If you’ve spent at least a short while in Brno, even if it was just a short visit, you couldn’t have missed the fact that apart from the standard Czech language we happen to use an awesome and sometimes undecipherable slang as well.

For instance I’m sure you haven’t heard a Brno-born utter the word “tramvaj” for a tram. A true Brno soul would always say “šalina“.

Although hantec was spoken mainly among the lower classes and criminals in the 19th and early 20th century, many words made it to the language spoken nowadays. I’m not going to bore you with many historical details, but many of these words are of German origin due to the fact that before WWII there was a strong Austrian community in Brno. Therefore, if you’re a German speaker, understanding hantec is going to be much easier for you. Don’t worry if you’re not, we’re going to help you. Other words were borrowed from Romany language and Yiddish.

So come with us and discover the true flavor of the Brno slang. Please bear in mind that following words are very informal, and therefore please don’t use them during a job interview. But they might come in handy in case you’d like to impress your new friends in Brno over a glass (=krygl) of beer or blend in with the locals and decipher their secret language.

Hantec Standard Czech English
ánunk tušení idea
bauch břicho belly
betla postel bed
cimra pokoj, místnost room
eklovat se, eklhaft ošklivit se, nechutný disgust, disgusting
felit se zmýlit se make a mistake
fikslovat podvádět cheat (in a game)
flígr límec collar
fusakle, fusky ponožky socs
haus dům house
helfnout pomoct to help
hercna srdce heart
imrvére neustále constantly
kapric naschvál intention
krchov hřbitov cemetery
kastl, kastlík skříňka, schránka cupboard, box, mailbox
krygl sklenice na pivo beer glass
ksicht obličej face
kvelb obchod shop
kšír nádobí dishes
lifrovat dodávat, vyhazovat deliver, throuw out
luft vzduch air
mantl kabát coat
pakl balíček package
sicna sedadlo seat
šalina tramvaj tram
špígl zrcadlo mirror
štrozok slamník paillasse
švunk, švuňk rozmach upswing
tepich koberec carpet
zoncna slunce sun

Were there some other words you’ve enountered and neither you or your dictionary had any “ánunk” what they meant? Let us know!

Picture: wikimedia.org