Czech Metro Slang on Prague Public Transport

Learn some new metro vocabulary while you ride in Prague this summer

Dave Park

Written by Dave Park Published on 04.08.2015 16:00:51 (updated on 04.08.2015) Reading time: 1 minute

You might have heard the term černý pasažér (black passenger) or even the not-so-PC černoch (black man) being used to describe a public transport passenger travelling without a valid ticket.

What about the nickname Želva (turtle), used for the metro station Želivského?

Notice those protruding bumps on the walls lining the metro while waiting for your train? They’re sometimes called prsa (breasts). The inverted ones, logically, are antiprsa (anti breasts).

If your Czech is up to par, you might learn some new transport slang this summer aboard Prague’s busses, trams, and metro carriages.

These terms and others can be found on posters promoting the third edition of the Slang pražských dopraváků (Slang of the Prague Transit Workers).

The first edition of the book was published in 1982, followed by an update in 2001. The third edition, set to be released at the end of the year, coincides with the 140th anniversary of the Prague public transportation system.

And until mid-September, keep an eye out for posters like the ones below. 26 terms selected from the book – one for each letter of the alphabet – will adorn the walls of Prague’s public transport vehicles.

Spot all 26 of them, and you can even win a chance to take part in the Prague tram parade, which will take place on September 20th. 

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Photos courtesy DPP / artwork by Kateřina Perglová

Czech Metro Slang on Prague Public Transport

Black Mouth: Metro carriage type 81-7171 (named after the black front).

Czech Metro Slang on Prague Public Transport

General: Managing director of the DPP. Used primarily by technical/finance employees since the position was created in 1971.

Czech Metro Slang on Prague Public Transport

Sausage dog: The scheme of the metro or trams arranged in a thin long stripe.

Czech Metro Slang on Prague Public Transport

Chestnuts: Passengers. To dump the chestnuts, let the passengers out of the carriages.

Czech Metro Slang on Prague Public Transport

Breasts: extruded relief decorations at stations on line A.

Czech Metro Slang on Prague Public Transport

Saloon: an area for passengers in the metro, and more recently, in the trams.

Czech Metro Slang on Prague Public Transport

Eyes: front lights of the metro train. 

Czech Metro Slang on Prague Public Transport

Turtle: the Želivského metro stop.

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