ROX Vocab

Bohemia

 

Word: "Bohemia"

Short Definition:

a geographical or cultural region

Long Definition:

Bohemia was a country of its own at one point in history. Now it's just a part of Czechoslovakia, along with Moravia and Slovakia. Only Czechoslovakia is now the Czech Republic, and I'll be damned if I can keep up with these shifting geopolitical boundaries. Who cares anyway?

Yet Bohemia lives on, strangely, in garrets and basement studios, in converted garages on back alleys — all over the world.

How did this word shift from a geographic region to a worldwide tendency? By way of the gypsy. The gypsies often passed through Bohemia on their way to Western Europe, and thus were mistakenly referred to as Bohemians. The wandering lifestyle of the gypsies was attributed to the Bohemians as well. Soon the term came to mean anybody strange or unconventional, like your typical artist or musician.

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URL: /vocab/bohemia/
Created: November 18th, 2003
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Today's date: 2017-09-20