Senior Member

Every Sunday the TV explains us the history of Hungarian castles in the program "Várfoglalók".
It seems that this compound word is formed by vár (castle) and foglaló (earnest money, an advanced payment to avoid the seller sells a house to another guy, for instance).

Of course "foglaló" has another meaning: "conqueror", "aki foglal valamit", I guess), but is it used in common language/other contexts? If someone is a "squatter", we call him/her "földfoglaló", but not just "foglaló": szóval, ki egy sima foglaló?

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  • "Foglaló" would be "downpayment", compound foglaló (Várfoglalók, honfoglalás, földfoglaló) carries the meaning "taking the possession of", not necessarily or not always "conquering in a military sense".
    I don't think "foglaló" is used much on its own to mean "conqueror", you would need something before it (honfoglaló, várfoglaló, földfoglaló, stb.) to make it a compound noun. Withouth that, it usually means "deposit" or "prepayment", if used as a noun.
    There are some cases in which it can be used in this sense as a present participle, not a noun.
    E.g: Az asztalt foglaló férfi... (The man reserving the table...) or similar.
    I haven't seen this programme but - out of context- I think of várfoglalók firstly as people who occupy (/conquer) a fortress.

    However, várfoglaló could indicate the name of the action of occupying a fortress, which could be the case here (figuratively, of course, in the sense of getting to know or getting familiar with a fortress), if the programme is about introducing the various fortresses in Hungary. (Is it this this programme?)
    But then, the title should be in the Singular... The use of the plural (várfoglalók) indicates the people involved and not the action itself.
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    OK. Just by the description of the programme, it doesn't turn out why the people are in the plural... If the aim of the programme is to show the various fortresses (castles...) in Hungary then it is a bit strange. (But sometimes these "niceties" are not repected any more in everyday language.)