EN-->> CZ "It's EFFING COLD outside"

Discussion in 'Vocabulary & Translation Help' started by milton, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. milton

    milton Well-Known Member

    Ok so I'm starting to think that Czechs are really fond of PIGS, HOGS, PIGLETS, PORKCHOPS, PORK, BOARS etc.

    My czech co-workers tell me that when speaking slang Czech, everything is like a pig, i.e. I work like a pig, its hot outside like a pig, its cold outside like a pig, I speak Czech like a pig etc.

    SO.. is this entirely accurate??

    how is it perceived to the normal Czech person if I said such a phrase like "its cold outside like pig', is this type of slang perceived as vulgar?

    na priklad--->> 'mluvim cesky jako cune' nebo 'pracuju cely den jako prace' nebo 'nahoda jako svine' (luck is a pig--not too sure about this one)

    Somebody like to elaborate and dispell this mystery for me?? It would be greatly appreciated

    Thanks in advance,
  2. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    prase - pig
    svině - swine

    Swine is more indecent term (if we don't talk about real pig, of course) and can be used as insult.

    Prase isn't generally considered as indecent and in personal conversation is used occasionally.

    I think that pigs aren't considered as unpleasant beeings here. Pork meat is common part of Czech cuisine and customs (zabíjačka, masopust).

    Anyway pigs are very interesting intelligent animals. :)
  3. McCracken

    McCracken Well-Known Member

    I was told recently that if someone overdoes it during Christmas Eve then they will see the "golden piglet" (if I translated it correctly). Not quite sure what it meant though.
  4. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    No, no. :)

    If you are fasting on Christmass Eve until evening dinner, you will see gold piglet.

    It's myth for children.

    About your "overdo" - it's probably joke. :)
  5. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    golden piglet = zlaté prasátko
  6. McCracken

    McCracken Well-Known Member

    Hi Eso, actually your correction of my poor understanding/translation makes much more sense of the context in which the comment was originally made to me! Thank you.
  7. mbm

    mbm Well-Known Member

    Your understanding is basically right, Milton. Czechs do talk about pigs constantly.

    If something is like a pig (jako prase), then it is big or great or major: je zima jako prase (it's cold like a pig, meaning very cold), ten barák je velkej jako prase (the house is as big as a pig, meaning huge), to je problém jako prase (this is a problem that's like a pig, meaning a big problem). People are often creative and have fun coming up with new interesting things that can be likened to a pig!

    If something is a swine (svině), then it is mean and tends to hit when you don't expect it: moje bývalá manželka je svině (my ex-wife is a swine, meaning she is mean), náhoda je svině (coincidence is a swine, meaning bad things happen to you when you least expect them).

    Both of these expresions belong in the register of strong language, not to be mentioned at cocktail parties but plentiful in the pub.

    The last one you mention is čuně, which is another word for pig. If something is jako čuně, then it simply has pig-like qualities: dirty, messy, and so on. Čuně is not such a strong word as prase, I'd say it sounds even a little cute. Ty jíš jako čuně (you're eating like a piggy) is something a mother might say to a child when he's messing his food up.
  8. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    That's a great answer, mbm. I would only add that prase can often be replaced with svině in instances such as Je zima jak prase/svině or, in Moravia ...jak sviňa (it's freezing cold), To je barák jak prase/svině (that's a huge house) where svině is stronger and sounds almost vulgar.
  9. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    I would add that prase can be replaced with kráva (= cow).

    barák jako kráva = a house that is like a cow, i.e. a huge house

    Probably it follows the fact that the cows and pigs are the biggest animals we can encounter in our small Czech world (the horses were replaced by cars and tractors in the past).
  10. milton

    milton Well-Known Member

    ok what about this one? "Kosa je zima"-- I heard one of my co-workers say this one and it confused me a little...

    in this particular case, I looked up Kosa and it seems to mean 'knife' or 'scythe'

    Is this literally to say the knife is cold? or is it like an idiom and poetic in that it suggests that the cold felt or experienced is like a knife penetrating deep within??

    Clarification anybody?
  11. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    venku je kosa = there is a scythe outside, i.e. it is pretty cold outside
  12. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    I believe it's because scythe (kosa) is sharp - ostrý in Czech.

    In Czech Ostrý vítr, ostrý mráz = strong wind, strong freeze
  13. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member


    klepat kosu = to strike scythe by hammer means to be cold, to quake for cold
  14. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    It's interesting, how many sayings is based on agriculture.
  15. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    I agree. More precisely, "klepat kosu" is a metaphor for tooth chattering.
  16. mbm

    mbm Well-Known Member

    You got it right again. Kosa means scythe, but metaphorically it means a biting cold. Somebody might say je kosa, literally there is a scythe, meaning it's biting cold.

    The person who told you "kosa je zima" probably just exclaimed kosa first (= freezing cold) and then added on a full-sentence clarification, je zima (= it's cold).
  17. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    I think it was a concise explanation:

    Kosa je zima. Scythe means cold.
  18. MK

    MK Well-Known Member

    It looks like weather has really big impact on today's posts.
    Anyway "Venku je kosa jako prase" suits today's weather much more then recent forecast "Koncem týdne se bude oteplovat". :D
  19. Adela

    Adela Active Member

    What an interesting topic. If someone´s making a statistics or something like that, I can add my opinion as well.
    I personally rarely use the comparison with "prase" as I consider it vulgar.
    But to someone else it may seem like a normal way of speaking.
    At any rate it´s highly informal. A general rule could be: you can use it if your mates use it.

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