Czech by Numbers - Six


Welcome to Czech by Numbers, Radio Prague's own Czech language series which explores Czech numbers and also their use in idioms. Today we'll be looking at the number six - šest. The common Indo-European origin of the Czech and English word is just about noticeable in the sound.

Instead of šest our ancestors sometimes used to say půl tuctu - half a dozen - but you will rarely hear that said these days.

The figure of six - šestka - can mean a molar tooth or room or bus number 6. If you say about somebody that he or she má nohu šestku it means they wear size 6 shoes. You need to be careful there because if you use the plural má šestky you would be referring to the size of a completely different item of clothing.

The ordinal number, sixth, is šestý. You will often hear that someone has šestý smysl, a sixth sense for something. šestice is a group of six. šesticípá hvězda is a six-pointed star.

A colloquial expression o sto šest, literally "for a hundred and six" can be translated as "with a vengeance". A typical use of the idiom would be pracuje o sto šest, he works very hard.

Another Czech word derived from the number six is šesterák - a stag with six tines, a six-pointer. Whereas šesták was originally a six-kreutzer coin. Today the word is used to describe a small coin or a small amount of money. Pracovat za pár šestáků means to work for peanuts.

And this is the end of lesson number six - šestá lekce. Next week we'll be back with the lucky number seven. Till then na shledanou - good-bye.