List of English words of Czech origin / Seznam anglickych slov prevzatych z cestiny - CzechmatediaryList of English words of Czech origin / Seznam anglickych slov prevzatych z cestiny - Czechmatediary
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List of English words of Czech origin / Seznam anglickych slov prevzatych z cestiny

city_of_words_lithograph_by_vito_acconci_1999 (google image)As I have said many times in the past, without the Czechs, people would be still dancing naked around the fire like they were  in the Neanderthal era. This list is yet another proof of this:  English words that were originated from the Czech language (take that!!!!):

CZ: Jak jsem rekla jiz mnohokrat v minulosti, bez Cechu by lide na celem svete stale tancovali jako neadrtalci kolem ohne. Nize uvideny list je toho dalsim dukazem: anglicka slova prevzata z ceskeho jazyka (diky za typ, Vlastiku!):

* Absurdistan (in Czech Absurdistán) – word created by Eastern Bloc dissidents, passed into English mainly through works of Václav Havel.
* Budweiser – after Budweis, the German name of Budějovice, a city in southern Bohemia
* dollar – from German thaler, a nickname for the silver coins that were minted from the ore found in Jáchymov in western Bohemia, called Joachimsthal in German (literally Joachim’s Valley)
* háček – a diacritical mark, literally “little hook”, e.g. č is letter c having háček. Also known as “caron”.
* howitzer – from houfnice, a 15th century Hussite catapult; houf meaning crowd or band

* kolache – from koláč or koláček.

* pils, pilsner, pilsener – after Pilsen, the German name of Plzeň, a Czech city. The name of the city is derived from Old Czech plz (damp, moist).[1]
* pistol – from píšťala, an 15th century Hussite firearm (disputed-alternative sources have been suggested)
* polka – from Polák or polský, a Czech dance named in remembrance of the November Uprising of 1830; or from Půlka, in English half because of its tempo
* remoska – is a small electrical cooker made in Czech republic, sold and well-known in UK. Its origin is in the name of company which made it – REMOS which is abbreviation (revize, elektro, montáže, opravy, servis = revisions, electro, assembly, repairing, service).
* robot – from Czech robota (labour, drudgery), introduced in Karel Čapek’s play R.U.R. from the 1920s.
* semtex – a plastic explosive named after Semtín, part of the city of Pardubice, Czech Republic, location of its manufacturer.
* tunelling – a colloquial term for financial fraud committed by company’s own management or major shareholders. Widely used in the Czech Republic (and Slovakia) since the first half of 1990s to describe the massive asset stripping during transition from planned economy.

Sometimes you can read, that hocus-pocus is of Czech origin, because pokus means trial. But its just a coincidence, its origin is in latin.

PS: This list was recommended to me by one of the avid Czechmate Diary readers and also one of the greatest commentators this blog – Vlastimil. Thank you, Vlastiku!


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9 comments… add one
  • Vlastimil June 12, 2009, 9:57 am

    Myslim, ze povinnosti Cechu je se vystehovat v co nejvetsim poctu z Ceske kotliny a timto tak projevit sve vlastenectvi… Tim, ze se rozlezeme po celem svete, zvedneme celosvetovou moralku a kulturu a timto prispejeme k rozvoji cele zemekoule….
    Ne nadarmo se rika, ze Cesko lezi v srdci Evropy. Pravdou je, ze Cesko JE srdcem sveta, jeste musime najit, v ktere casti sveta lezi mozek 🙂

  • Tanja June 12, 2009, 2:54 pm

    vzdyt proto take podtitulek Czechmate Diary je “Small Bohemian Steps to World domination”… :))

  • Tanja June 12, 2009, 3:18 pm

    I just can’t believe that “dollar” came from a Czech word!!! No wonder I have always liked the sound of it…;))

  • Vlastimil June 12, 2009, 7:57 pm

    Je stare ceske prislovi: “Bez prace nejsou dolace” 😉

  • pavla June 13, 2009, 7:53 pm

    No ja slysela, ze jsme srdcem Evropy.
    Takze mozek mame asi v Americe 🙂

  • Tanja June 13, 2009, 11:21 pm

    aha, a kde bude ten zadek??

  • Vlastimil June 14, 2009, 9:08 am

    pavlo, s tim mozkem mas pravdu, ja jsem v USA 😉

  • Vlastimil June 14, 2009, 9:10 am

    Tanja, s tim zadkem, to je problem, “buttkissers” se vzdy najde dost, ale zadek skoro nikdo nechce byt…
    Muzu but jina cast 😉

  • Tanja June 14, 2009, 11:19 am


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