Eat me, flies!


Welcome to a fresh edition of SoundCzech, Radio Prague’s signature miniseries in which you can learn something about the Czech language – while listening to music! In this edition, we’ll be talking about flies. The song is called Mouchy, or Flies, and it appeared on the 1995 album Ukončete mě! – or Terminate me! – by the Prague-based band Tata bojs. The phrase to listen for is “Mouchy, snězte si mě”.

The Czech expression “Mouchy, snězte si mě” translates as “eat me, flies”. This peculiar imperative to the insects is in Czech used to describe someone whose attitude suggests they wouldn’t mind being eaten alive by flies. In other words, people say that about somebody gormless and passive. A commonly used phrase is “on je takový mouchy snězte si mě”, or “he’s like, eat me, flies”. I don’t think the actual lazy person would say that themselves. Have another listen.

The lyrics of the song go – “každej má, i já mám svý, mouchy”. Advanced learners of Czech will know that it translates as “everybody has – and I have my own, flies”. But what Tata bojs are trying to say is not that we all have our own swarms of flies to eat us. The phrase “something has flies” – “něco má mouchy” means that it has its flaws. When something has flies, you have to catch them. In Czech we say “vychytat mouchy”.

The word moucha, fly, also appears in several other Czech sayings. The English phrase “to kill two birds with one stone” has a Czech parallel of “zabít dvě mouchy jednou ranou”– “or kill two flies with one blow”. And that’s that for this edition of SoundCzech. Wherever you are, don’t let any flies eat you!