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Do you know something about Czechoslovakia? This little country had its moments.

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Czechoslovak history minute

Spread the word of Czech people

This is a list of word coming to English from or via Czech, or originating in the Czech lands. Words and expressions derived from the Czech language are called Bohemisms.

- Howitzer

is a type of artillery piece characterized by a relatively short barrel and the use of comparatively small propellantcharges to propel projectiles in relatively high trajectories, with a steep angle of descent.


The English word howitzer comes from the Czech word houfnice, from houf, "crowd", and houf is in turn a borrowing from the Middle High German word Hūfe or Houfe (modern German Haufen), meaning "heap". Haufen, sometimes in the compound Gewalthaufen, also designated a pike square formation in German.

In the Hussite Wars of the 1420s and 1430s, the Czechs used short barreled "houfnice" cannons to fire at short distances into crowds of infantry, or into charging heavy cavalry, to make horses shy away. The word was rendered into German as aufeniz in the earliest attested use in a document dating from 1440; later German renderings include haussnitz and, eventually haubitze, from which derive the Scandinavianhaubits, Serbian haubica, Finnish haupitsi, Polish haubica, Russian and Bulgarian gaubitsa (гаубица), Italian obice, Spanish obús,Portuguese obus, French obusier and the Dutch word houwitser, which led to the English word howitzer.

- Robot

A robot is a mechanical or virtual artificial agent, usually an electromechanical machine that is guided by a computer program orelectronic circuitry, and thus a type of an embedded system.

karel capek pri praciszwPygb

The word 'robot' was first used to denote a fictional humanoid in a 1920 play R.U.R. by the Czech writer, Karel Čapek but it was Karel's brother Josef Čapek who was the word's true inventor. Electronics evolved into the driving force of development with the advent of the first electronic autonomous robots created by William Grey Walter in Bristol, England in 1948. The first digital and programmable robot was invented by George Devol in 1954 and was named the Unimate. It was sold to General Motors in 1961 where it was used to lift pieces of hot metal from die casting machines at the Inland Fisher Guide Plant in the West Trenton section of Ewing Township, New Jersey.

Karel Čapek was a Czech writer of the early 20th century. He had multiple roles throughout his career such as playwright, dramatist, essayist, publisher, literary reviewer, photographer and art critic. Nonetheless, he is best known for his science fiction including his novel War with the Newts and the play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), which introduced the word robot. He also wrote many politically charged works dealing with the social turmoil of his time. Largely influenced by American pragmatic liberalism he campaigned in favor of free expression and utterly despised the rise of both fascism and communism in Europe.

Čapek was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature seven times, but he never won one.

- Pistol

A pistol is a type of handgun. Some handgun experts and dictionaries make a technical distinction that views pistols as a subset of handguns; others use the terms interchangeably. Sometimes in usage, the term "pistol" refers to a handgun having one chamber integral with the barrel, making pistols distinct from the other main type of handgun, the revolver, which has a revolving cylinder containing multiple chambers.


The etymology of the French word pistolet is disputed. It may be from a Czech word for early hand cannons, píšťala "flute", or alternatively from Italian pistolese, after Pistoia, a city renowned for Renaissance-era gunsmithing, where hand-held guns (designed to be fired from horseback) were first produced in the 1540s.

The first suggestion derives the word from Czech píšťala, a type of hand-cannon used in the Hussite Wars during the 1420s. The Czech word was adopted in German as pitschale, pitschole, petsole, and variants.

source En.wikipedia.org


I honestly didn't know about the pistol.
Nice job.

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For me, the best Czech import is my dear Wife.
Just don't make her angry. :)

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