A "thorny" lesson
Welcome to Radio Prague's Czech language programme in which we explain the meaning of Czech idioms about plants. Today's topic is anything to do with bushes, shrubs and brambles.
Let's get to the idioms: být nìkomu trnem v oku - "to be a thorn in somebody's eye" is a Czech variety of the English expressions: to be a thorn in somebody's side or flesh.
Vytrhnout trn z paty translates as "to pull a thorn out of somebody's heel", meaning to help them out of a difficult situation.
Another one, být jako na trní - "to be on thorns" means to be on tenterhooks, to be nervous and fidgety as if you were sitting on thorns.
Still staying with thorns: být jako rù¾e mezi trním means to be like a rose among the thorns, to stand out in a positive way. On the other hand, není rù¾e bez trní - there is no rose without a thorn.
Now onto another part of the shrub, the twigs, which are in Czech called proutek. About slim girls we can say je jako proutek - she is slender as a reed, she is slim and willowy.
Twigs or rods are synonyms for elasticity and flexibility in Czech. Hence the expression proutek je tøeba ohýbat, dokud je mladý - the twig needs to be bent while young. Meaning it is necessary to teach young people discipline. You can also hear this idiom with the word stromek - a small tree.
I'm afraid our time is up today but please, join us next week for a brand new lesson. Until then na shledanou.
See also Living Czech.