šedobíle

Discussion in 'Čeština (Czech)' started by enunciativo, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. enunciativo New Member

    English
    My parents spoke a little Czech, and I don't speak any. When I was a child, they used to reproach me with a word that I remember as something like 'šedobíle', 'šedobílá', or 'šedobílý'. When I look up these words, I see definitions like "off-white" or "grayish white", which I'm sure were not their meaning. I could be misremembering or seriously misspelling the word, or my understanding or their pronunciation may have been imperfect; but, is there some idiomatic meaning for these words or words that might sound similar to a non-Czech speaker that parents might apply to a child who misbehaves? Thanks.
     
  2. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    Hello enunciativo, and welcome to the forum :)! No-one seems to have any idea what it might be.

    The only thing I (non-native) can think of that seems to resemble the sounds you think you remember is something like "ty debile!" However, I don't think it's the sort of thing any normal, responsible parent would say to their child, and I'm certainly not suggesting your parents may ever have said it to you.

    I am often in a Czech domestic environment around parents speaking to their young children (it's a whole new Czech vocabulary - bumbat, ham-ham!, hači) even when they are misbehaving, but I've never heard any parent say this to their child, and I'd be quite shocked if I did. It's quite strong in Czech, and means "You idiot/imbecile/thicko/cretin/moron/dunderhead!"

    No, I'm sure that's not what your parents were saying to you. :eek:
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  3. werrr Senior Member

    My guess is "všudybyle". "Všudybyl" refers to a ubiquitous person, typically a restless child. But it could mean also "well-travelled person" or even "smart ass" (~ pretending to be well-travelled).
     
  4. thorx89 New Member

    Czech
    I second that motion. It was probably všudybyle. If you take into account how we generally under-pronounce our v's and how English speakers often reduce their vowels to the point that everything ends up as a shwa, then it's perfectly understandable why you might have confused the two. :D
     
  5. enunciativo New Member

    English
    Thank you very much. I'm sure that 'všudybyle' is right: I didn't remember the initial v sound, and 'šedobíle' was as close as I could get when I looked through lists of Czech words. In my case, "restless child" is less likely than "smart ass". I've wondered about the meaning of this word for years.
     

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