Final Word from Friday, April 22, 2011

Political crises are a godsend for foreigners trying to learnCzech. They're much better even than pillow talk, because ofthe variety of the expressions one is exposed to. Only frequenttrips to the pub can compete. Even some native Czechs had toresort to the dictionary when Kristýna Kočí let her hair down.Who knew there were such "ladylike" ways in Czech of saying"mess," "jerk," or "it's none of your business"? (Too bad we can'tprint them.) Avid students of new Czech terms had a doubledelight when, as the crisis began, Václav Klaus swiped the penin Chile and Czechs started using expressions like "čórnout"and "šlohnout." And if students of Czech every doubted theimportance of a diacritical mark, the reaction they probablyreceived after accidentally speaking of "Klausovo péro" insteadof "Klausovo pero" sent the message home loud and clear. Theyboth mean "Klaus's quill," but a little Kočí-like imagination ora good English slang dictionary will help you understand thatsometimes Czech and English aren't so far apart after all.

Glossary of difficult words

godsend - a very helpful or valuable event, person or thing; 

pillow talk - intimate conversation in bed; 

to let one's hair down - to behave in an uninhibited or relaxed manner; 

ladylike - behaving or dressing in a way considered appropriate for or typical of a well-bred, decorous woman or girl; 

to swipe - to steal; 

čórnout, šlohnout - Czech slang terms for "to steal"; 

Klausovo péro - slang for "Klaus's penis"; 

Klausovo pero - Klaus's pen; 

quill - can mean both "pen" or "penis" in English too, but the slang meaning is quite rare.


Tel: 420 224 221 580

Published by

E.S. Best s.r.o.
Ovenecká 78/33
170 00 Prague 7
Czech Republic



FS Final Word