I realized that in my previous post about Bosnian greetings and salutations, while I did say what the single word probably means, I forgot to state the actual origin of the greeting “Bok”. As I said then, “Bok” is derived from the Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian word for God, “Bog”, but it comes from a phrase that was probably said in the middle ages around the Catholic regions throughout Croatia and southern Bosnia, “Bog te pozdravi”, literally, “God greets you”. When leaving, people would also say, “Idi s Bogom”, or “go with God”, which again was eventually shortened to “Bog” or “Bok”. In some parts of Croatia, people actually say “Bog”, the literal word for “God”, when coming and leaving.
This got me to thinking about one part of the language that is always (ironically) hardest for me to understand when I hear it — religious language. When I hear the Bible read in Bosnian, I almost stop listening, because it’s so hard to understand, compared to normal conversation. So I started to think — why is that? » Read the rest of this entry «