I'm from Ireland. As in other English speaking countries we have several surnames which are adjectives, such as Long, Short, Rich and the like. But our adjective names have nothing on those you find here in the Czech Republic. Czech has a wonderful variety of amusing names - not all of them adjectives, but those are my favourites.

A few years ago there was a government minister called Mr. Vyborny, which translates as Mr. Excellent - an excellent surname I'm sure you'll agree. I knew a man called Mr. Hezky, which means handsome. He wasn't particularly handsome but at least one of his ancestors must have been to earn a name like that.

But of course not all adjectives are so positive. Spare a thought for people whose surname is Nevrly, or Grumpy. Or people who are called Kysely or Sour. I once had a neighbour called Sour. To be honest he wasn't particulary sour, but he was a bit mad. And, if you're wondering, there is a surname Mad - Sileny.

One of the Czech Republic's top models is called Seredova, which comes from the word seredny, translated in my as dictionary ugly, hideous, beastly, nasty, vile. Miss Seredova is far from hideous - a more apt surname would be Krasna, meaning beautiful.

The name Sad - Smutny - is quite common, but then so is Vesely, or Happy. The word teply means warm, but it has also come to mean homosexual. Anybody with that name is sure to come in for a lot of abuse at school, and in later life too probably . And people called Silhavy, or Cross-eyed, can't be too happy with their surname either. By the way one of the Czech Muslim community's leaders is called Muhammad Ali Silhavy, which looked at in a certain way could be translated as Cross-eyed Muhammad Ali.

But it's not only adjective names which tickle my funny-bone. Some names are bizarre commands. A popular Czech actor is called Dejdar, or Give A Present. Skocdopole means Jump In A Field, and Nejezchleba means - of all things - Don't Eat Bread.

Other surnames come from the past tenses of verbs - those names come from Moravia. Dostal, meaning Received, is quite common - indeed it's the minister of culture's name. Dostal is quite simple. Other such names are more colourful. There is one name - Snedlditetikasi - which, I kid you not, translates as Ate The Child's Porridge.

English has surnames which are the names of animals and birds, but it doesn't have - as far as I know - the name Hedgehog, which is Jezek in Czech. An old boss of mine has that surname but he's not at all prickly and he doesn't roll into a ball at the first sign of danger. Probably. Another amusing Czech surname is Pavouk or Spider.

Some Czech surnames are frankly rude. I had a colleague once whose surname Bobek means turd, though the Czech version is perhaps a little less strong than the English word turd. Other names are a good deal more rude than Bobek, such as Sourek - which means Testicle Sack. I could tell you a few more rude names but Radio Prague is a family station so I'd better end it there.