A story about polishing pans:
Some confusion can occur when the same words have different meanings when two speakers live in two different cultures. This happened to a friend of mine when we lived in Afghanistan. The Afghans speak a language related to English and they speak English quite clearly, with just a slight charming accent. Nevertheless, certain practical household terms such as the word POLISH can mean something entirely different than how my British lady friend meant it when she used the word when speaking to her Afghan cook.
To buffer the beautiful copper cooking and serving utensils that we American and British expatriates admired, collected and used, the Afghan metalsmiths clad the copper with a coat of tin. This not only protected the people who ate food cooked and served in the utensils, it also lengthened the usefulness of the copper vessels.
In the photographs above and in the first photo below, you can see examples of used copper in the condition in which we householders in Afghanistan bought and used it. It is very attractive and quite safe to cook and serve in. In an Afghan household, after years of service, the utensils would be taken to the tinsmith to be re-clad with a shiny layer of what the Afghans counted as -- you guessed it -- POLISH. We expatriates usually collected these beautiful antique dishes just as the old tin coating was wearing thin so that with a mechanized steel brush, the copper peeking through the tin outer layer could be brought up to a glowing coppery red and the tin would be even more subdued by the brush removing some of it and dulling such tin as remained on the dish or pot.
While to the Afghan cook, the word POLISH meant applying a coat of shiny tin metal, to the British lady of the house, it meant rubbing it briskly with a steel brushing machine to remove the tin so that the coppery glow would enhance the beauty of the antique vessel.
The nearest machine of this type was over the Khyber pass from Kabul, the Afghanistan capital where many of us American and European expatriates lived. My English lady friend asked her cook to take her collection of antique vessels to Peshawar in Pakistan by bus through the Khyber pass and have the vessels POLISHED!
You have anticipated what happened. Nevertheless, I will provide illustrations of the three stages of these collectible dishes, pots, cups and other vessels from Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran and Pakistan. I have borrowed examples from international sellers: