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Czech can be a strange language. In fact, some of the most common sayings are truly bizarre and seem to make no sense when you first hear them. We take at look at some widely used Czech phrases and try to explain what they mean.
Translation: To rub yourself in somewhere.
Meaning: To crash a party—to go somewhere where you’re not invited and try to find your way in.
Translation: He needs it like a dead man needs a winter coat.
Meaning: This is used to mean “as useful as” for things that are obviously not useful at all.
Translation: Throwing your rifle in the rye.
Meaning: To throw in the towel or to give up, especially after a long fight that seems to be going nowhere.
Translation: Once in a Hungarian moon.
Meaning: Close equivalent to “once in a blue moon” or very rarely. Nobody seems to know what Hungary has to do with it.
Translation: White sex.
Meaning: Midnight snack. The white being a reference to the traditional color of fridges.
Translation: Baked pigeons don’t fly into your mouth.
Meaning: If you want to make money or achieve something, you have to work for it.
Translation: A fish rots from its head.
Meaning: If something is wrong, chances are it started with the government or leaders.
Translation: He has butter on his head.
Meaning: He carries a lot of secrets that everybody knows about, or, he has skeletons in his closet—except that they’re not actually skeletons anymore but very obvious things.
Translation: He who runs away, wins.
Meaning: It is wiser to give up and walk away from a situation if you think you can’t win.
Translation: A man once thought he would fart but he pooped himself instead.
Meaning: It doesn’t matter what you thought would be the consequences of your actions—it only matter what the real consequences are, or if you make a mistake, it’s pointless to say, “Well, I thought…”.
Translation: After the battle, everybody is a general.
Meaning: It’s easier to know the right answer after everything’s said and done; this is similar to the phrase, “hindsight is 20-20”.
Translation: Patience brings roses.
Meaning: Be patient and you’ll be rewarded greatly and beautifully.