Why do Americans love this Hungarian expression?
Posted by Mia Balogh · May 9, 2017

Did you know that there is an expression borrowed from us, Hungarians that became quite popular in the US? Let us tell you a little bit more about it.

A language works by borrowing and lending of several expressions, so is Hungarian: we have a lot of words, phrases and expressions from other languages but we have also provided some of our own to other nations.

For example, the cute expression ‘itsy-bitsy’ liked pretty much by Americans comes from the Hungarian ‘ici-pici’. They say that it was brought to the US in the 1930s by a Hungarian director, or as others stated, by several Hungarian immigrant filmmakers. They used it frequently, and their local colleagues liked it so much that they started to use this expression, as well.

Americans might have liked the sounding of ‘itsy-bitsy’ or maybe the possibility that it could have been used as the diminutive for the phrase ‘little bit’. Then there was a song, ‘Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini’ by Brian Hyland that made the expression popular, but it also appears in a children’s song.



  • expression
  • hungarian
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