Last night I received an email from the daughter of my closest friends in Warsaw. She is a woman of great poise and intelligence. And tact. She writes this:
i z przerazeniem stwierdzilam, ze Jeremy propaguje mowienie "zzzzCoca", jak rozumiem za Twoja namowa. hi hi, nic dziwnego, ze moga sie wtedy kelnerzy patrzyc dziwnie. ogolnie przyjetym zdrobnieniem od coca-coli jest "cola", "coca" zas oznacza kokaine....
Oh shit! (forgive me for being crude, the situation calls for it)
For those who do not speak Polish, it reads more or less thus:
With great dismay, I concluded (from reading my comment to his post here) that Jeremy is encouraging the use of the term “zzzz Coca,” as I understand it, under your tutelage. [Jeremy, my fellow traveler to Poland, asked how to order “with coca cola” in a restaurant. Being savvy in slang, I said: ask for “z Coca"; “z” means with, and “Coca” is slang for Coca Cola.] He he, it’s not surprising then that waiters looked strangely upon him. The colloquial term for Coca Cola is “cola.” “Coca,” on the other hand, means cocaine.
Damn! I knew there was a slang term. But it’s been years since I had to order Coca Cola for anyone! Jeremy: I’m sorry for getting it wrong and for making you look like a cocaine junkie to all Poles you interacted with on your trip.