Off topic: Help with Czech slang or obsolete word
Thread poster: DeborahRuth

Local time: 15:50
Oct 12, 2011

In Cesky Krumlov, a Czech guide named Daisy pointed to a sign over a ?bakery shop with a long word, many consonants, few vowels, something like TRDLNIC. She said this word meant "very awkward" or "inept" or "very incompetent". I am writing a personal travel journal, and I would like to find the correct version of this word and learn how to pronounce it.

Many thanks,


Alexandre CLEMENT  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:50
Russian to French
+ ...
bumpkin, dodo, goof, boob Oct 13, 2011

Hello, Deb.

"Trdlnic" comes from Trdlo, which means :
1) a delicious pastry shaped like a bracelet, smelling slightly beer and cooked under your eyes. (It's my own definition)
2) fig., concerning a person, colloquial : bumpkin, dodo, goof, boob (dixit Lingea)

Trdlo may usually be used about someone awkward, scatterbrained or forgetful. As a synonym, about as colloquial, you can also use "trouba" (litt. "a tube" and "an oven").

I hope this will help.




Local time: 21:50
trdelník Oct 14, 2011

Hi DeborahRuth,

The word is trdelník "turr-del-nyeek" in Czech, accent on the first syllable. You can find more either at the Wiki entry:ík

or just by googling trdelník.

The trdlo is the rod on which trdelník is baked. It is a word with a rich history (reaching back to an Indo-European ter- root) covering all different types of blunt poles, pestles, staffs and sticks used for rubbing, grinding, crushing etc. Hence, it came to be applied to clumsy or silly persons, rather as in the English expression "he's thick as a post". But trdlo is really quite gentle, you can say it affectionately to a child or manchild.

Trdelník is commonly seen being baked at folk fairs, and on a cold afternoon the sweet doughy scent is quite mouthwatering.

Good luck with your travel journal!



Local time: 15:50
Trdelník Oct 14, 2011

Dear Alex and Septima,

Many thanks for adding to this topic. My journal is much enhanced by your knowledgeable contributions and links to photos. I couldn't find it on Wiki because I was spelling it incorrectly!
By the way, in winter, we wear "turtleneck" sweaters. It is curious that this word sounds like Trdelnik. In a way, the turtleneck is shaped like the delicious cake, but "turtle" and "trdlo" are very far apart in language origins and definition.

Be well,


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