New Yorker Jokes About Polish Name Zbigniew

The New Yorker has received nearly 30 complaints about a cartoon featured in its Feb. 19 issue.

The single-panel cartoon features 2 children at a bus stop. One is telling the other that his “parents named [him] Zbigniew because they were drunk.”

Zbigniew cartoon

Zbigniew is a traditional Polish name pronounced something like ZBEEG-nyef.

Those who complained considered the cartoon a ‘Polish joke.’

The New Yorker said the joke was the unusual name itself, nothing more.

Were you offended by this cartoon?

5 Responses to New Yorker Jokes About Polish Name Zbigniew

  1. Bronislaw M. Wasilowski

    Although I have always liked the name Zbigniew and have never thought of it as an espedially unusual name, I fail to see anything particularly offensive in the cartoon. While the name is quite easy to pronounce, I can understand that an American youth not familiar with Polish phonetics may feel that the name may seem not as cool as Mike, Chuck or Rocky to his friends although the shortened form Zbig could possibly be more in compliance with a young man’s fancy. Personally I prefer the more original version Zbygniew which I understand is derived from the Polish meaning for someone who has rid himself of anger.

  2. my dad’s name is zbigniew (zig for short)…i always thought zbigniew was a polish form of sigmund?

    p.s. i thought the cartoon was funny..

  3. Thanks for commenting, Bronislaw and Val. I agree with both of you; I don’t find the cartoon offensive.

  4. i speak some polish but i dont no my name in polish

  5. @Val-
    The Polish version of Sigmunt is actually Zygmunt, not Zbigniew.

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