"Don't throw your rifle in the rye!"

Welcome to another edition of SoundCzech. Today, we'll look at an expression that's quite popular here: "hodit flintu do žita", which literally means to "throw one's rifle in the rye". The meaning of the phrase is to give up. The English equivalents would be "to throw in the towel", "chuck up the sponge", or "to fly the white flag".

Today's song is by Sestry Petrovi or the Petrov Sisters. It is about making the best of life, appreciating the little things, and not giving up. They have a playful use of words as they say why throw your rifle in the rye before you've fired a shot - why give up if you have yet to really start living like one should.

Those of you who used to listen to our previous Czech-language course ABC of Czech may remember two other popular phrases using the word rye - žito. The first is: "žít si jako prase v žitě", which literally is "to live like a pig in rye", and means "to live like a king". The second is: "být bit jako žito", to be beaten like rye, which means to get a thorough thrashing, just like rye, or a harvest, is threshed. But the phrase we can hear in our song today is: "hodit flintu do žita"...

And that's the end of this edition of SoundCzech. Czech is a difficult language but please "don't throw your rifles in the rye", "nehoďte flintu do žita", and join us again next week to learn another new phrase.