back to article Days are numbered for the Czech Republic

The British government will start referring to Czechia rather than the Czech Republic, following advice from an official committee. The Permanent Committee on Geographical Names “establishes and applies the principles by which foreign geographical names (toponyms) should be written”. It is now advising use of Czechia in place …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    CzechMate

    Chintz?

    Czechitout?

    Czechsum?

    Czechers?

    Czechbounced?

    Czechplease?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: CzechMate

      Czechers playz pop?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: CzechMate

      Czechia self before ya wreck yaself.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: CzechMate

        inb4... no, wait-- dammit!

    3. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: CzechMate

      Czechia, easy peacy, try to pronounce the name of the town Hardwicke. Yes, Americans will fail too.

      1. The_Idiot

        Re: CzechMate

        When I was (briefly) at University in the UK, I was out walking one time into the countryside. A guy with his family in car stopped me. He turned out to be Australian. He asked me if I knew the way to 'Looga-ba-rooga'.

        I never really looked at Loughborough quite the same again :-).

        1. User4574
          Joke

          Re: CzechMate

          I thought it was pronounced "Low Brow"

        2. Jeff Green

          Re: CzechMate

          Walking with a friend in Sarf Lunnun an American lady asked for directions to Fort Neef.

          It was only when my very puzzled friend repeated the name in his distinctly Croydonian tones that I could point out that the address her brother-in-law had given her by phone was Thornton Heath ...

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: CzechMate

          "Loogabarooga" actually sounds like it could be a place in Australia.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: CzechMate

            I don't quite get this. It's our language so it's our choice which name we choose.... isn't it? We haven't got the equivalent of the French academy so we can't be told what we should use either.

            That's the only way you can explain us using, for example, the we we use the Francophone Bruges despite it being in Flanders but the Flemish name for Zebrugge.

            1. Hollerithevo

              Re: CzechMate

              Of course you can choose. You can call it Bohemia. You can still cal it Czechoslovakia. You can call it the Austrian Empire. But if we're all moving to call it by an agreed name, you soon won't be understood.

            2. Peter Mc Aulay

              Re: CzechMate

              Bruges and Zeebrugge are in fact two separate towns. The Flemish name is Brugge, which is pronounced as written but with a very hot potato in your mouth.

      2. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Re: CzechMate

        Happisburgh (Haysbura) and Towcaster (Toaster) are also pitfalls for the unwary...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: CzechMate

      Czechia...

      Another pronunciation existed before the new... hard to imagine it, otherwise.

      Cze Cze Cze... Chia!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMIENN-egjA

  2. Dave Harvey

    It was discussed before

    "I refuse to be President of a country called Czesko." -- Vaclav Havel.

    1. P. Lee
      Coat

      >"I refuse to be President of a country called Czesko." -- Vaclav Havel.

      Why?

      I asda same question.

      1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

        Re: >"I refuse to be President of a country called Czesko." -- Vaclav Havel.

        "Česko" is what most Czechs refer to their home country as when speaking Czech, "Česká Republika" is what's on the banknotes and passports, but is hardly never used in day-to-day life (although you do see "čR" frequently used in print as an abbreviation).

        As I understand it, Vaclav Havel's objection was to the use of the name "Česko" as the international name for the country, and it's because the "-co" ending makes it sound like the name of a business, not a country.

        It's surprising it took so long for "Czechia" to appear: it just substitutes the Czech "-sko" with its international equivalent, "-ia" and so preserves the meaning of "Czech-land". In the German language, "Tschechia" (same pronunciation) is commonly used as the name of the country already, so there's a precedent there in two of the country's neighbours.

        ... but yes - many, many Czechs really don't like the new name.

  3. Fibbles

    If the name change is solely for the purpose of advertising then I'd say Bohemia is the most marketable name in that list. They could have even changed the national anthem to Queen. It would have certainly made the start of international football games more interesting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bohemia won't do...

      Well, it's a little similar to the 'Great Britain' or 'UK'. Calling the whole area 'England' would be quite likely frowned upon. At least by Scots, Welsh, you name it.

      Czech Republic/Czechia actually consists of former Kingdom of Bohemia, Moravian Mark and small part of Duchy/ies of Silesia.

