If you’re a newcomer to the Czech Republic, once you’ve gotten over the initial shock of the high-and-dry ledge in the toilet, the lack of toaletní papír everywhere (the doctor’s, school, offices), and the actual toilet paper itself you may be bold enough to ask for the bathroom in Czech (Kde je záchod prosím?/ Kde máte záchod prosím?) or even ready to move on to more advanced matters of merde:
Dog Poop, Kid Poop, and Bear Poop
- Czechs sure do love their dogs although cleaning up after them is another story. Despite citywide campaigns to address the issue, Prague sidewalks remain hotbeds of hromádky (little piles).
- An important phrase to learn when interacting with Czech dog owners? “Pardon, myslím, že jste za sebou něco zapomněli.” (“Excuse me, I think you left something behind”).
- Anyone who has or spends a considerable time around Czech kids will become fluent in the language of pre-school potty habits. Kids kakat, producing bobek (“little droppings,” also the name of a beloved Czech cartoon rabbit) or hovínko, the diminutive form of hovno (the Czech word for “sh*t”, derived from gov, a Slavic root word for cattle).
- In English, the phrase “Does a bear poop in the woods?” is used for stating the obvious, in Czech bear poop (medvědí hovno) is used to describe a calking material for drains and toilets.
- Watch out for “devil’s shit” (Čertovo hovno) in the kitchen and “crow shit” (vraní hovno) during your mushrooming excursions, the former being used to describe the cooking spice asafoetida, the latter slang for the common puffball.
Cow Talk vs. Bull Sh*t: Phrases and Expressions
- In English you bullshit but in Czech, you “cow talk” (kecáš kraviny). You can also accuse someone of mlít hovno (talking nonsense).
- When you want to describe something as useless it is “good for two things: for nothing and sh*t” (na dvě věci, na nic a na hovno).
- Then there is the rather convoluted Jeden myslel, že si uprdne a posral se (“A man once thought he would fart but he pooped himself instead.”) Used following a screw up to say that one’s good intentions were actually meaningless.
- You can also say “to shit in one’s shoes” (Nasrat si do bot) after doing something for good and having that thing turn out bad.
The Straight Poop
- The act of pooping goes by a number of names: kadit, výkal, lejno, exkrement, and stolice.
- If you want to be discrete you can say you need to “do a big one” (na velkou) or “a little one” (na malou), akin to the English expression “going number one (pee)” and “number two (poo).”
- In English we “answer nature’s call,” so do the Czechs (sort of) producing “pine cones” (šiška) and, of course, “mushrooms” (houby).
- Funny slang for dropping the kids at the pool: položit kabel (“to lay a cable”).