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22-11-2019, 05:01 UTC
Living Czech

Show me the money

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Hello and welcome again to Living Czech. This time, as I promised last week, we will be having another look at money, or perhaps I should say cash, or dough, as we are dealing with Czech slang terms for money.

Perhaps the most common slang word for money in general is prachy, which means powder or dust. This is apparently most likely because money, just like powder can easily be blown to the four winds. This theory is backed up by the verb rozprá¹it, which has the same root as prachy, and means to disperse.

But what about the notes and coins themselves? Well, you will probably remember from last week that the Czech currency is the koruna, or crown. One koruna is often called a kaèka, which is a diminutive form of koruna.

A ten crown coin coin is referred to as a pìtka, which means five. This is not a deliberate attempt to confuse, but is apparently a throwback to a devaluation of the currency from the first half of the century whereby five crowns took on the value of ten. Another theory is that this comes from an old Austrian coin, the gilder, that was worth two crowns, so five gilders were worth ten crowns. The term for a five crown coin is a bùra, but heaven only knows why.

A hundred crowns make a kilo. Since a kilo has a thousand units, it may be that this slang term came about as a result of some confusion, that somebody mistakenly believed that a kilo consists of a hundred units. Five hundred crowns make a pìtikilo, or five kilos.

A thousand crowns is called a litr, or litre, which also has a thousand units and unlike kilo, makes perfect sense. Another term is tác, which means a tray. There is actually no connection between the meaning of these words, tác was selected because it sounds similar to tisíc, or a thousand in Czech. This is also the case with the Czech slang term for a million, which is meloun, or melon.

Well, that's it for this time. Next week's topic will be a very important one: beer and various acompanying alcohols. What do the Czechs drink other than the beer that the country is famous for? Find out next time. Until then, mìjte se fajn, or take care.

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