Drunk as a plum


Welcome to another edition of SoundCzech – Radio Prague’s Czech language course in which you can learn new phrases with the help of song lyrics. Today’s song is by the group Alcohol and the phrase to listen out for is “ožral bych se na mol”.

As befits a group called Alcohol, the refrain of this song revolves around the potency of alcoholic beverages. “I have a hurt deep inside and alcohol cures all –if I only had some alcohol, I would get plastered”. The phrase ožral bych se na mol means “I would get plastered” or “I would get rolling-down drunk”. If someone is “na mol” they are pretty much dead to the world, as opposed to just being tipsy or “lízlej” as we say in Czech. However you would find that there are many more expressions for a state of heavy intoxication.

When someone gets plastered you can say they are “ožralý jako slíva” meaning they are drunk as a plum. Presumably this refers to the process of making plum brandy when plums ferment and are steeped in alcohol. Someone who has spent the evening downing one drink after another can also end up “ožralý jako Dán”“drunk as a Dane”, no offence to the Danes. Or you can simply say “ten je nalitý” - he is “full up” with drink.

The Czech language has several commonly used expressions for a drunkard or boozer – they are kořala, ochlasta, ožrala or násoska, to name just a few. The first relates to the word brandy which is kořalka. Kořala is someone whose daily calorie intake comes from brandy. The other three expressions relate to the act of drinking “on chlastá” means he drinks – and there is no question that the term refers to alcohol. Násoska is a siphon tube.

If you were to spend a little time watching Czechs drink at the pub some of the most frequent expressions you’d hear would be “jěště jednoho do druhý nohy” - give me another shot for the other leg. Or, “kopni ho tam”– which means kick it back –in other words throw it down. Bottoms up is “na x”“ it is derived from Latin and means “lift it up” or you can also say “do dna” meaning down to the bottom. And that's about all you need to know. So cheers -or “nazdraví” -as we say in Czech. This is DL saying thanks for learning Czech with me and nashledanou.