Hello and welcome to the last farm-animals episode in our language-teaching series featuring Czech countryside idioms. The only important animals left are poultry - drubez.
We'll start with the chickens. The generic word in Czech is slepice which also means hen. The male is kohout, a cock or rooster and the young is kuøe - chick. Chickens are considered to be very stupid in Czech and the word slepice or hen is a term of offence. Chicks are also known to go to bed early. Chodit spát se slepicemi means to go to bed with the chickens, go to bed very early, at sunset. If someone is looking miserable and lost, Czechs say tváøí se jako zmoklá slepice - he or she looks like a rain-drenched hen. Jako zmoklá slepice.
Roosters are known to be very territorial and competitive, hence the expression dva kohouti na jednom smeti¹ti - two roosters on one rubbish heap. It refers to any two competitive individuals (usually male) who find themselves working together or sharing the same space. Although chickens are not generally considered to be greedy fowls, there is one idiom which suggests it: zadarmo ani kuøe nehrabe. Not even a chicken pecks the ground for free. That's to say that nothing is free in this world and nobody does anything just out of good will, not even chickens. Zadarmo ani kuøe nehrabe. Staying with hens and money, if something is described as a "hen which lays golden eggs" - slepice, která sná¹í zlatá vejce, it is a very lucrative business, something which costs you little and earns you a lot, just like an ordinary hen laying golden eggs, slepice, která sná¹í zlatá vejce.
While a lot of people breed their own chickens in their backyards in this country, you are not likely to see as many ducks - kachny - and geese - husy, and there are markedly fewer duck and geese idioms in Czech as well. Still, we have picked a couple for you. As ducks are known to be able to digest almost anything, people who eat lots and don't suffer from indigestion are said to have the stomach of a duck - kachní ¾aludek. A goose march - husí pochod, on the other hand, means people walking one right behind another.
And that's all from us as far as farm animals are concerned. Next week we'll start a new series discussing idioms featuring wild animals. Until then na shledanou.
See also Living Czech