Bulgarian Phrases; Bacterium Bularicum

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Mon Oct 9 18:56:18 UTC 2000


BRINGING WOOD TO THE FOREST--My Bulgarian and Czech guides both use this.  It's like "carrying coals to Newcastle."

SELLING CUCUMBERS TO A CUCUMBER SELLER--The Bulgarian guide mentioned this.  The Czech guide hadn't heard it.

BRING AN OWL TO ATHENS--Probably older than Bulgaria, I'd imagine.

A HUNGRY BEAR DOESN'T DANCE--The Bulgarian guide mentioned this, although Bulgaria isn't really known for bears.  Russian?

BRAINS DON'T GROW AT THE SKY--For example, if a Communist official names someone a minister, it doesn't make that person smart.

MOSCOW IS THE THIRD ROME, AFTER WHICH NO OTHER ROME WILL EXIST--Rome is the first Rome, Constantinople was the second, and Moscow was called the third, according to my Bulgarian guide.

YUPPIES--My Bulgarian guide knows this as "yoopies."

EGGPLANT--My Bulgarian guide tells me that in the Gene Hackman/Will Smith movie ENEMY OF THE STATE, the lawyer Smith was called a bad name.  Smith said that that name was for Jewish lawyers; Smith was a black lawyer, or an "eggplant."  I didn't see the film.

KURVA--A slang word for prostitute that seems to be widely used in all the Eastern European countries.

KARACHKA--Bulgarian term for prostitute means "woman who drives."

CHENJE--A policeman or "cop."  From "chenjel," or "hook."

TRICKY PETER--This folk character is borrowed from Turkey.  He's always playing tricks on the rich and powerful.  A statue to him was in front of the Museum of Humour and Satire.  I didn't find any particular words or phrases, though.


   Bulgaria is known for its culture--yogurt culture.  They love the stuff.
   I had always thought yogurt was Russian.  Then again, I thought the Russian alphabet was Russian, too.  (A statue of St. Cyril is in front of the national library.)
   The official name is "bacterium bulgaricum."  I asked if they were known as "yogurt heads" (like "cheese head" or "mullet head"), but that slang hasn't arrived here.

   From the Gurko Restaurant:

SNEZHANKA ("Snow White," which is the color of this dish)--cucumber and yoghurt.
PEASANT'S SALAD (VILLAGE SALAD, or SELSKA)--roasted peppers. tomatoes, cucumber.
SHEPHARD'S SALAD (OVCHARSKA)--tomato, cucumber, pepper, onion, ham, mushroom, kashkaval (hard cheese) and cheese.
MASLINISLUK--onion and olive salad.
MESHENAH--tomato, cucumber, pepper.
KACHEMAK (POLENTA)--corn-meal porridge, served hot.
KAVARMA--spicy pork stew with peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions.
GYUVECHE "TSAREVETS"--spicy pork stew with peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and onions.  Topped with kashkaval (hard cheese), eggs and ham, baked in an earthenware pot.  (A local specialty--ed.)
PALACHINKA--pancake with chocolate, honey, and jam filling.

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