To have your heart in your throat


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 Lovci lebek or Head hunters by Czech band Traband. The phrase to look out for is “srdce v krku”.

The song is about head hunters travelling across the desert and through the bush, while native people are trembling with fear. In other words, they have their hearts in their throats, or “mají srdce v krku”. Some people also use the phrase “mít žaludek v krku”, which literally translates to have your stomach in your throat. The closest English translation of both of these phrases would be “to have your heart in your mouth”. Listen to the phrase “srdce v krku” once again:

In fact, the singer says “srdce v krku buší”, which is a combination of two phrases: “mít srdce v krku” or have your heart in your throat and “srdce buší” - the heart is thumping. The meaning of the two phrases is the same, suggesting that the person is really terrified.

Another phrase similar to “mít srdce v krku” is “mít srdce v kalhotách”, in other words, to have your heart in your trousers. However, while “mít srdce v krku” means to be worried, to have your heart in your pants suggests you are a coward.

Apart from having your heart in your throat or in your trousers, you can also have it in your palm, which, as you may remember from one of our previous editions of SoundCzech, means that you are sincere. The English equivalent of this phrase is to wear your heart on your sleeve.

And I am afraid that’s all we have time for today. If you want to find out other heart-related phrases, check our previous editions of SoundCzech at Thank you for listening and nashledanou!