Tricky Words in this week's OVI
Casualty /kažjelty/. The modern understanding of this word is "the victim of an accident suffering either injury or death", but it has undergone an interesting development to achieve this meaning.
The original Latin "casus" meant a fall (pád) and then a case (prípad) or a cause (príčina) - but if the reason was not clear, then the idea of an accident appeared, something that happens by
chance, then something bad that happens unexpectedly, bad enough to result in injury or death, and a person who is a victim of an accident is a casualty = "padlý" in journalistic Slovak. The idea
of no clear reason, by chance or accidental is also present in the adjective "casual", for example "casual clothes", which means wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, leisure-wear not intended for any
special or formal occasion.
The question this week is whether I can find a Slovak equivalent for the English idiom "They are like peas and carrots" (literally "hrach a mrkva"), meaning two people who form a couple even though
they are different, like friends who do things together, but they're not twins - similar to "ebony and ivory". Talk about difficult! There are Slovak idioms which suggest identity (vajce vajcu), or
opposites that fight (pes a mačka), or typical combinations that don't relate to people (hrom a blesk), but we need an idiom for Lasica and Satinský or Laurel and Hardy. So what about "zohraná
dvojica" or "jeden sa bez druhého nepohne", or with the expressivity of dialect: "sú ako môj s mojou".