Hungarian Word of the Day: Gáz

Today I went down to visit my (cats’) veterinarian, who is Hungarian, and asked her for another local slang word to pass on.

Serendipitously, I ended up meeting an extremely nice Hungarian lady later on in a separate circumstance, so today I’ve been using more Hungarian than the last month combined.

Today’s word is: gáz (goz).

In it’s normal use as a noun it means just what it looks like – gas – as in the physical state. Natural gas, methane gas, all these kinds of gas (not gasoline) is gáz in Hungarian (Romanian: gaz, almost identical).

In Hungarian, however, when gáz as an adjective this takes on a slang meaning that has nothing to do with gas. Anything dubious, shady, sinister, suspicious, sneaky, troublesome, etcetera is gáz.

Similarly, the expression “gáz van“, literally “there is gas” actually means there’s big trouble or a big problem going on.



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