As an expat, I’ve always been curious about where I’m living and being active in trying to learn the ins and outs of the small things as well with the bigger hits going on in the city.
Something I’ve always found fascinating was etymology –– the roots of a word or meaning and how it came to be to what it is today. Throw in a foreign language on top of a word, and things can just get pretty damn interesting. For example, have you ever wondered what a street name in Prague meant, and why? A main road close to where I live is called Vinohradska – meaning “wine castle” (literal translation) and it’s because this area I live in is called Vinohrady, which translates to “the vineyards.” I think it’s my favourite street name in Prague. It may or may not have to do with the incorporated bonus points of involving wine.
Another interesting word breakdown is an area in Prague called Cerny Most – translating directly to “black bridge.” This place is referred to as the black bridge because there used to be a stone bridge which was blackened by smoke from the passing steam locomotives at that time.
Anyway, luckily I was contacted a few months ago by a Czech native who was in the middle of creating a side project focused on dissecting the neighbourhood names in Prague. He called it The Prague Neighbourhoods Project and needed help with the English translations, and of course I was interested.
The project is now complete and here you can find an image and the breakdown on The Etymology of Prague’s Neighbourhoods.