March 23, 2016

This discussion is locked.


As I often do, I take apart the word to see if there is a positive complement/counterpart.

Like something that would be "known".

Or some people who did not know Polish would think that the word means "unsurprised" or "unsurprising".


There is the verb spodziewać się (to expect, to forsee). And -anka is just a noun suffix, which doesn't add any meaning.

So, this literally means "something unexpected/unforseeable".


Ah - got it!

So that is where the spodzi comes in - and that tells us that "Surprise" is a noun and not a verb.

That was another whole layer of meaning, Alik!


Zdziwienie, is this not correct?


Hmmm... well, in a way it is, because the noun "zdziwienie" comes from the adjective "zdziwiony" (surprised, maybe 'shocked' a bit). But if you shouted "Zdziwienie!" at any point in your life, that would be... completely random.

"niespodzianka" is a noun, "a surprise". But here it's what you'd shout as in "Surprise! We threw a secret birthday party for you!".


Thank you for your explanation - it helps


Oh, one more thought: "zdziwienie" or "zaskoczenie" are nouns that could describe the look on the birthday person's face :)

Learn Polish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.