Break a "neck"
Today's song is by the band Ready Kirken and is called Hvezda or "Star". The phrase you'll learn today is "Zlom vaz!" - a popular phrase used in the theatre before actors go on stage.
Thanks for joining me for SoundCzech, the programme in which we teach you Czech phrases through songs. Today's song is by the band Ready Kirken and is called Hvezda or "Star". The phrase you'll learn today is "Zlom vaz!" - a popular phrase used in the theatre before actors go on stage. Have you guessed what it means? The equivalent in English is: "break a leg"...
The literal translation of "zlom vaz" is "break a neck", where "zlom" is the imperative of the verb "zlomit" or "to break" and the word "vaz" means "the nape of the neck" but it can also mean "ligament", "cord", or "attachment". Do you know why actors tell their colleagues to "break a leg...or neck" when they go on stage? There are many theories on how the phrase originated. But it's clear that it's not out of spite. My favourite explanation is that you wish actors to have so many rounds of applause and curtain calls that they have to bow or curtsey over and over again until they almost break a leg or their neck. So, if you believe this theory then "zlom vaz" in show business basically means "hope your performance is applauded". Let's hear the phrase "zlom vaz" again in song:
In case you're wondering, the song is about a person who is destined to become a star though his light has yet to shine. The singer tells him to conquer the world and "break a neck".
And that's the end of this edition of SoundCzech. Join us again next week when we'll be back with another new phrase - this time, to fit the season, it will be featured in a Christmas song! Until then, "Zlom vaz!" in whatever you set out to do.