The Kociewie dialect

When a mother says chodźkaj, idźkaj to her child (instead of standard Polish chodź and idź), she is using a dialect word, although she is probably not aware of this fact. Although it seems that the Kociewie dialect is in decline, the current “craze for regionalism” may actually lead to its revival.
Kociewie dialects belong to the Wielkopolska dialect, although with very noticeable links with the Masovian dialect. Kociewie dialects were also influenced by transitory dialects close to those of Chełm-Dobrzyń, Kuyavia, and Malbork. In any case, the Kociewie dialects, along with those of Malbork, are considered the youngest and most innovative continental dialects of Gdańsk Pomerania, i.e. typically Polish dialects.
A characteristic feature of those dialects is the lack of mazurzenie or masuration (the replacement of common Polish sounds “sh”, “zh”, “tsch”, “dzh” with “s”, “z”, “ts”, “dz”), the closed “a” (which brings Kociewie dialects closer to the standard Polish language), the voiced “w” after voiceless consonants, the simplification of inflections (the “-óm” suffix in the past tense first person singular, e.g. “byłóm” = “byłem”; forms of the past tense third person plural changed to “-eli” e.g. “speli” = “spali”; alternations of e:o and r:rz are removed from the present tense (“ja bierze” instead of “ja biorę”). The Kociewie dialects also feature numerous Germanisms, such as “bana” – train, or “munia” – cow’s mouth.
Examples of Kociewie vocabulary (Kociewie – Polish – English):
bajzel – bałagan – mess
balija – wanna – bathtub
cédel – pokwitowanie, kwit – receipt
czuć – słyszeć – hear
dekel – pokrywa na garnek – lid
filować – podglądać, śledzić – spy on, follow
gardyna – zasłona – curtain
glómza – twaróg – cottage cheese
halać – przynosić – bring
kamlot – duży kamień – large stone
karadeja – byle jaki pojazd, złej jakości – crummy vehicle
kaszorek – sitko do wyławiania ryb – fish sieve
klafty – plotki – gossip
listowy – listonosz – mailman
lorbas – duży, wyrośnięty chłopa – well-built man
łajza – nieudacznik – loser
mantel – płaszcz – coat
mądrować -wymondrzać się – act a wise guy
néki – fochy – sulks
obuć się – ubrać się – get dress
rajby – randka – date
rojber – łobuz – scallywag
rónkel – burak – beet
ruchanki – placki drożdżowe – fritters
szachtelek – pudełko – box
szlajać – włóczyć się – ramble
topek – nocnik – potty
wandry – włóczęga – tramp
zelga – odwilż – thaw
zylc – galareta – aspic
Owing to the work of specialists, it was possible to compile a Kociewie vocabulary. We may mention here the three-volume dictionary Słownictwo kociewskie na tle kultury ludowej (Kociewie vocabulary in the context of folk culture) by Rev. Bernard Sychta, and also the works of Prof. Maria Pająkowska-Kensik, including Mały słownik kociewski (The little dictionary of Kociewie).

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