The real reason why so many Czechs left the country / Opravdovy duvod proc tolik cechu opustilo jejich rodnou zem Interesting names with a Czech origin | Czechmatediary

The real reason why so many Czechs left the country / Opravdovy duvod proc tolik cechu opustilo jejich rodnou zem

laugh flickr imageI am starting to have a suspicion that many Czechs emigrated to the US because of their last name. These are just a few examples of Czech names that I have seen around town, here in the US, and they made me giggle:

- James Zadek (Zadek = Behind)

- Andrew Siska (Siska= pine cone but also piece of poop)

- Rudolf Ptak (Ptak = bird but it is also a slang for ‘penis’)

-  Sue Kruty ( Kruty = ruethless, evil)

It must be hard to live in the Czech Republic with such names especially since Czechs are such merciless jokers at times; if I had a last name like that I would surely leave the country! Because when abroad, all those names sound rather exotic without anyone knowing what they really mean.

But let’s look at it from the other side, if you were an American living in Czech, how would you react to Czech names like Mrs. Partysova or Miss Bendova?? You would probably have a good laugh about it too! Bottom line, if your last name is of a Czech origin you may not be safe anywhere  in the world :0)

Any other examples you can think of?

CZ:  Zacinam mit podezreni, ze mnoho Cechu se prestehovalo do Ameriky kvuli ‘prazvlastni’ nature jejich prijmeni. Jen tady u nas v Kalifornii jsem se setkala se jmeny jako:

- James Zadek

- Andrew Siska

- Rudolf Ptak

- Sue Kruty

Musi to byt asi dosti fuska  zit s takovymi jmeny v Cechach, zejmena proto, ze Cesi maji nekdy dosti drsny smysl pro humor a take se ho neboji pouzit. Kdybych mela takove prijmeni, hned bych si to mirila nekam do Svedska nebo do Ameriky! V cizine jsou totiz povazovne za neco exotickeho a zvlastniho, aniz by nekdo vedel, co  vlastne v prekladu znamenaji.

Pojdme se na tuto situaci podivat z druhe stranky: predstavte si, ze jste American zijici v Cechach a setkate se se jmeny jako pani Partysova nebo pani Bendova. Taky byste se asi pekne zasmali! Zkratka a dobre, jestlize je vase jmeno ceskeho puvodu, nejste pravdepodobne v bezpeci nikde na svete :0)

A co vy? Mate podobne priklady se kterymi jste se osobne setkali?

If you liked this post buy me a coffee! (Suggested:$3 a latte $8 for a pound) Thanks!

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Veronika July 3, 2009 at 12:07 am

The worst last name I’ve seen is “Satan”…with a hook on the S so the pronounciation changes to “Shatan”
I don’t know if that’s czech or what, but or sure makes for some interesting comments during soccer/football matches!

Tanja July 3, 2009 at 12:15 am

That’s terrible! Man, that would be hard to find a wife with a name like that…

Keith July 3, 2009 at 12:21 am

I swear I knew a guy named ‘Harry Sacs’. He was Czech too.

Tanja July 3, 2009 at 12:26 am

How could he be Czech, Keith, if the word “sacs” does not mean anything in Czech???

Keith July 3, 2009 at 12:27 am

because he was hairy.

Tanja July 3, 2009 at 12:29 am

Aha, now it makes sense…

Karen July 3, 2009 at 7:29 am

Yes, but Czechs don’t seem to find it wierd that the famous Czech car (named after it’s founder) is skoda (I think with a hook). Doesn’t that mean “it’s a shame” or “what a pity”? An American branding department would have talked him out of that one :-)

Sona July 3, 2009 at 8:30 am

To Veronika:
Miroslav ŠATAN is a hockey player for Pittsburgh Penguins and his country of origin is Slovakia….former par of Czechoslovakia. I heard about this Satan thing and am really sorry for the guy. Unfortunately Czech and Slovak language has a lot of accents so the names in English sound so much different without them sometimes. For example my name is Soňa in Czech which is pronounced as Sonia in English but people who don’t know me call me Sóna….like the med spa :o))

Sona July 3, 2009 at 8:52 am

I used to work for an insurance company back home and there were so many funny names I came across. Too bad I can’t remember them all. Here are some examples of names that I used to laugh at back at home:

Bobek – which means piece of poop
Hrůza – which means awfulness
Teplý – which means warm but also Gay in Czech
Vrzal – making creaking sound-also slang for having sex

Vlastimil July 3, 2009 at 10:02 am

Muj spoluzak se jmenoval Hora….Mel jaksi uspech u zenskeho pohlavi… Fajn kluk… Pak jsme vzdy po skole sli do hospody (who care about drinking age ?) a zpivali : “Vyletel z hory bily ptak ….” a hned jsme vedeli, ktera z pritomnych divek ma s tou horou zkusenosti….skoro vsechny pritomne divky se rdely :)

Neni cestina nadherny jazyk?

