Saturday, October 8, 2011

Czech-English parish books dictionary

This is first part of three different dictionaries which cover content of the registries. Second part will cover German words and third part Latin words. Not all the Czech words which you'll see in parish books are covered by this dictionary, only the most common ones. I have not included occupations as I'm preparing another post with occupations Czech-German-Latin-English dictionary.

I'll update this dictionary when I find out there is anything missing. This version is based on parish records, mainly from southern Bohemia. 

Some search tips:
  • search the beginning of the word only - Czech language is quite complicated and there are quite many versions of one word. For example manželský, legitimate, can be seen as manželským, manželského, manželská, manželské, manželskému and so on.
  • if you are not sure about the first letter, try to search just for that part you are sure about. For example you are able to read apl just after the priest's name, when you search for it here, you'll get to the kaplan (chaplain) word.

Czech English
+ deceased
a and
bratr brother
choť wife
církev church (organisation)
č.d., č.p. house number
číslo (č., čís.) number
dávám give
dcera, dcery daughter
děkan dean
dítě child
dne on the day
do to
duchovní clerical
farář vicar
farní parish
hejtmanství district office
jeho his
její her
k to
kaplan chaplain
katolické catholic
kněz priest
kostel church (building)
kraj area
kmotr godfather
kmotra godmother
konšel councilman
kooperátor chaplain
královský royal
křestní baptismal
let years
list certificate
lokalista local priest, chaplain
manželka, manželky wife
manželské legitimate
matka, matky mother
měšťan burgher, citizen
mužské male
na on, at
narodil se was born
narozený born
neb or
nebožtík deceased
neděle Sunday
nemanželský illegitimate
nevěsta, nevěsty bride
nezkoušená non-tested
no. house number
oba both
od from
oddán married
odsud from here
ohlášky marriage banns
okres, okresní district
otec, otce father
otcovské paternal
panství domain
páter (P.) father, priest
po after
pochován buried
poddaný subject
podepsal signed by
podkraj sub-area
pohřben buried
pokřtěn baptized
porodní bába midwife
poznámka note
radní councilman
rod., rodem nee, maiden name
rok, roků year, years
rozená, rozené nee, maiden name
sestra sister
soused neighbour
správa administration
stejná, stejný the same
svatý saint
své my
svědci witnesses
svědek witness
svobodný, svobodná single
svolení permission
syn son
téhož the same
úřad office
v, ve in
vdova widow
vdovec widower
věk age
vydán issued
z, ze from
zaopatřil provided
zapsán written in
zde here
zdejší local
zemřel, zemřela died
zemřelý, zemřelá deceased
zkoušená tested
žena wife
ženich groom
ženské female


  1. Wonderful - thanks for posting this!

    I'm just getting to the point where I'm jumping back to try to look for records on my great-grandparents, so this will certainly come in handy.

  2. Your blog about Czech language is really informative . I am beginner of learning Czech language. I am going to Czech Republic for educational purpose so i need to learn basic Czech language. I have learnt many things from Pimsleur Comprehensive Czech language audio CD. It is easy way to learn Czech language.

  3. Can you make a dictionary for the reasons of death? For instance, what is bred_

  4. This is an amazing site, thank you! I have just started doing Czech research and this has helped tremendously. I have a question about a birth record. Under the name of the priest, there is "zkousena baba" and a woman's name ( sorry I don't know how to make the correct accent marks) . According to your dictionary, that means "tested". Can you explain what that means? Was she the midwife, perhaps? One of the other births I am looking at does not have names in the area for the witnesses or sponsors, just what looks like =. Are those ditto marks? Or, does it mean something else?

    1. Hello Kirsten, "zkousena baba" means birth midwife. "Zkousena" is from "zkouska" = exam.
      "Baba" is (mostly) old women or just women. They were womens with knowlidge about birth and she was tested from parson. They wear special litle medallion.
      Good luck.

    2. Hello Kirsten, "zkousena baba" means birth midwife. "Zkousena" is from "zkouska" = exam.
      "Baba" is (mostly) old women or just women. They were womens with knowlidge about birth and she was tested from parson. They wear special litle medallion.
      Good luck.

  5. Thank you very much for all your work, Blanko!

    One minor correction: As you know, an out of wedlock child has been called "bastards", but that term is no longer acceptable, and has been replaced with "illegitimate." However, the term "illegitimate" is currently also considered by some people as offensive, and in most genealogical writings today the acceptable term now is "nonmarital child". (.... which happens to be literally the same term as "nemanželské dítě")

    1. I have literally never in my life seen any scholarly genealogical journal use the term "nonmarital child"; not NGSQ, not NEGHS, and none of the less scholarly Czech journals like Naše Rodina, either. Personally, I think that "illegitimate child" is not even close to as offensive/pejorative as "bastard."

  6. Anyone have ideas about "bed" or "bed nar" meaning. I gathering that 'nar' means born, but in both instances 'bed' precedes the word. Also, there is an abbreviation that looks like "b.p." which precedes a location of the family. This is a Czech marriage record from 1862. Any ideas? Thanks!

    1. Could you give me a link to some example? Thanks.