Brother in Love

Hi Jiri:
Well, I guess I can’t disappoint my vast army of eager fans, salivating at the need to read more Fred’s Czech Mate. Here’s another feeble attempt at explaining my flawed and ineffective learnings from the Czech language….


get a bad deal here. There is an old Czech joke that I first heard in 1990. I ran across it again when googling „czech mother in law“.
— Daddy, why is mother-in-law running so fast?
— Be quiet, son, and reload the gun.
According to my bargain basement Czech/English dictionary, „tchán“ is father-in-law and „tchýně“ is mother-in-law. „Tchoř“ is pole-cat. All of these words are hard to pronounce. That „t“ and „ch“ combination is deadly. So „tchan“ ends up sounding like „tucan“, which leads people to think I’m talking about a tropical bird .
I consider learning Czech to be not only a linguistic excercise, but also a sociological examination of the local culture. So when I see the word for daughter-in-law, „snacha„, my ingrained English makes me want to say „snatch uh“, which is close to a mildly pejorative term for female genitalia. Than I reflect that a tucan is a bird (for you English readers, „pták“, is a similarly vulgar Czech term for male genitalia) and I wonder just what goes on behind closed doors between fathers-in-law and daughters-in-law here. Since the father-in-law’s spouse has just been gunned down by his son-in-law and grandson (zeť and vnuk: see joke above), who’ll presumably have to spend at least a few years in jail, this leaves both the bereaved older man and the suddenly single but still youthful woman both in need of support and companionship, right?
Slovo dne readers, (and I mean YOU Naomi) after careful consideration and long reflection, I strongly recommend that you never allow your children to marry. The consequences are dire. Better to encourage them to have endless affairs (preferable with handsome foreigners like me) so that you never become a „tchýně„. I mean, you wouldn’t want to be married to a tucan who’s gonna seduce his snacha after you’ve been slaughtered by the zeť and vnuk, would you?

11 odpovědí na “Brother in Love”

  1. I was old and mouldy long before my grand daughter was born, but then I realized immediately – I have become an old mouldy grand daddy (starej plesnivej dědek). It took me another year before I realized that I am also a Father in law. My son in law has lived with my daughter for 12 years in my home – before they get married. For 12 years they lived on a small pile (na hromádce). I almost did not notice any change caused by their wedding – it only changed their tax category, but no change in the way of living.

  2. But we must not dispute tukans human rights, because they are people-in-law. Pinguins (tlusťoši) are people-in-law too,

  3. I feel so influential. And famous! 🙂 And happily unmarried. Wouldn’t want my mother to be….oh…hang on…this could come in handy…

  4. Be very careful what you say about Penguins. See the website of the infamous Penguin Liberation Army.

    Hey, you’re all reading this website using open source, right?


    (the original brother in love, who has no Czech Mate…wait, Naomi is single?)

  5. I wonder if the damnation of mothers-in-law started in the times of housing shortage in the commies era during Babyboom, when many families, even during their honeymoon, had to stay in a very uncomfortable, tiny flat in a „panelak“ with their mothers-in-law, who have always been to eager to give a helping hand even with exchanching the engagement rings…

    Or is it just another example of how we turned the Czech proverb „Host do domu – Buh do domu“ („Guest in the house, God in the house.“) into „Host do domu – hůl do ruky!“ („The guest in the house – Get rid of the louse!“) ?

    Does anyone know?

  6. Fred!

    It’s just an awful misunderstanding,watch your back when you make fun of PAV (People’s Army of Vietnam)
    (former Viet-Minh or later Viet Cong and NVA)
    and Lieutenant General P.Nguyen
    (can be confused with the English word „penguin“)
    because he is the true leader PLF (People’s Leftist Front) in Central Europe and he might think your PLA is their main enemy…. Some say that they have moved some good ol‘ Sherman tanks here, they keep them in the heaps of „Adihas“ shoes in their stores…

    Good luck soldier!

    Brigadier General Henry W. Jamie (Ms.)

    P.S Rub the PLF out!

  7. Jamie;

    I suspect mothers-in-law have been reviled since before our grunting ancestors were squating in damp caves arguing over who’s lice were tastier.

    In fact, one of the oldest jokes in all human history has recently been unearthed in Iraq. The joke was inscribed on baked Sumerian tablets at some unspecified point in prehistory. The priceless clay tablets were looted from the ruins of ancient Babylon by Penguin Liberation Army forces, but later recovered by US special forces, who personally debriefed Dick Cheney on their hastily translated contents. Highly placed slovo dne insiders at the White House reporting through top-secret open-source conduits, have posted what they overheard:

    Cannibal 1: I don’t like your mother-in-law
    Cannibal 2: So just eat the vegetables.

    BTW: If your mother-in-law is using Word as an Operating System, read the step-by-step tutorial on how to convert her to better and cheaper open source software. She’ll thank you for it.

    Full details here:

  8. i prefer penguins-judges than penguins-soldiers. maybe i can imagine penguins-orcasfeedstuff but penguins-soldiers never ever.

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