U prząśniczki siedzą jak anioł dzieweczki i ja jestem szparka, ja sekretarka, czyli tajemnice dawnej leksyki
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In the 21st century Polish language, many of the archaic words and expressions of yesteryear still function. In spite of their relative frequency (occurrences in familiar folk or pop songs), they often remain incomprehensible to the vast majority of language users. The ignorance of the lexeme’s denotational definition is usually the reason. Often, the context in which the word occurs is misleading. The lexeme prząśniczka has always meant ‘part of the reel, narrow small board to which the yarn is attached’, rather than ‘a woman spinner, a person performing the activity of spinning’. The adjective szparki is largely forgotten today, with its archaic meaning ‘quick, jaunty, perky’. In the past, people would say that ‘an old man still walked szparki’ (that is ‘fast’) or he was a szparki fellow. The adverb szparko ‘firmly, strongly, heavily’ was also used. A contemporary songwriter makes a clever use of the archaic adjective in one of the texts for Maryla Rodowicz entitled Szparka sekretarka (literally: ‘A lively, efficient secretary’). Meanwhile the lyrics were mostly misinterpreted as obscene probably due to the existence of the homonymous noun szparka (Eng. slit, gap).the author appends a comprehensive glossary of the CB language.
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