The V factor

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To interrupt your regular science programming, check out the back story on Miss “Poland.” Turns out she is a washed-up Miss Venezuela, and that the reputed powerhouse of beauty contests has done some exporting before. Here is a gallery of the contestants for Miss Poland this year (not Kingdom of Saudi Arabia work safe, but since “work” in the KSA means letting some brown dude from brownland do everything I guess that’s a dumb caveat). Hey, at least they didn’t have to import from Japan to fill their babe quota because of a depauperate local environment :) (hat tip to Jaakkeli for the last link, who is associated with gnxp on the 6 out of the top 10 hits on google for his name)


  1. I dunno Razib, 
    I think Elena Ozinkowska has one seriously awesome genome.

  2. That is some quality talent.

  3. My Mom tells me that Ireland is awash with Polish immigrants these days – she said everywhere she goes there are, “Beautiful blonde girls”?! 
    Immigrants , mostly in the last decade, now make up 9% of the Irish population, 17% of which are Polish! 
    I guess Ireland’s stereotypical phenotype of red hair and freckles is in for some changes over the next few decades…

  4. As for that Miss Polonia site, doesn’t “Polonia” mean the Polish diaspora? If so, it’s not surprising that a woman from Venezuela is competing.

  5. Peter, 
    Yeah, I see other girls are from Germany (Polonia niemiecka), Sweden (Polonia szwedzka) and Lithuania (Polonia litewska) – if my Polish is correct?!

  6. Take a look at the words used in the descriptions. It looks like most of the words are real Polish words, but they seem to have borrowed English words, presumably because real Polish words for these concepts don’t exist: Hobby, Color, and, most surprisingly, Bust! 
    I guess people from other cultures really do have a completely different way of looking at the world.

  7. Indeed! Here’s the Polish word for computer programming: Komputery Programmy.

  8. A similar thing happened in 2002, where one of the failed Miss Venezuela contestants moved to Germany and went on to represent that country in the Miss Universe pageant. Ironically, last year’s Miss Earth champion was a “Venezuelan” named Alexandra Braun Waldeck, born of German parents. And the Venezuelan Miss Universe contestant, who finished in the top five, was the part-German Monica Spear Mootz.

  9. pconroy 
    My Mom tells me that Ireland is awash with Polish immigrants these days – she said everywhere she goes there are, “Beautiful blonde girls”?!
    ah, they’re bedazzled!

  10. George W, “hobby” and “bust”, sure, but are you sure that “kolor” is an English borrowing? Colour is clearly not coming from proto-Germanic, so it’s a loanword in English as well and Polish could’ve borrowed it from the same or a related language. I’d say the best bet from the form is that “colour” in English is a loan from French and “kolor” in Polish is from Latin. 
    That some word being a loan means that “a word for the concept didn’t exist before” is notorious 19th century ethnochauvinist fantasy. Englishmen certainly did not lack a word for “colour” before they met the Frenchmen (of course, some will say that Englishmen still don’t really grasp the concept…). Also, a word like “hobby” seems one of the very unstable words, ones that languages will borrow or reinvent easily. Besides that, there are also overall differences in how eager languages are in borrowing words and how much they produce their own (eg. English is notorious as an extreme borrower, eg. Finnish is an example of the other extreme of favouring deriving and inventing over borrowing) and it doesn’t seem to tell much about the culture.

  11. Jaakkeli — George was making a joke about the absurdity of the strong version of the Whorfian view of thought & language.

  12. Jaakkeli, 
    “colour” in English is a loan from French and “kolor” in Polish is from Latin 
    Yes “colour” in British English is Old French unrelated to “Farbe” in German. But the French also comes from the Latin “color”, so in your model Latin would be the common source.  
    However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Polish version is also from the French and reflects the influence of French high fashion on the Polish aristocracy in recent centuries. Just guessing. Presumably the original slavonic was something like the Russian “????”(tsvet). 
    Curiously it’s also “?????”(kolir) in Ukrianian but “????”(tsvyat) in Bulgarian.

  13. That’s supposed to be “Ukrainian”.

  14. Likely the predominant word for color in Polish used to be “barwa”, which is still used, although in limited context. 
    As a Polish guy I have a question to all of you who write about Polish blond girls: Where do you see them? They are mostly bleached. 
    A comment about beauty contests: when I was a student it was always said you can find more beatiful girls in the student body than among Miss Polonia or Miss Poland contestants.

  15. You are shattering my dreams, AC. The most beautiful woman I ever met was a Polish blonde I knew in University. Sadly she never noticed me. 
    It’s true, Polish women are extraordinary.  
    “Barvit” is also color in Czech.

  16. I’m right with you, AC–there are some really great student bodies (and not only in Poland).

  17. Why, I don’t know if my comment will be intelligent enough… – a word to mr Deletator;) Sorry guys, I’m here because of Elena Ozinkowska – she’s awesome girl, I was lucky to meet her personally in Lublin, where I studied and where she’s studying. It’s difficult to pass her indifferently… I’m sorry for my English :|