      Moravians and Silesians (in Czechia) do speak Czech (kind of, hee, hee :), but Moravians (mainly) actually prefer the others to recognize they are still a thing and they fiercely opposed the idea of Czech Republic being called 'Bohemia'. And that's it.

      1. Kurt Meyer

        Re: Bohemia won't do...

        Čechy a Morava?

      2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        UK & Great Britain explained

        Worth a look:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNu8XDBSn10

        1. Pedigree-Pete
          Pint

          Re: UK & Great Britain explained

          I learnt something and I've been British (English) all my life. Thanks.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bohemia won't do...

        > Moravians and Silesians

        I think I remember that episode of Doctor Who.

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      That would be like calling the UK "England" or "Great Britain", it excludes the parts of the country that are not Bohemia.

      1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

        it excludes the parts of the country...

        Or Holland.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holland

        If you don't live in North or South Holland (most do), you may be pissed off.

        The Netherlands (better Nederlands) please.

  4. Spanners Silver badge
    Pint

    Bohemia

    If they had called it Bohemia, they could have behaved in a Bohemian manner...

    Lots of parties, sleep through the morning, clothing styles, slightly dodgy morals and so on.

    Great for some types of tourism,

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Czechaslovania?

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Castlevania?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      NeSlovensko

  6. Novex

    I thought one of the main complaints about the name is that Czechia sounds not unlike Chechnya, the disputed region in Russia...

    1. Richard Jones 1
      WTF?

      @ Novex, that is what I thought. The choice appears very dangerous, I can see a few issues coming down the road over that one.

      1. Your alien overlord - fear me

        You don't think Russia would invade "by mistake" again do you?

    2. JeffyPoooh
      Pint

      The people of Czechian will be known as Czechians ?

      I'm sure that nobody will get Czechians confused with Chechens.

      LOL.

      1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        Re: The people of Czechian will be known as Czechians ?

        (Resistance is useless!)

        Only the USA.

        (Apologies if the stereotype offends.)

        1. Blake St. Claire

          Re: The people of Czechian will be known as Czechians ?

          er, Boaty McBoatface right back at you.

          Karma.

    3. Rich 11 Silver badge

      It's pronounced Checkia, not Chechia. How do you pronounce the 'ch' in Czech Republic? How do you pronounce it in Czechoslovakia? Why would you now pronounce Czechia so differently?

      All those upvoters must have left their brains in the pub. Still, that's one way of approaching the weekend...

      1. StephenH

        Trying to use logic and consistency in the pronunciation of place names? That's not a game you can win.

      2. Novex

        It's pronounced Checkia, not Chechia. How do you pronounce the 'ch' in Czech Republic? How do you pronounce it in Czechoslovakia? Why would you now pronounce Czechia so differently?

        All those upvoters must have left their brains in the pub. Still, that's one way of approaching the weekend...

        You're right, in that in this instance the 'ch' should be pronounced 'ck', but most people, me included, when seeing 'chia' automatically think 'ch' and not 'ck'. So the Czech people will have to contend with the rest of the world pronouncing their country name wrong. At the moment, when I see 'Czech Republic' I think 'Check'. It would take a humungous education effort to get the rest of the world's population to get the pronunciation of 'Czechia' right, as in 'Checkia'. That or the spelling needs to be changed to the latter so the rest of the world gets it right from day one.

        All this doesn't even begin to deal with 'Cz' being pronounced 'Ch' (though most people seem to know that one).

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "are you not entitled to the sweat of your brow?"

    Rapture?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "officials note crossly that CR has already been snapped up by Costa Rica."

    We all call it CZ (tse zed) here.

    1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: "officials note crossly that CR has already been snapped up by Costa Rica."

      I, for one, would not mind giving a tribute to ČZ motorcycles. Happy memories.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Česká_zbrojovka_Strakonice

      Maybe renaming the whole country after them would be a bit excessive, but certainly not the worst idea around.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: "officials note crossly that CR has already been snapped up by Costa Rica."

        I would like to see it pronounced as CZ ( See Zed) after the fantastic pistols that they produce.

        As a happy CZ Shadow SP01 owner, I couldn't be more pleased with CZ, as for many like me, it glistens with quality.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Relevance

    "Promoters of Czechia point to its Latin roots"

    In a place which is never part of the Roman Empire, nor romanised?

