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51739Re: [Czechlist] Expression

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  • James Kirchner
    May 27 8:05 AM
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      At least in the United States, the term is not obscure at all and is the term most often used to describe a robotically submissive wife. Even people who have never seen the movie know what it means. The term is definitely in daily use and has been since the 1970s.

      Google gives me eight pages of hits for "Stepford wife" on pages created in the past 24 hours.

      The term is even in the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary:

      And in the Collins English Dictionary:

      Since you mentioned younger people, I should point out that when it comes to the millennial generation, all bets are off as to whether they'll think any idiom is "common" or not. Due to issues with the educational system in the US, unless they went to the very best schools, they tend to have impoverished vocabularies (which has been statistically proven), so they're liable to think even very common, established idioms are obscure. (I've cancelled jobs before when I had millennials as editors who can't recognize and won't accept perfectly common idioms that their better-educated peers claim "everybody" knows.)


      On May 27, 2013, at 9:31 AM, Dagmar wrote:

      > I always thought that the term means a'perfect' wife in a kind of almost sinister sense. I also don't think it is a term in daily use in English - I'd say that the young ones would not know what that meant either.. Having said that, the original film was remade with Nicole Kidman recently, wasn't it, so perhaps they would get it.
      > What I'm trying to get at is that the term could be obscure in English as well as in Czech, so I'd use Stepfordska panicka.. If I felt that it would really need an explanation, I'd use something like 'perfektni zenuska' instead of stepfordska panicka.
      > Dagmar
      > --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, Martin Janda <mjanda@...> wrote:
      >> Jamie - to help you more, can we have the full wording please?
      >> Thanks
      >> Martin
      >> Dne 27.5.2013 12:50, Matej Klimes napsal(a):
      >>> In the case of the film's plot, yes, alth' we'd probably prefer
      >>> something more straightforward like "zena robot/roboticka zena"
      >>> .. for the concept in real life - a wife dependent on their husband and
      >>> having no personality of her own... I don't think we have an
      >>> established expression..
      >>> And I agree with Martin that the Czech title of the movie will not say
      >>> much to most people/will not suggest this concept automatically, unless
      >>> they have seen the flick in Czech...
      >>> M
      >>> ------ Original Message ------
      >>> From: "Melvyn" <zehrovak@... <mailto:zehrovak%40dr.com>>
      >>> To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Czechlist%40yahoogroups.com>
      >>> Sent: 27.5.2013 12:21:44
      >>> Subject: [Czechlist] Re: Expression
      >>>> I notice that podvrzzene dite is the equivalent of a changeling, i.e.
      >>>> a fay child substituted by the elves or the fairies in folklore. I
      >>>> wonder if that idea could be pressed into service here, i.e. something
      >>>> like podvrzzena panicka/zena/manzelka, at least by way of pithy
      >>>> explanation.
      >>>> BR
      >>>> Melvyn
      >>>> --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com
      >>> <mailto:Czechlist%40yahoogroups.com>, Martin Janda <mjanda@> wrote:
      >>>>> Yes but the knowledge is not widespread. I, for one, know the name
      >>>> but
      >>>>> would not know what kind of woman is meant. Unfortunately, I don't
      >>>> think
      >>>>> there is any better and short equivalent in Czech.
      >>>>> Jamie - if your text is for wide public, I would advise to add some
      >>>> kind
      >>>>> of footnote/explanation/whatever.
      >>>>> Martin
      >>> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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