Fishing for idioms
Welcome again to Radio Prague's Czech language series exploring wildlife idioms. Today's animal is the fish, which, as everybody knows, is mute. Mlcet jako ryba - to keep silent like a fish, to be mute as a fish.
The Czech language too, knows the concept of big fish and little fish, meaning important or unimportant people and things. Modest as they are, Czechs coined an expression to describe small gains or achievements malý ryby taky ryby or little fish but still fish, so even small successes are of some value.
Cold and unemotional people, in English known as cold fish, are described as dead fish in Czech - leklá ryba.
Staying with dead fish, the Czech language has a saying: ryba smrdí od hlavy, a fish starts smelling from the head, which, metaphorically speaking, means, for example, that in an unsuccessful company one should take a good look at the boss.
And finally, still on the topic of stinking fish, there is one rather impolite saying, which might make you think that Czechs are not exactly the kindest of hosts. The expression goes ryba i host třetí den smrdí, meaning both a fish and a guest start stinking on the third day.
And we'd better not linger for too long lest something like that should happen to us, so until next week na shledanou.