Good Lord!


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 sung by Eva Olmerová. It is called Boží Den – a heavenly day and the refrain goes “a heavenly day – a gift from Our Lord”. The expression to look out for is “dal nám ho Pán” meaning it was given to us by our Lord.

Every language has a rich collection of expletives - reflecting an emotional reaction or plain surprise. Apart from a rich collection of vulgarities, Czechs also like taking God’s name in vain. When Czechs are surprised, angry or excited you will often hear them say Pane Bože– meaning Lord God! Also common are the expressions Ježiši, or Jesus, others say Ježiš Maria, Jesus Mary and some enumerate all members of the holy family in one breath exclaiming: Ježiš, Maria, Josef! Jesus, Mary, Joseph!

If you are one of the people who say Good Lord – then the Czech equivalent is Dobrý Bože! Or you can say Kriste Pane, Christ, Lord! Or Ježiši Kriste– which is obviously Jesus Christ. Czechs also say God in Heaven which translates as Bože na nebi! And some people say in exasperation “Bože, Ty to vidíš” or “God, you can see what is going on”. The equivalent of “for God’s sake “ is “pro Boha”, while for Christ’s sake translates as “pro Krista Pána”.

Another expletive you may hear used is pro Kristovy rány! Meaning For Christ’s wounds. And for some reason even Kristova noho– for Christ’s foot! The origin of that latter expression is not clear. And there is the somewhat strange sounding Ježkovy oči– which does not mean the eyes of a hedgehog as one might think – but is actually derived from Ježíškovy oči– the eyes of Jesus. Czechs may be the most secular nation is Europe but as you can see they use God’s name a lot. Explanations of surprise and anger may also come in German such as Himmel Her Gott! You will hear Czechs utter a brief kruci– which comes from the word crucifix or sakra– derived from sacral. And when all ends well you will hear them say, with no small amount of humility, díky Bože, Thank God! This is Daniela Lazarová saying thanks for learning Czech with me and Pámbu požehnej– God bless!