food tour, vodka tour and craft beer tour in Krakow, Wroclaw and Warsaw.