Anglické jazykové okienko

Anglické jazykové okienko

Andy's Wordshop

Continuing with bully, the word later changed its sense from positive to negative, and was used to mean someone who boasted about being a great lover and the number of his conquests of women, most likely lying, however.
The negative development went on, and the link with love was lost completely. Nowadays it means someone, male or female, who enjoys terrorizing other people who are weaker than them, often among pupils in schools, and sometimes among adults in offices. The idea of pretence (predstieranie) is still present, as a bully is also a coward (zbabelec), cowing down to anyone stronger who confronts them. That "coward" also looks like it's derived from the animal, a cow, but it's not, it's from the Latin word for tail, "cauda", in the sense of a frightened dog that runs off with its tail between its legs.

Tricky Words in this week's OVI

Bully, bully-off. There I was thinking that the basic idea of this word was derived from the character of a bull (býk, bujak), being big and strong, liking to show off with lots of snorting and scratching the ground with their hoofs - but it's not taken from that animal at all.
Even though the start of a hockey game, and the re-start of play after a foul, involves two players measuring up and clashing their sticks together, trying to win the puck, the English word "bully" comes from the old German "Buhle", meaning a lover, darling or sweetheart, or in archaic terms a paramour, and this could refer to a man or a woman. Only later in English it came to be used solely for a man, and first of all it meant brother, companion or playmate, like "kamarát", the sense which is probably preserved in the hockey "bully".

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