Jana V July 3, 2009 at 10:08 am

Rocipal-to spill
Vocasek-little tail
Kostohryz-bone knawer like dog
Pospisil-to be in a hurry
Janek-little john
Nejeschlebova-person who does not eat bread

I might think of more later on.

Jana V July 3, 2009 at 10:14 am

I was right got some more names.
Stavinoha something to do with your legs
Liska fox
Loupal peeler/to peel something
Kulhavy limper
Mach poppyseed
Sykora a bird
Nemecek little German

Vlastimil July 3, 2009 at 10:24 am

Dienstbeer – sluzebni pivo

Iva July 3, 2009 at 10:30 am

Ja mam v Cechach kamose , co se jmenuje Michal Skocdopole /jump into the field/.
Mozna bych se ho mela zeptat jestli nekdy neuvazoval o imigraci. :D

Tanja July 3, 2009 at 10:58 am

YOu guys are great!

“Nejezchlebova” a “Satan” is so far my favorite :))

Ivo: Kdybych byla Skocdopolova, tak bych si to s tou emigeraci rozmyslela…oni americani nejsou tak dobry s dlouhymi jmeny – mam to z vlastni zkusenosti :)

Tanja July 3, 2009 at 11:00 am

TO Karen: I are so right! “Skoda” is such a bad name for a car! I can’t believe it either that it passed with the branding department…someone must have had some good sense of humor or was reeeeaaally drunk.

Erin July 3, 2009 at 12:46 pm

One of my university students at MFF in Prague once handed in–with a grin–a paper with an English translation of his name at the top: “Spring-Celebrater Turtledove.” :))) (Jaroslav Hrdlicka.)

Eva July 3, 2009 at 1:22 pm

Kruty= cruel

Jana July 3, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Ja mela v Cechach kamarada ktery se jmenoval šourek. Me to tenkrat k smichu neprislo protoze jsem byla mala ale ted kdyz si to uvedomim, tak mi ho prijde lito protoze to byl fakt fajn spoluzak.

Vlastimil July 3, 2009 at 6:56 pm

Ja se jmenuji Vlastimil coz je v anglictine Patriot…
docela jsem si splhnul u Bushe…Moje prijmeni je Adamovsky, co jsem zkomolil do anglickeho Adam of Sky..doufam, ze si splhnu u Obamy, ktery je takovy zaprisahly krestan :)
Ale nemyslim, si, ze jmena by byla duvodem k emigraci… tady u nas je jeden Richard Hooker a ne a ne emigrovat… by the way, he is a real dick …

Vlastimil July 3, 2009 at 6:57 pm

Jana, ja uz jsem dlouho z Ceska ven…co to je sourek?

Tanja July 3, 2009 at 10:04 pm

No, tak mu Vlastimile rekni, o te ‘traveling option’- mozna proto je mu tak mizerne, protoze se jeste nevystehoval!

Jana B July 4, 2009 at 3:17 am

Na Kostohryze jsem uplne zapomnela. Kdyz jsem se seznamila s mym manzelem (teda pred tim nez byl muj manzel samo), tak jsem mu vysvetlovala moje prijmeni (Brabcova) a prijmeni moji matky za svobodna (Pospisilova) a taky on sam ma v Cechach (ne v Cesku) kamose Suchochleba. Vsechna ta prijmeni jsme probirali a moc jsme se u toho nasmali. On se chtel prejmenovat na Honza Skocdopole, protoze sam ma takove suche prijmeni.

Suchochleb / Dry bread

Patriot Adam of the Sky to by byl uzasny pseudonym pro…… hmmmm. neco mne napada, ale ….
Kazdopadne krasne to zni.

Jana B July 4, 2009 at 3:24 am

Skoda is also a last name so I assumed the Skoda name came from some ingeneer joining Laurin & Klement Co. I guess not.
Did you know Skoda has new model called Yeti? Looks like Land rover – Freelander

Vlastimil July 4, 2009 at 7:44 am

Jana: I will gladly stay V.A. …. “just kidding” :)))

Jana V July 4, 2009 at 7:57 am

Jeste po treti:

Katerina July 4, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Hi, well I think it works both ways, speaking of the auto maker Skoda, one of my clients in the US is called Hooker Construction…I mean…Moore Erection is another one…both construction companies but you wouldn’t guess it from their names.

Tanja July 4, 2009 at 2:50 pm

That’s terrible! What were they thinking? Or maybe they were just smart business-wise. It sure attracts attention!
Jsou to chytrousove!

Tom Blaha July 6, 2009 at 1:16 pm

My name, Blaha, probably would be OK in Czech Republic, but the little blighters in elementary school in Cleveland, Ohio made my life miserable when I was 5,6,7,8 yrs old. So does the occasional Anglo-Saxon reservation center person or restaurant hostess, even as an adult. “Hahahha, is that really your name? What did you change it from?” [Usually, when I answer at all, I say "Smith!"]

