Navigate / search

You know you are from a Hungarian family when….


We had many submissions from family and friends for this project and it has been a lot of fun to compile this list. Thank you for the many contributions! We tried to narrow the list down to the ones that have the most common experience but as it is with cultural traditions and influences, some families maintained them and others did not. I know I can relate to at least 50% of this list. I hope you can too!

You know you are from a Hungarian family when….

…your friends love to eat at your house when Hungarian food is cooking.

…you can cuss in Hungarian.

…you’ve tried pálinka and try to get all your friends to try it!

…Americans murder your last name!

…you saw your mom stretching bread dough to make lángos and while you can eat it with powdered sugar you know lángos is best served with sour cream, garlic, and cheese.

…you know that “real” kool-aid comes from a bottle of raspberry syrup and tap water or the best raspberry “pop” is homemade with raspberry syrup and soda or mineral water!

…you have seen chicken feet in your soup!

…you know what Sósborszesz (menthol alcohol) is and when to use it!

…paprika and sour cream are considered staples in your kitchen.

…your Nagypapa made his own wine, and his basement is filled with wine barrels.

…you have or had a dog named “Bodri”.

…your father always wants his “pancakes” very, very thin because he’s really remembering crepes from his nagymama’s house!

…you cook with bacon grease or lard.

…you know the name for Transylvania is Erdély!

…you like rye toast buttered and rubbed with a garlic clove!

,,,you know the song Az a Szép!

…you have embroidered doilies covering every wooden furniture surface of your home.

…you love the sound of a violin.

…store brand paprika won’t even be considered as an option.

…St. Nickolas visits on December 6th, leaving Baby Jesus to bring you your Christmas presents at midnight on December 24th.

…even if you don’t like szaloncukor it’s tradition to have it hanging on the Christmas tree.

…you’ve purchased a bogrács in Hungary and brought it back to the U.S. in your carry on luggage.

…your last name is MAGYAR!

…you have a poster of the historical Hungary and it’s counties on a wall of your home.

…you happily eat kolbász for breakfast.

…your kids wake up and ask for “Bundás Kenyér”.

…your house is decorated in Herend and Zsolnay figurines.

…you eat bread with lard, slices of onion and paprika.

…you speak in a louder voice than anyone at work, and then you realize you are carrying your family’s Hungarian volume level with you and must tone it down.

…your grandmother goes on the lookout for ‘pigs’ feet’.

…you know what it is like to have every flat surface covered with homemade noodles drying on sheets in your house.

…you have sudden cravings for zsíros kenyér!

…there is an “Isten Hozott” sign by the door.

…you cheer for Hungary during the Olympics.

…almost every recipe starts with sauteed onions and Szegedi paprika!

…your mom breaks the “fakanál” on your back as you’re fleeing the kitchen!

…you cannot get married without cabbage rolls being served at your reception.

…the Christmas season involves kifli, kalács, and beigli!

…the first trade skill you learn as a child is how to grind nuts for the nut rolls using a 100 year old hand crank grinder clamped on the kitchen counter because store bought nuts aren’t good enough for nut rolls!

…you know your Name Day!

…you come home from school & the fridge has been emptied so the plates of jellied pigs feet (kocsonya) can go in!

…you love to have paprika sprinkled kocsonya for breakfast.

…you grew up with catching the chicken yourself for Sunday soup, watching your Grandmother cut it’s neck, save the blood, make the best soup you’ve ever had in your whole life, including the feet.

…you have over four containers of paprika in your cabinet.

…you introduce all your friends to Hungarian food by cooking it!

…you know what hurka is, miss having at New Years, & know which butcher still makes it.

…every family recipe begins with a pound of butter

…everyone gets excited about eating paprikas szalonna for breakfast with raw onions and rye bread.

…you know what the accents mean on words, when you know how sz and cs sounds. And it’s gulyás, not goulash.

…you know about the Treaty of Trianon and what that meant for Hungary.

…you know the village where your family came from in greater Hungary.

…your friends open your fridge and it contains 4 lbs of butter, 5 blocks of cream cheese and 3 cartons of sour cream!

…the kitchen smells like cabbage cooking.

…You say please hand me the _____ and before you can finish the Grandkids hand you the paprika.

…the pots of daily soup are on the stove steeping

…you know how to read, write, and/or speak some Hungarian

…growing up you fought over who got to eat the marrow from the soup bone.

…you keep your paprika in the refrigerator.

…you are familiar with the Hungarian National Anthem and maybe even know the first verse!

…you come home from school & garlic & chili pepper necklaces are drying in the sun

…you name your pets using Hungarian words like “Cicus” and “Kutya”, etc.

…eating dinner food for breakfast is the norm & pancakes (palacsinta) are a dessert.

…you think sour cream and paprika should have their own spots on the food pyramid!

…you NEVER argue with your nagymama – even if it kills you to keep you mouth shut!

…you know what a ‘bacon roast’ is and you occasionally host one.

….you know the difference between segged and Szeged.

…you recognize Hungarian names in the news.

…you know how to say the Common Table Prayer in Hungarian but you may have never seen it written out.

…you learn early in life that one comes from Buda or Pest, but not both.

…everything starts with onions and usually ends with paprika.

…you know what Bull’s Blood is.

…you use sour cream like most people use ranch dressing or catsup.

…you have tried Unicum.

…you see a bowl of pig intestine casings soaking in water and the meat grinder clamped to the kitchen table.

…you’re not afraid to eat poppyseed kalács the night before your job’s drug test.

…you have beautiful Hungarian names in your family tree.

Do you have additions to this list? We would love to see them!

We love to help you discover, celebrate, and share Hungarian heritage! To receive the latest Magyar Marketing catalog, please call 1-800-786-7851 so we can get your name and mailing address and send one to you! Click here to check out the Magyar Marketing website! Interested in an Adventure in Hungary? We have tours organized for June 2019 in Transylvania, September 2019, and November 2019! Contact us for more information!


[…] collected a bunch of funny bits and pieces from the everyday life of Hungarians, those sometimes exaggerated habits that we all witness in our families. These are the funniest, most unique things in our lives that, when reading them, you are going to be like “this is soooo true.” […]

[…] collected a bunch of funny bits and pieces from the everyday life of Hungarians, those sometimes exaggerated habits that we all witness in our families. These are the funniest, most unique things in our lives that, when reading them, you are going to be like “this is soooo true.” […]

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.