Unpronounceable Polish word of the week – can you?

September 9, 2017 | Traditions and Culture

Krnąbrny

So my friend has just described her child’s behaviour in this way. When you can mould your mouth around its consonants, it means:

rebellious, defiant, incalcitrant, stubborn and generally unwilling to wield to someone else’s influence.

Even better:  a „krnąbrna” odpowiedź is a purposefully contradicting answer.

And just to demonstrate how Poles absolutely love to discuss everything, there are over 20 comments on the dictionary definition of this word. For instance, some argue the difference in the definitions are that:

uparty (stubborn) is a closed word – I have decided and that’s that

przekorny (contrary) – I don’t necessarily believe in what I’ve said

and  krnąbrny (rebellious) – I believe in what I’ve said but you can still convince me!

Yet for others krnąbrność can indicate a collaborative nature and people think this shouldn’t be a negative description. Perhaps  depending on the authority in question, this could be a positive reaction – think WWII sabotage. And on that note, with such subtle differences of definition, here’s an opinion on these descriptions!

 

Blog image by Michał Parzuchowski, featuring a child in Sopot, Poland

Add a comment

Related Blogs

Posted by Anna Kucewicz | May 28, 2021
Artist Jan Matejko – putting Poland on the map
The portrait of Jan Matejko’s “Copernicus: Conversations with God” recently arrived at the National Gallery in London. It is the first work of a Polish artist to be on show there and...
Posted by Anna Kucewicz | November 2, 2020
An All Souls’ walk through Polish cemeteries
Saunter with me through some of the famous Polish cemeteries I've visited through the years, within and outside Poland's boundaries.  Poland's All Saints Day on 1st November is a national...
Posted by Anna Kucewicz | October 10, 2020
What links our “dożynki”- harvest dances with harvest time in Poland?
The countryside of Poland is "like a ruffled patchwork quilt sewn from rich shades of colour and a variety of textures, from the lightest, yellowish brown to the darkest, velvety...