Many people have complimented slovo dne for its extraordinary accurate and factual examination of historical linguistic questions. Our quite popular posting on the subject of the history of Czech beer, for example, was warmly received by the highest authorities in the land as the definitive account of this controversial topic. So it is with great pleasure that we report our newest discovery. After long and diligent research by our crack team of scientists, semanticians, and historians, we have discovered the historo-linguistic roots of the popular term, „hokej“.

Hokej was invented by the Hussites in the bitterly cold winter of 1425 on the outskirts of their military camp at the small, now utterly forgotten town of Kned. Kned, as historians agree, was surrounded by ice at this time. Only the well-off leaders of the Hussite bands of warriors were allowed near the warmth of the food fires. The starving and increasingly desperate masses of devout peasants had to wait outside on the hard ice. They amused themselves while waiting by carving paddles in anticipation of the spring thaw when they could row their canoes again.

Food quickly ran low. The commanders became concerned, fearing starvation and a mutiny. A new food source must be found. After trying out various concoctions, cooking dirt, feathers, and rocks, they chanced on an important discovery. If you wad up bread dough and then boil it in water, you get something that can just barely be eaten. In honor of the place where they camped, they named this new „food“ knedliky.

The first game of hokej broke out when the Hussite commanders tossed a piece of knedliky, hard as a rock, out onto the ice where the stick weilding peasants awaited in hunger. Later refinements included putting a net at each end of the ice. If one group of Hussites could put their piece of knedliky into the other side’s net, they would win points which they could redeem at a Sazka office or use to win lucrative endorsement contracts. Eventually referees were added to oversee the fighting and make sure that each group wore different colors while out on the ice. The tradition became so strong that eventually the Czech lands were famous throughout the world for their skill in this new sport. Up to this day Czechs are world famous for their hokej games, and their knedliky.

14 odpovědí na “Hokej”

  1. Now I know why are the Czechs such a good tennis players, there must have been a moment in a poor nations history, that they made a net at the end of a stick and produced a first tennis bat in the world… and also the first tennis ball, at that time still called knedlik, i suppose.

  2. Díky Romanovi matně tuším, že kdybych uměla anglicky, tak se asi při tom čtení za břicho popadám. Takhle jen tuším, že je to něco o českých národních symbolech… No, kdyby se ti naši šikovní čeští (moravští, slezští, event. slovenští) hoši kdysi tak pořádně neobuli do toho hokejového sportu, asi by svět byl přece jen o něco ochuzen. Viz např. dnešní titulek v Seznamu – Jágr splnil úkol a dotáhl Rangers do play-off-! Tipuji, že srdnatý Jaromír má rád i ty knedlíky. O jeho vztahu k husitům však nic nevím.


    Fred, do you think we are stupid enough to agree with this? Every illiterate dumb teenager in primary school knows, that Hussites invented many useful things, but it was in sixth century, not in year 1425.

    Their leader, the popular merchant called Kurri Aari (the guy who was very well known under his nickname „Samo“,which means „paunch“ in ancient Norse language) came from Wild North in year 544, brought the traditional game of Icelandic Pikemen, the „hockey“ in Czech lands, when he came and settle down with his army in parched plain next to the river „Vltava“.

    We know that in those times hockey was a bit different match. Unfortunately, the historitians keep arguing about the sense of putting pieces of forged metal on the boots and bending pikes, called hockey,hooky,howky or hookey.
    Some say it was training for war situations, others say that soldiers bended the blades of their pikes because they were pacifists and didn’t want to kill anyone more.
    Some sophisticated historitians even say it was connected with hookers….

    Although they were very peaceful and friendly, when the Pope’s commisary saw rude behavior and low morale of so-called „Bohemians“ in Prague, he declared war on them immediately.

    Willy-nilly, the Hussites had to unbend their hockey-sticks back to the pikes and defend themselves….that’s how the Thirty Years War began. Luckily, crusaders were crashed at that time and we can still live like Bohemians…..

