Tuesday, December 18, 2007


We briefly interrupt our regularly scheduled radio silence to bring you the following message:
If you haven't read languagehat's latest post yet, go do it, like, now. And then contact your local bookstore / Amazon knock-off to get your own copy of Uglier Than a Monkey’s Armpit.

Mr. Hat was kind enough to ask me to comment on the Czech / Slovak section and perhaps even to add a few entries. Happy to oblige, I produced a 2000-word essay on the subject of Slovak insults and curses. Needless to say, only some of it got into the book. As for the rest, while you wait for your copy of Uglier Than a Monkey’s Armpit (or, if you're in the US, while you wait for your copies to be printed), here's my original essay as just a little something to whet your appetite.

To be honest, I'm somewhat miffed that they left out "Pojebali kone voz". After all, it doesn't get much more untranslatable - let alone much more Slovak - than this. Perhaps if I had mentioned that it can also be sung...? The tune is Nebola som veselá and the full lyrics go like this:

/: Pojebali kone voz, pojebali kone voz :/
/: A teraz, má milá, na piči si drevo [seno] nos :/

Ah well, maybe there'll be more room in the sequel.

In any case, congratulations to Mr. Hat and let us all hope this is just the first of many!