‘Koliko dura dura’ my Croatian grandpa Nikola would often say with a sigh. A phrase meaning how long it lasts it lasts. Amongst the many Dalmatian expressions of my Grandpa, ‘koliko dura dura’ seems to just stick. That’s right, with my Grandpa no longer earthside, some of his expressions have certainly stuck around. While such expressions, or ‘izraze’, may be characteristic to those populations along the Dalmatian Coast, these are specific to that of my Grandpa from the island of Korčula.

  • Koliko dura dura (how long it lasts it lasts) – instead of using the word traje

  • Bonaca (calm sea)

  • Nije priša (no rush) – instead of ne žuri

  • Kantat (sing) – instead of pjevat

  • Aj sidi i poji nešto (sit and eat something) – instead of ajde sjedi i pojedi nešto

  • Guštati (taste/feast/enjoy)

  • A e (yes) – instead of da

  • Šugaman (towel) – instead of ručnik

  • Figuraš (you look nice) – instead of lijepo izgledaš

  • Škina (back)

  • Čija si ti? (whose are you? Often used to determine which family you belong to)

  • Pomodoro (tomato) – instead of rajčice

  • Rabota (work)

  • Beštija (animal) – instead of životinja

  • Bjonda (blonde) – instead of plavuša

  • Katrida (chair) – instead of stolica

  • Friško (fresh) – instead of svježe

  • Spizu (grocery shopping)

  • Pijat (plate) – instead of tanjur

  • Grinta (whine/complain)

  • Jidan (angry) – instead of ljut

  • Šoldi (money) – instead of novac

  • Takuin (wallet) – instead of novčanik

  • Kušin (pillow) – instead of jastuk

  • Lancun (bedsheet) – similar to Italian ‘lenzuolo’

  • Kapula (red onion) – instead of luk

  • Balančana (eggplant)

  • Kukumar (cucumber) – instead of krastavac

  • Petrusimen (parsley)

  • Postole (shoes) – instead of cipele

  • Vesta (dress)

  • Bračolet (bracelet)

  • Rečine (earrings)

  • Tavajol (tablecloth)

For more Dalmatian expressions, go to 20 Teachings and Words of Wisdom from my Croatian Grandpas on Croatia Week.

And in the meantime, check out My Grandpa is Like the Sea HERE.

Nala xx