Lowlands-L: Beyond the Pale: A border-crossing guide for language learners
Lowlands-L: Beyond the Pale: A border-crossing guide for language learners

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Word to confuse: cool

When “Cool” means “Crap”

There’s a Slovak word that’s pronounced as our word “cool.” It is used a lot, especially by Romanis from southern Slovakia. I am friends with a family of them who lived in our flats, and the landlady was in the habit of saying “cool” to everything, to the great merriment of the children.

OK, it may not seem funny on first seeing, but consider the following dialogs.

Ondrej: Here’s the rent money.
Landlady: Cool. (shit!!!)
Ondrej: I pay the rent Friday?
Landlady: That’s cool (shit!!!)

Child (who is showing her a drawing): Is this nice?
Landlady: Yes that’s lovely. It’s cool (shit!!!).

Tom Carty (Thomas O’ Carthaigh, Member of Lowlands-L)
Tullamore (Tullach Mhor), Co. Offaly, Ireland, April 13, 2008


It must be a Romani word. Well, I don’t know, am not so familiar with Slovak Romani, but khul is also the common word for sh*t in Balkan Romani (which I am familar with from the days lived in Bulgaria).

Mike W. Morgan (Member of Lowlands-L)
Mumbai (Bombay), Maharashtra, India, April 13, 2008


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Tu se cool! (You are cool!) So? Me som ... SO?!? (What? I am ... WHAT?!)