    1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      Re: Relevance

      The Latin language survived long after Rome fell, and was used in places that never saw the Empire's rule.

      Throughout the early medieval period, the "Czech lands" were firmly within the Holy Roman Empire ("... of the German peoples"), and while that state itself was neither holy, nor Roman, nor really an Empire*, it kept Latin as its language of state.

      ( * someone was going to say it, so I decided to get in first)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How do you pronounce it?

    "Čech" of course exists in Czech and the digraph is pronounced /x/ (that's supposed to be a Greek letter chi). So is Czechia pronounced with a fricative (/x/) or a stop (/k/)? Or is it up to the individual speaker (in which case I'll pronounce it "Czech Republic")?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shut up and sell me a T shirt!

    1. You aint sin me, roit
      Coat

      Would that be a chequered t-shirt, or this Czechia one?

      (Mine's the plain one)

  12. Bob Rocket

    Czech for the number four

    is 4, same as English.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Czech for the number four

      Now try saying it out loud. Languages are spoken as well as written. Anyway, čtyři has pretty similar pronunciation in all the Slavonic languages - and is related to the Greek (tettares, hence tetrahedron). It's us Gothic speakers who are out of step.

      1. John Savard

        Re: Czech for the number four

        Quite right; in Russian, the number four is chyetire. Odin, dva, tri, chyetire, pyat, shest, syem, vosyem...

  13. Uberseehandel

    Many of my Czech friends refer to their country as Czechland - if it works for them, it works for me. Sadly, not all Czechs are Bohemians, were that so, then the name would be obvious.

    Historically, Silesia would be a poor choice of name and Moravians, whose country is part of Czechland, are not Bohemians.

  14. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Obviously...

    TCFKATCR - The Country Formerly Known As The Czech Republic.

    Now all they need is a cool symbol.

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Obviously...

      That's too similar to that place just north of Greece.

      (Are they and the Greeks talking to each other yet?).

      In other European Geography, British or Britain was hijacked by Queen Liz I of England, and really referred to all "These Islands" (as the GFA calls them) as well as part of France now called Brittany. Before UK or even England existed.

      Fascinating stuff, Geography, and my pre-1918 maps of Europe are now more accurate than all later ones done between 1918 and 1991!

      Also amazing that Dalriada is making a comeback in "Ulster", but not yet in Scotland and "Glenshane" is to become a region. Maybe UK/England/Scotland should give the re-invented Dalriada the Stone of Scone, which if real, is the Lia Faíl, (Stone of destiny or Shadows), though given that it's Scottish sandstone, someone must have made a copy before the English first took it, but after it was lent to the Scottish from Ireland. Though there may be a 1950s copy too. The pillar in Tara is nothing to do with the Stone of Destiny.

      What about Boho-Morav as a contraction of Bohemia-Moravia? Maybe not.

      Will we see an independent Catalan / Catalonia too soon?

    2. Not That Andrew

      Re: Obviously...

      FYROM is an awesome name. Sounds like it should be a morally ambiguous organisation with a fleet of mechas and not enough government oversight. As Vaclav Haval said, Czechia sounds like a supermarket.

  15. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    If they had a monarchy they could be the United Crown of Bohemia Moravia and Silesia, UC for short, or SK in Czech.

    1. Down not across

      If they had a monarchy they could be the United Crown of Bohemia Moravia and Silesia, UC for short, or SK in Czech.

      Given the history, I doubt SK would go down well as short in Czech...

  16. GrapeBunch

    In the old days

    the international name of a country might be based upon its name in French. For example, Netherlands = Low Countries = Pays-Bas. See where I'm going? Then your Paycheck is in the Mali !

    Oh well, countries are bound to be a joke, or almost one, in some other language. For example, if you tried to take a derivation for Canada in Spanish, the closest you could get would be Aca Nada = Nothing There. Perhaps that's what inspired the "Quelques arpents de neige" remark. Or perhaps the other way around.

    It seems to me that, because Chechnya, and because it's still early days in the monde post- Czech Republic, that English-speakers choose Czechland. If other languages go different ways, no big deal. After all, Németországi Szövetségi Köztársaság is still with us, even though its name is dissimilar in so many languages.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pragueistan?

