papíry na hlavu

artimedoros49

Senior Member
English
Hello,

I am reading a short story by Sylva Ficová and have come across the above, for which I can only find one meaning: doklad, že někdo není úplně normální.

This seems to me to mean that someone has some sort of certification that they have a psychological or mental illness. I would like to know if that is correct, or whether there is another meaning?

I have given the whole paragraph, to make the context clear.

Vojna – dvouleté martyrium pro kluky, kteří se mu mohli vyhnout jedině s „modrou knížkou“ pro zdravotně nezpůsobilé nebo s „papíry na hlavu“– někteří se ji snažili oddálit střídáním vysokých škol nebo svatbou (co bylo horší, si domyslíte).

Thank you for your help.
 
  • Mori.cze

    Senior Member
    Czech
    hi artimedoros,

    you are quite correct, that is exactly what is meant: any kind of a document confirming that the person is not sound enough mentally to serve in the army.

    Edit:
    "Papíry na hlavu" is a quite often used idiom with very vague meaning; sometimes you do not wish to give detail on what exactly your mental problem is, and also it seems to kind of jokingly soften the situation.
    I have heard it even in the sense of "psychological test results proving I am normal".
     
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    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    This seems to me to mean that someone has some sort of certification that they have a psychological or mental illness. I would like to know if that is correct, or whether there is another meaning?
    As Mori.cze notes above ("I have heard it even in the sense of "psychological test results proving I am normal") this phrase is, indeed, also used in quite the opposite sense of certifying that the person doesn't actually have some kind of psychological condition that might disqualify them from a certain activity, as here:
    Potřebné dokumenty pro osoby podílející se na vedení tábora
    Osoby podílející se na vedení tábora musí doložit splnění požadavků, které vyžaduje jejich pozice na táboře, následujícími dokumenty:
    1. Posudek o zdravotní způsobilosti pro práci s dětmi – tzv. „papír na hlavu“, musí jej mít všechny osoby pracující na táboře samostatně s dětmi. Vystavuje jej praktický lékař, potvrzení má platnost jeden rok.
    According to this document, when someone applies to act as a group leader supervising children alone at an activities camp, they have to get this safeguarding certificate filled in by a doctor, valid for one year.

    In your context, as Mori.cze confirmed, the sense is clearly that the person with the "papír na hlavu" isn't mentally fit for purpose - in that context, military service.
     
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