Being homeless is no fun. First, you have to sleep on the street, subject to all sorts of bad weather, crime, abusive cops, and abuse from strangers. Second, you have no money and neither do your friends. This means you have to spend most of your day walking up to tourists and saying, “Dej mi cigo”, while gesturing with two fingers toward your mouth.

But the worst part of being homeless is that you have to listen to young people describe you with new words, or “neologisms”. There are two relatively new terms in the Czech language describing these unfortunates. The first is a slangy shortening of “bezdomovci” to “bezdaci”. The second is a wonderful portmanteau, combining Czech and English together to make the mellifluous, “bezhomici”.

Still, no matter what you call them, and regardless of whether you give them a smoke, being homeless here or anywhere else is just no fun at all.

7 odpovědí na “Bezhomík”

  1. I assumed, before I read your article, that it must be a Czech amalgamation of bez + homo. ie a male person without a man.

    Or is more subtle than that and carries the secondary meaning that if you are without a roof over your head then you are „unmanned“, meaning either robbed of your humanity or your manhood.

  2. Bezdomovec, houmlesák, člověk bez střechy nad hlavou. Stačí krátkodobý výpadek soudnosti a kdokoliv může spadnout do této kategorie lidí na dně. Mnozí z bezdomovců mají zjevně změněnou psychiku a potřebovali by léčbu. Jsme bohatá, vyspělá společnost a přitom bezdomovců přibývá. S vyspělostí asi roste i sobeckost, nezájem o osud jiných. Velmi si proto vážím těch, kdo dokáží být solidární s potřebnými.

  3. „Houmlesak“ another anglicism enters the Czech language. For your word of the day pleasure, here are the words to a song you all know:

    Genesis – Another Day In Paradise Lyrics

    She calls out to the man on the street
    ’sir, can you help me?
    It’s cold and I’ve nowhere to sleep,
    Is there somewhere you can tell me? ’

    He walks on, doesn’t look back
    He pretends he can’t hear her
    Starts to whistle as he crosses the street
    Seems embarrassed to be there

    Oh think twice, it’s another day for
    You and me in paradise
    Oh think twice, it’s just another day for you,
    You and me in paradise

    She calls out to the man on the street
    He can see she’s been crying
    She’s got blisters on the soles of her feet
    Can’t walk but she’s trying

    Oh think twice…

    Oh lord, is there nothing more anybody can do
    Oh lord, there must be something you can say

    You can tell from the lines on her face
    You can see that she’s been there
    Probably been moved on from every place
    ’cos she didn’t fit in there

    Oh think twice…

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