Falling headlessly in love


Hello and welcome to another edition of SoundCzech – Radio Prague’s Czech language series in which you can learn idioms through song lyrics. Today, we’ll be listening to a song called Gilotina by singer songwriter Karel Plíhal. The phrase to look out for is “zamilovat se bezhlavě”:

As the title of the song Gilotina or the guillotine suggests, today’s phrases will feature heads. The singer Karel Plíhal suggests, rather ironically, that there is no need to have a head, because it causes all sorts of problems and distracts the body from work. There is no need to have a head when falling in love, either, he continues, because one can easily fall in love without it or as we say in Czech – “zamilovat se bezhlavě”. Listen out for the phrase:

The phrase “zamilovat se bezhlavě” literally translates as falling headlessly in love. The closest English translation would be to fall head over heels, or headlong in love. But the word bezhlavě is not used only in connection with falling in love. It describes reckless or absent-minded behaviour. Listen once again:

There is another Czech idiom with a similar meaning, and that is “po hlavě” or headfirst. “Vrhnout se do bazénu po hlavě”, for example, means to plunge headfirst into the pool. Just like in English, the idiom also has a metaphorical meaning. Another, rather less frequently used synonym is “střemhlav”.

The word head features in many Czech phrases but if we go through all of them, you may feel as if your head is spinning, or as we say in Czech, “jde mi z toho hlava kolem”. In the end, you might end up having a head like a sieve or “hlava děravá”. So I’ll leave you with that for today. If you want to find out other head-related phrases, check our previous editions of SoundCzech at www.radio.cz. Thank you for listening and nashledanou!