Szeged is one of the most beautiful Hungarian cities, with thriving culture and elegant architecture, but no matter how many times you’ve been there, some secrets will stay hidden from you. Szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu collected five of the most ‘Szeged-things’ (funny names for places and expressions), which are mostly known only to locals. Have fun.
There are two interpretations of ‘dugó’ in Hungarian: the first refers to traffic jams and the other one has a sexual implication, referring quite vulgarly to someone who is in the act of making love. (There is actually a third meaning as well, because it also means cork.) Problems arise when someone who is not familiar with this nickname hears the term ‘Dugó square’. People usually either break out in laughter or raise their eyebrows.
‘Dugó square’ is actually Dugonics square, and is in front of University of Szeged. In the middle of it, you will find the musical fountain. ‘Dugó square’ is a very popular meeting point at Szeged, where fairs and festivals are held. A lot of students and tourists visit the square, where you should check out the statue of the famous reindeer of Szeged around Christmas time.
‘Sárga’ means ‘yellow’ in Hungarian, but in Szeged it refers to a holiday resort on the Tisza shore. The holiday homes here are safeguarded against floods, and people not only visit these houses during summer, but some even live there during the whole year. ‘Sárga’ is a lot like a small village, with a tiny shop, a bar, a community place, where you can dance. The residents of Sárga gather each evening to listen to each other while cooking and eating Fisherman’s soup or stew, with the humming of the Tisza and the buzzing of the mosquitoes in the background.
Let’s go word-by-word: ‘béke’ means peace, ‘tanszék’ means university department. Now, there are quite a few universities with such departments, IF there are any. Rest assured, Béke Tanszék refers to a restaurant and catering service, but it has to do something with students. ‘Tanszék’ was included in the name after the change of regime, before that the restaurant was a bar and café.
‘Béke’ was the original name of the place, which was frequented by college- and university students. Students came up with this nickname, as when teachers asked them where they spent the previous night, they could say ‘at the Department of Peace’, since it sounded official. Today, the restaurant’s official name is ‘Béke Tanszék’, it was renovated this year, and their menu-offers are worth a try.
At Szeged, the tram is ‘tuja’ (thuja, as the tree). There is an urban legend explaining the origins of the name, referring to bolting. Back in the days when the trams had bells and train guards, it was very difficult to bolt, since the guard was always on the tram, which left only when the guard rang the bell. However, after the first tinkling, bolters jumped on the back of the tram, where the guard did not notice them. Now, the name has nothing to do with the actual tree. In Hungarian, ‘the back of something’ goes like ‘hátulja’, which, if not pronounced well, sounds like ‘há-tuja’.
The Szeged name of bolting stuck, and today the tram is called ‘tuja’.
This is a funny one too, as ‘lófara’ literally means ‘the bum of a horse’. There is a statue of a horse-rider on the square (Magyar Ede square) in front of the Regional Art Center and the building of the University of Szeged’s Faculty of Law. This statue is the ‘Lófara’. The statue is the monument of the Third Hussars, made from bronze, facing the same direction as the Faculty of Law building, thus when students peeked out the windows, they could only see the back of the rider and, well, the bum of the horse.