  4. All of you are mistaken, sorry I just want to say that it is possible to successfully doubt about your conclusions. In fact, all above items were invented by Jára Cimrman, who lived in sixth, seventh, fifteenth, sixteenth or nineteenth century, maybe even twentieth. It is his fate – even now, when he won the contest „Biggest Czech“, he was disqualified without any relevant reason. He was not accepted all his life. Some „Pseudo – inventors“ even destroyed the documents about him, just to be able to boast with his feathers. It is the reason why real time he lives can not be proved. All above possibilities are possible.
    He originally invented HOKEJ as a rehabilitation exercise to cure dumb seniors. It was based on the sentence: „Když nemůžeš mluvit, houkej!“ („If you cannot speak, hoot!“). As it was spelled in Haná (see Hanácké vtipy): “Hókej“ (with long „ó“ instead of „ou“), when the game spread to other countries, it was pronounced „hokej“.

  5. Jamie and Jirulka both seem to have valid and reasonable claims to be telling the true story of hokej. Unfortunately, as an ignorunt „amik“ I am unable to declare a winner.

    So I propose a „face off“. Each of our contestants will select their weapons, stagger out onto the ice, and then flail at each other until one of them is carried away on a stretcher by emergency personnel. This is only fair.

    To help in this urgent scientific inquiry, I have dispatched the official slovo dne helicopter to hover overhead and film the whole thing. Results will be posted on this site…just as soon as we all get out of the jacuzzi and send the super-models home.

    Fred and the slovo dne team…

  6. Dear Fred, you probably have not read my Czech coments. I wrote about relativity of the truth somewere in slovodne.
    I always taught my children: The truth need not be only one. The opposite of true need not be lie. About one matter several different truths can exist, each eliminating all the others.
    So it is not reasonable to fight to decide who’s truth is stronger, let us agree with all. History and resarch will always show that all previous explanations were false.
    Not so long ago it was scientifically proved that aircrafts heavier then the air cannot fly. Anyhow it was truth, as at those times no motor existed that could drive the airplane.
    And one important remark about Czech mentality – Czech people never fight for their truth.
    And I am a top example of pacifist, my only weapon is a joke.

  7. Oh, alright then. You’re taking the fun out of this though. The whole reason to watch hokey is for the fights…

    But you are correct. We’re all of us correct. Hokey was invented by the Hussites, particularly by the well known „Samos“ in the sixth century, but he got the idea from Cimmerman…

    Now that we’ve agreed, watch someone come along and claim it was invented elsewhere…like 1875 in Montreal by J G A Creighton. But we know the truth…er, our version of the truth…well, at least we have a sense of humor.

    Fred „The Dumb Puck“ Czech Mate

  8. You Amici! You never forget about fighting – at least watching it during hockey match. I am not watching hockey to see the fights, I just like the advertising breaks!
    All Czech people admire advertising. In Czech Republic there is the biggest density of bilboards on earth, app. 3,142 per one inhabitant.

  9. Jirulka!
    It’s obvious that no-one likes advertising, but it’s certainly better to watch advertisements during hockey matches, than to watch all hockey teams declaring bankrupt in evening news because of the lack of sponsors….

    And about those bilboards, it’s also caused by Czech mentality, they think they’d be stupid if they didn’t feather their own nests with the money the get for the lease of site where the bilboard is placed, and it’s paid pretty well…

    P.S. Remember our national motto „The truth wins“ ? Isn’t it naive? What kind of truth are they talking about? And why should it win? Why? What would we archieve by letting the truth win? And who cares about that actually?

  10. Of course! That was why I wrote about it. Especially „Myslím to vážně“ were quite an example non plus ultra. (For foreigners – it was a bilboard with Staník Gross, the quickest go ahead polititian, and then the quickest go away polititian, with the sentence „I mean it“.
    Anyhow it is not only the matter of money for landlords. During bolshevic era we had the biggest density of propaganda – like „With the Soviet Union for eternity and never else“ or “ Lenin’s way to bright tomorrows“ or „We fight for peace“.
    Main reason for so heavy campains is the same both then and now: Some people think such brain washing is efficient. They are sure that they can make fools of everyone. Typical propaganda rule says: Thousand times repeated lie becomes the truth. And this is the one that will win.
    Of course Czech people successfully fake stupidity and then they do not go to elections, because they are disgusted by all polititians.It is practically unimportant, whether this or that one.
    All just steel, but some of them are even worse, in addition to that they are not able to hide irresponsibility with doing nothing, and they make very stupid and dangerous decisions. From wall to wall. Typical response of Czech ordinary inhabitant: „I agree with everything, you just have to tell me what should I agree with.“

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