Sona July 6, 2009 at 1:31 pm

To Tom
I guess I haven’t been here long enough becuase I didn’t get how your last name Blaha was so funny to everyone here in US. What does it really mean in English? I hope I am not going to feel too stupid when I find out :o)

Tanja July 6, 2009 at 2:41 pm

I am on the same boat here; Why do Americans think your name “blaha” is so funny??

Vlastimil July 6, 2009 at 2:50 pm

Maybe because it is so close to “blah” ?

Tom Blaha July 6, 2009 at 2:52 pm

Not that it “means anything.” Just that it sounds funny to the Anglo Saxon ear, and remembering how cruel little kids are, I’ve had them say everything from it sounds like you are puking, to “feeling BLAH,”
(nauseous, maybe), to Blablalblalblabla, to Blahahahahahahaha!

Martina July 6, 2009 at 3:06 pm

Jano, tak jsi napsala me nynejsi prijmeni “Nemecek”. Jo, jo, kvuli nemu jsem opustila svou rodnou zem, abych se v USA vdala za Nemecka ;o)

Tanja July 6, 2009 at 3:18 pm

To Tom: so now I get it! That must have been rough….kids are totally merciless, sometimes…

Jamie July 11, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Czechs claimed to me that they don’t perceive the meanings of those surnames when they use them, much as many African-Americans don’t feel they’re cursing when they refer to each other by the “MF” word. So Czechs typically don’t think of pan Slinták as drooler. They claim it never crosses their minds.
I think the fact that Czechs have those surnames and African-Americans don’t is very revealing about the nature of American versus Austro-Hungarian society in a way that’s still valid today.
When the Austro-Hungarian monarchy abolished serfdom and required all citizens to have surnames, it appears that bureaucrats went through and assigned people surnames without asking them what they wanted to be called. A lot of people seem to have gotten their village nicknames as their surnames, humiliating or not. Face it: When given a choice, who would ask to be called “Nepochopil” (i.e., “was clueless”) or Břicháč (i.e., “jerk with a big gut”)?
When the American slaves were emancipated, they were asked to choose their own surnames, which is why you don’t find African-Americans with surnames like “Stupid” (Cz Hloupý) or “Heretic” (Cz Kacíř).
This difference between bureaucratic dictate and free choice can still largely be seen when comparing Czech versus American society today.

Petr B July 14, 2009 at 12:05 am

There are also names that are derived from soft fruit names: Malina (Raspberry), Jahoda (Strawberry) or Boruvka (Blueberry). Maybe Halle Berry would also have something to say about this…

Tanja July 14, 2009 at 10:25 am

To Petr: Yes, you are right! We kind of left out the vegetables…after all, who would want to me named ‘kvetak’ or ‘brambora’

lenka July 14, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Jamie, you maight have been asking the wrong group. Even though adults may say they do not really look at the meaning of the names, it is a different story with kids and youngsters. And I think when you come across funy name even adults take that into consideration. Oh how are we, who grow up with funny name, still remembering those days at school, summer camps or on the streets. I am not sure if the rule is still the same now, but it used to be if you had a really bad name |(rude, nasty, or vulgar) you could change it legally. That was one of few reasons you were allowed to change your name.
Nase ucitelka na zakladce ktera se pozdeji stala reditelkou byla Sourkova. Ja jsem si sice se svym divcim jmenem taky uzila (Panakova) ale to nebylo nic proti tomu co si uzil bracha. :)

lenka July 14, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Tanjo, a co takhle krestni jmena. Na toto tema by se take dalo vypravet. Tech basnicek a pisnicek co se skladlo. A posmevacek ze? Lenka, plenka, podprsenka. Kdyz uz clovek nemel smesne prijmeni tak si ho deti udelaly ze jmena.

Vlastimil July 14, 2009 at 6:24 pm

A me se taky deti smaly…Vlastik se take rikalo Vlasta, tak me rikaly: “Vlasta pasta na zuby, vytira si holuby”… Ale ja si z toho nic nedelal a zpival jsem to s nimi a kdyz videly, ze mam z toho legraci, tak zacaly terorizovat jine dite….

Jana B July 15, 2009 at 12:40 am

To musel byt nejaky moderni basnik, kdo to vymyslel ne?

Tanja July 15, 2009 at 12:47 am

No jo, lidicky, krestni jmena,na ty jsem uplne zapomnela! Ja jsem to mela tezky s Tatanou, vsichni me podezrivali ze jsem nejaka ruska.. :))

Jinak ja jsem sedela vedle kluka, ktery se jmenoval Rajmund Pelisek, tak ten si teda dosti uzil.

Jana B July 15, 2009 at 1:58 am

Rajmund Pelisek mne teda rozesmal! Chudak. Obcas nevim, jestli si rodice delaji legraci na ukor svych deti.

Tanja July 15, 2009 at 3:33 pm

No, a rodice byli doktori!! On chudak, taky jako Rajmund Pelisek vypadal….ale jinak to byl hodnej kluk..chudak. Taky na me mel samozrejmne ‘crash’ (jak se to rekne v cestine?).

lenka July 15, 2009 at 5:45 pm

byl do tebe zamilovany

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