Grandma's Ass to Grandma's Hip: 25 Things to Know about Croatian Place Names

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Croatian is a very rich language, and very descriptive. Some of its place names are quite extraordinary, several of which were immortalised in a beer commercial last year. 25 of the best, with (mostly polite) translations and explanations. 

Everybody knows about Dubrovnik, Split, Zagreb or Hvar. However, there are other places in Croatia which, although not as well-known, do have much more interesting names. Here is a list of some of them.

Babina Guzica – Grandma’s Ass
Babina Guzica is a small, uninhabited island which is part of the Kornati National Park. Its area is just 0.012 square kilometres, and the highest “peak” is 18 metres high.

Babiba Guzica

Pivnica Slavonska – Slavonian Tavern
Pivnica Slavonska is a hamlet in the Municipality of Suhopolje, in Virotivica-Podravina County. It has just 70 inhabitants.

Svinjarevci – Pigsville
Svinjarevci is a village in the easternmost part of Croatia, part of the Municipality of Bogdanovci, in Vukovar-Srijem County. In 2011, it had 386 inhabitants. This year, it has been named the rural capital of the county.

Cugovec – Drinker’s Village
Cugovec is another small village, with just 390 people, in Zagreb County. It does have a four-year elementary school and a home for the elderly. “Cug” is a local word for “train”, so it is possible that the name has a connection with railways and not with drinking.

Gornje Cjepidlake – Upper Hair Splitter
Gornje Cjepidlake is a small hamlet in the Bjelovar-Bilogora County, with just 60 inhabitants. And yes, there is also Donje Cjepidlake (Lower Hair Splitter).

Štakorovec – Ratville
Štakorovec is a village in Zagreb County, belonging to the Municipality of Brckovljani. It has just 281 inhabitants, spread over impressive 6 square kilometres. The most well-known feature of the village is a large manor.


Špičkovina – Female Genitalia Village
Špičkovina is a village of about 850 inhabitants in Krapina-Zagorje County. It found itself in the news when in 2013 then Prime Minister Zoran Milanović mentioned it in a derogatory manner in a statement. Inhabitants were angry and Milanović soon visited the village to mend relations with voters who actually regularly vote for his party. As for the name, it is more likely that it comes from a German word for “tip”.

Donja Batina – Lower Rod
Donja Batina is one of the more interesting villages on this list. It is located in Krapina-Zagorje County and, although very small, in 2001 it was decided that the best thing would be to administratively split it into two parts, with one half belonging to the Town of Zlatar and the other to the Municipality of Konjščina.

Grdoselo – Ugly Village
Grdoselo is a picturesque hamlet which is part of the Town of Pazin in Istria County. It has just 143 inhabitants and its name was first mentioned in 1102.

Ženodraga – Dear Wife
Ženograda is a hamlet in the Municipality of Višnjan in Istria. It has 28 inhabitants, and local men readily admit that the women rule in the village.

Prduša Vela – Big Fart
Prduša Vela is an uninhabited island which is part of the Kornati Islands. It is 0.045 square kilometres in area. There is also a Prduša Mala (Small Fart) nearby. It seems that Kornati archipelago is full of little islands with strange names.

Gaćelezi – Panties Lie Down
Gaćelezi is a hamlet which belongs to the Town of Vodice, in Šibenik-Knin County. There are Upper and Lower Gaćelezi, as well as a road which connects them to Čista Mala (Clean Little).

Grudnjak – Bra
Grudnjak is part of the Municipality of Zdenci, in Virovitica-Podravina County. It has just 23 inhabitants.

Mustafina Klada – Mustafa’s Log
Mustafina Klada is another small hamlet, this time in the Municipality of Velika Ludina in Sisak-Moslavina County. It has population of less than 200. Allegedly, a certain Mustafa got decapitated their during the wars in the middle ages.

Prdljivec – Fartville
Prdljivec is a small hamlet located near Savski Marof, near the border between Croatia and Slovenia. According to the locals, a brewer used to live there who had digestion problems. The rest is self-explanatory.

Žena Glava – Woman’s Head
Žena Glava is a hamlet which is part of the Town of Komiža, on the island of Vis. It has just 46 inhabitants. The name probably originally comes from “žedna”, which means “thirsty” or “without water”.

Apatija – Apathy
Apatija is a cheery hamlet which is part of the Town of Ludbreg, in Varaždin County. Interestingly, Ludbreg itself could well have found itself on this list, since it means “Crazy Hill”. As much as the local environment is picturesque, and life simple and nice, it seems that the sense of apathy has gotten under the skin of inhabitants, who have mostly relocated to Ludbreg. It’s better to be crazy than in apathy.

Nebojse – Don’t Be Afraid
Nebojse is a village in the Municipality of Desinić, in Krapina-Zagorje County, very close to the Slovenian border. It has 88 brave inhabitants and 22 households. There is also a Cerje Nebojse in the neighbouring Varaždin County.

Smočiguzica – Wet Ass
Smočiguzica is a cape and a bay on the north-eastern side of the Kabal peninsula on the island of Hvar, halfway between Stari Grad and Jelsa. It is a well-known diving site, which explains the name.

Krivi Put – Wrong Way
Krivi Put is a small village near Senj, in Lika-Senj County. It was founded in the 17th century by migrants who were looking for new pasture areas. Obviously, they were not pleased with what they found there.

This hamlet with funny sounding name which does not mean anything in particular has the permanent population of just four, while the rest of the inhabitants are people from the Bjelovar area who spend their weekends there. It is next to the Drava river and is the main tourist “centre” of the Municipality of Molve.

Veliko Svinjičko – Big Pig Village
Veliko Svinjičko is part of the Town of Sisak. It has 283 inhabitants. Needless to say, pig breeding used to be the main local industry.

Gnojnice – Manureville
Gnojnice is a hamlet in the Municipality of Cetingrad in Karlovac County, near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has 47 inhabitants.

Nevoljić – Troubles
Nevoljić is a hamlet near the Town of Trilj, in Split-Dalmatia County. It has just a few houses, and almost all the troubled inhabitants have Nevoljić as their surname.

Babin Kuk – Grandma’s Hip
This is by far the most famous place on this list. It is a neighbourhood of Dubrovnik, an area known for its hotels. However, the name itself probably does not have anything to do with a hip. “Kuk” has been shortened from “kukanje”, which means “weeping”. The area was a location where wives and mother of sailors went to wave goodbye to their husbands and sons who were drifting away at the horizon.

Babin Kuk

And one additional one:

Vukojebina – Where the Wolves Get Frisky. And then some.
Unlike all the other names on this list, this is not an actual location, but a generic term for “middle of nowhere”. Other word with the same meaning is “pripizdina” (near a piece of female genitalia). You do have to admit that Croatian is a beautiful and rich language.

Some of these names were also featured in a famous commercial for Ožujsko Pivo beer, which celebrated strange names of some of Croatian locales.

Photo of the day


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