Tricky Words in this week's OVI
Summit. The pronunciation of this word is reflected in the spelling I have seen on notices in Slovak: samit, and people may well wonder what that is supposed to mean. The English word summit comes
from the Latin summum, meaning "highest thing, point or place", especially the top of a mountain or hill, or the highest point on a mountain pass. It can also be used in an abstract sense, such as
the summit of someone's career, which could be the summit of their ambition. A summit meeting, then, is a meeting of people at the highest level, most typically of politicians at the international
level, such as the G7 (now G6) nations' meetings, but it can also be used at lower levels to give a sense of equality of importance to a meeting's participants.
Another request from my most avid reader (jt), this time for typical English phrases involving animals. People can be as brave as a lion, as strong as an ox, as cunning as a fox, as sharp-eyed as
an eagle, as stubborn as a mule, as blind as a bat, or as slippery as a snake. We can be dog-tired, eagle-eyed, chicken-livered (zbabelý/á), hen-pecked (pod papučou), or hare-brained (šialené). The
rat race is a crazy competition among people (especially professionals) to be successful in life, and to smell a rat is to have the feeling that something is wrong in a situation. A wolf in sheep's
clothing is a dangerous person who makes themselves look harmless, or an ordinary-looking car with a very powerful engine.