    Domestos?

    Cif?

    Dettolopolis?

    Landlockistan?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let famous fiction be your guide

    Czecho. See "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"

  19. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Coat

    Lol!

    I await an EU announcement on the forming of a new EU bureaucracy with a sole mission of informing the EU member states what country names they are allowed to use. All decisions by the new EU Working-party on Appellations for National Conformity will be final (my money's on Bohemorasileszchia).

  20. J 3

    Czechia

    Interestingly, a Russian friend of mine used Czechia to refer to that country a few months ago, when I told him I was going there... Funny thing, serendipity.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Czechia

      "a few months ago... Funny thing, serendipity."

      Not really. Based on the average speed of government bureaucracy, if UK.gov is just realising this now, this this name change has already been implemented there and been in the offing for at least a year or two.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Name it after their most famous son on STAR TREK!

    Czechov!

    (yes i know he's Russian)

  22. thexfile

    Instead of Czech Porn it's now called Czechia Porn?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I wasn't even aware this was a major category. But it wasn't previously called Czech Republican Porn was it?

      So no.

      1. Banksy

        There are some nice, naked pr0n ladies from Czechia though.

      2. Teiwaz
        Coat

        Czech Porn?

        Hope you have a virus Czecher....

        Fine, I'll Czech my ticket at the cloakroom.

  23. the Jim bloke

    They could call it

    .... This Land.

    immediately prior to a sudden but inevitable betrayal!

  24. Big_Boomer

    Czechia?

    It should be pronounced Checkia, not Chechia, which helps avoid the association with Chechnya.

  25. Aurelian2

    Czechnoslovakia?

    It will always be that for me.

  26. Sierpinski

    Czechita

    So it sounds like a banana republic.

  27. Wolfclaw

    Has to be Chekov or Czeckov !

  28. clean_state

    where does this spelling come from ?

    I speak Slovak and Czech but even so I am puzzled by the spelling of the word "Czech" in English. Who came up with this ? Anyone on this thread knows ?

    "Cz" for a sound as in "Chaplin" or "Chewbacca", that is the *Polish* orthography. Why !?!

    "Cz" does not exist as a special spelling, neither in Czeck nor in Slovak. The first sound of "Chaplin" is written "Č".

    As for "ch" being pronounced "k", it is *not* pronounced like that in Czech or Slovak. And not in Polish either... There are some rare occurrences like "chitin" or "chronic" in English, but it still is a weird spelling to choose.

    Why?

    1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      Re: where does this spelling come from ?

      The spelling CZech came from... the Czechs.

      The spelling of the Czech language was reformed in the mid-19th century. Before this time, many words that begin with "č" were spelled as "cž"*. By the time "Cžesko" officially became "Česko", the English-speaking people of the world had already decided to use the Cz.. form, but stripped of its diacritics, of course.

      To add to your post, the best approximation of "ch" for English speakers is the end of the Scottish (or Irish) word "loch", as pronounced by a Scottish or Irish speaker.

      Also, as a lesson for programmers to stop using code-point sorting for lists that a human will read: "ch" is considered to be a letter in its own right in Czech (it sorts after 'c')

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: where does this spelling come from ?

        As long as it's consistant, it doesn't matter. You could go ACBED, etc, if you wanted, as long as everybody else did. Convention is more important here than accuracy.

      2. eionmac

        Re: where does this spelling come from ?

        Humour. Like Mc, Mhic , Mac, M' , Nic (in Scots/Irish) it is a specific language sound, with meaning. I grew up in Scotland / Caledonia/ Scotia/ North Britain and our school gave up indexing pupils under "M" (too many started with a M variant) so indexed under next part of name e.g MacDonald was indexed under D . OK until university when we had many Africans with names like M'Bono who were lost when indexed under B. Usage rules. The Africans adapted!

        Checho was what most Czechs used to me when I sojourned in Czechoslovakia in Soviet 'overrule days'.

  29. Tom Paine

    anecdotal data point

    The fine Czech staff at my local pub (which is most of them, it's a long story), if asked, say they are "from Czech". FWIW.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good of them not to choose a name which sounds very similar to another place ( Chechnya ).

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