Czech idioms

A collection of idiomatic expressions in Czech with English equivalents and translations.

IdiomsEnglish versions
Je to pro mne španĕlská vesnice It's all Greek to me
(lit. "it's a Spanish village to me")
Padají trakaře It's raining cats and dogs
(lit. "it's raining wheelbarrows")
Šplouchá mu na maják A sandwich short of a picnic
(lit. "it's splashing on his lighthouse")
Zaplatit majlantTo cost and arm and leg
(lit: "to pay Mailand" - Mailand is a German name for Milan, which was known for its richness in Middle Ages)
Je to to samé v bledě modrémTo be the same in blue
(lit: "to be the same in light blue")
Pánská jízdaThe stag party
(lit: "mens' ride")
Jako by hrách na stěnu házelLike throwing peas at the wall
Jedním uchem tam, druhým venLike a water on duck's back
(lit. "in one ear, out the other")
Hladit hada bosou nohouto walk into the lion's den
(lit: "to pat a snake with bare feet")
Trn v okuA thorn in one's side
(lit: "a thorn in one's eye")
Házet perly svinímCast pearls before swine
Být ze stejného těstaTo be cut from the same cloth
(lit: "to be made from the same dough")
Zatlačit někoho ke zdiTo drive someone up the wall
SmrdětTo be fishy
(lit: "to stink")
Mít zlou předtuchu / Mít tušení /
Tušit zradu
To smell a rat
(lit: "to have a bad preminition / to suspect a betrayal")
Knedlík v krkuA frog in the thoat
(lit: "a dumpling in the throat")
Šrotit / ŠprtatTo hit the books
Hujer/ ŠprtAn eager-beaver
Držet se na uzděHold one's horses
(lit: "the hold oneself back")
Být v pastiTo be in a pickle
(lit: "to be in a trap")
Bruslit na tenkém leduTo be in a hot water
(lit: "to skate on thin ice")
Natáhnout bačkoryTo kick the bucket
(lit: "to straighten one's soft shoes")
Poslední kapkaThe last straw
(lit: "the last drop")
Nehoří toIt does not hold water
(lit: "it is not burning")
Jednou za uherský rokOnce in a blue moon
(lit: "once in a Hungarian year")
Být paséTo be over the Hill
(lit: "to be passé")
Číst mezi řádkyTo read between the lines
Pohnout kostrouTo shake a leg
(lit: "to move one's skeleton")
DocvaknoutTo see the light
(lit: "to click in spot on")
Třást se jako osikaTo shake like a leaf
(lit: "to shake like an aspen-tree - the tree on which Judas hanged himself")
Zatím to ujdeSo far so good
(lit: "it is going on good so far")
My o vlku (a vlk za humny)Speak of the devil
(lit: "we (are speaking) about the wolf, (and the wolf is in the backyard)")
Chvástat se cizím peřímTo take a leaf from someone's book
(lit: "to burst in pride from somebody's else feather")
Hodit flintu do žitaThrow in the towel
(lit: "to throw the rifle into the rye")
Špička ledovceThe tip of the iceberg
Dvacetčtyři hodin denně24/7
Otočit se k někomu zádyTurn one's back on
Snesl by j? modré z nebeHe would do anything for her (lit. "He can take the blue from the sky for her")
To si pišThis certainly will be (lit. "You must write it")

Czech idioms compiled by Martina Spidlova with recordings by Jan Jurčík

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More idioms

It's all Greek to me | It's raining cats and dogs | As easy as falling off a log | A sandwich short of a picnic | It's small world | When pigs fly | Out of sight, out of mind

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