December 12, 2016



Yes :) In older times when the French was more popular and Poles pronounced image as "imaż", not "imydż" waiters (and some assistants in hotels) were also called garson.

  • Odźwierny (jaintor? doorkeeper?) is a person that is hired to stay near the entrance to greet guests was called szwajcar (the Swiss).
  • Francuz (Frenchman) or klucz francuski is a Monkey wrench.
  • Finka (Finnish-woman) is a kind of knife.
  • Polka (Polish-woman) is a dance
  • Węgierka (Hungarian-woman) is a type of a plum
  • Hiszpanka (Spanish woman) is a name used also for Spanish flu
  • Chińczyk (Chinese man) is also a name for a game


shouldn't a "server" also be accepted?


"Server" as part of a sentence (e.g., "he works as a server") is OK, but calling out "Server!" in order to attract a server's attention doesn't feel right at all. IMHO.


Is this vocative ?


No, it's Nominative. Somehow this word is kinda problematic here. I'd say that "Kelner!" is not very polite (but is "Waiter!" polite? I really don't know), but on the other hand using Vocative "Kelnerze!" sounds very strange, and "Panie kelnerze!" absurdly polite. I believe that "Panie kelner!" may be used sometimes, regardless of its weird grammar.

Frankly, I would personally avoid it at all. For native Polish speakers there are ways to avoid addressing people in any way - mostly when you have no clue whether you should be informal (ty) or formal (pan/pani). Like rephrasing your message so "you" is not its subject ;) But if I had to address the waiter directly, I'd use "Proszę pana" and other "pan" forms.


I would say that "Waiter!" would not be polite. "Excuse me!" with a hand in the air would be much better.

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