Tricky Words in this week‘s OVI
Property. This is another English word which changes its meaning depending on whether it's used as a countable or uncountable noun. In the countable sense you can talk about a property or several properties, and then it means a characteristic feature of something, such as the properties of steel being malleability, ductility and endless recyclability. Or it means a piece of real estate, like a plot of land or a house and garden. In the uncountable sense it is just property, i.e. whatever you own, like when someone says “keep your hands off my property” (ruky preč od mojho majetku), or whatever someone has created, such as intellectual property (duševné vlastníctvo).
Salamander. There's a theory that this name came into old Greek from the Persian language, being a combination of two words meaning “inner fire”. According to mythology it's a lizard (jašterica) which lives/survives in fire, and the typical kind or species (druh) found in Slovakia (black with bright yellow patches) is known as the “fire salamander” in English. It is toxic, and it can squirt drops of poison out of its back, so its yellow patches are really a warning to other animals against trying to eat it. As for being “fire-proof”, salamanders tend to live inside old, rotting logs of wood, and back in the day when people put such logs on the fire at home, they might have seen a salamander trying to escape from the heat and flames. People's imagination then produced the myth #mythbusters.