Q: What is the oldest recorded phrase in Polish?
A: The oldest phrase noted was spoken by a saboteur, a Tatar soldier who cried “Biegajcie, biegajcie!” (“Run away! Flee!”) in Polish to cause panic before a battle near Legnica in 1241. Right after the battle, a second famed phrase was spoken by Prince Henry the Pious. The sentence “Gorze się nam stało” (“What happened to us was a disaster”) was a comment on the soldiers’ retreat after the Tatar deception. Jan Długosz recorded both utterances in his chronicle.
The third and most popular old phrase in Polish is, “Daj, ać ja pobruczę, a ty poczywaj”, meaning, “Here, let me grind and you rest,” and was said by an expat Czech to his Polish wife. The sentence is dated from the year 1270. It was recorded in a Cistercian chronicle from the Henryków monastery, the so-called Księga Henrykowska. It is still found in the Archdiocesan Museum in Wrocław.