Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Hey all you Rumplestiltskins who thought building a huge palace out of Czech hellers was a good way to store your dough -- better start dismantling and spending.

Here's what I have to say. "Heller." Think about it. In Czech, it's not a heller, it's haler widda accent on the E and a hook on the R. Do you know of any other minor currency subdenomination that has its own special word in English? I don't. Why why why? (Scan this handy currency table if you need help. And remember, all these words are fair game in Scrabble, provided you're using Merriam-Webster as the "challenge" reference.)

Yes, there's "crown," but that's a direct translation of koruna. According to www.slovnik.cz, haler means groat (sort of like a grit, but larger), mite, and doit.

Meanwhile, the English word "heller" itself, according to Merriam-Webster, has nothing to do with Czech coins at all in English, but means "hellion."

But as far as I'm concerned, a heller will always be a heller.

One time I wanted to re-name Penny (my friend's aging, Czech-trained pit bull) "Old Heller."


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