Translation Czech to English needed - one word only

I have a Sellier & Bellot document on the 9 x 18 mm vz. 92 cartridge. It is titled "9 mm vz. 82 KOSA (9 mm Makarov). Then in much smaller print, it just says 9 mm Kosa Makarov.

Can anyone tell me what the Czech word “Kosa” translates to in English.

John Moss

I used three different translation sites on the web and all three returned with the same thing… Czech word Kosa translates to English.
A scythe is the old hand held curved knife used to cut grasses and grains.


thanks pardner! I am not sure how that relates to the Czech vz.82 9 x 18 mm cartridge. In Poland, they often give names to arms and ammunition items that are actually the names of minerals. I am not aware of the Czechs doing anything like this, though.

That said, I am not disputing that translation at all. We all know that in most industrial cultures, advertising words used to describe products often defy explanation for their selection.

Then, there is also the chance it has a different, less common meaning, that perhaps only a Czech person interested the subject would use or understand.

John M.

John, “Kosa” was the name of the project of a new pistol developed in the late 70’s to replace the vz. 52, that culminated in the vz. 82. The pistol was designated “Kosa-P” and the cartridge “Kosa-N”.

You can read more about this in this article: Armádní pistole vz. 82.pdf (333.6 KB)



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Could it possibly relate to a process or design name such as clean cutting ?

Very much so.
The Scythe is carried by the ?Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse…who rides a pale horse, and his name is Death.
“The Grim Reaper”…more likely a ref. to a new loading of 9 Mak. For SMGs?

Doc AV

I think so

In Russian, the word Scythe (Косить) (action from the word Scythe (Kosa, Коса)) can be used to mean “destroy” the enemy from weapons … maybe in Czech too?)

Thank you everyone. I see some similarity there with the Polish practice of applying names to various projects.

Fede - I wish I could read that article, but I have little or no knowledge of the Czech language. I do have two of the vz. 82 Kosa-P. If I could read it, I could verify and perhaps add to the information I already have on the development of the vz. 82. I have had no luck in figuring out various computer translation services - back to my ignorance of computers! Thanks though. As soon as I can get my printer “fixed,” (it stopped working on me, even though quite new), I will print it out.

It tells me that the document I have is likely quite early. It is only a cover page, and then a drawing of the vz. 82 Kosa-N with the arts named, also all in Czech. Most of the literature I have from CZ and S&B on these items does not use the “KOSA” designation at all.

John Moss

Over here the grim reaper (in German “skythe man”) is bringing the death (by mowing the people/souls).
So naming a gun “scythe” makes some sense.

EOD - I agree. The scythe was, in medieval times, often used as a weapon. I would not like being on the receiving end of one.


The alternative tool for disarmed people, politicians should study history…

Hi All

John , Not only in the medieval times :



Rufus, true enough. I was just trying to keep it simple. Actually, the scythe was used sometimes in various popular revolutions in countries like México, were the revolutionaries were often made up of agrarian people who, initially, had little access to more modern weapons. I sure that has likely been true with this implement, as well as others, throughout history.


I think Fede’s explanation makes more sense than the others. Bill

Fede’s answer was simply fact, indisputably correct. However, it did not address WHY such a name was chosen, so I personally believe it is not a matter of making more sense than the other answers, most of which were pretty much in agreement, as am I, that the word Scythe (Kosa in the Czech language) was picked in connotation of the deadliness of the new pistol, with the applicable and appropriate “vision” of the Grim Reaper holding a Scythe.

John M.

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Excuse some words…
In Czech the word “kosa” (scythe) is not primary corelated with death (see later), it is primary a simple tool. But the verb “kosit” (to scythe, to mow) can be used also in the idioma “kosit nepřátele” (to scythe the enemies), which means “to destroy enemies in mass, quick and relatively simple”.
In Czech tales there is no a “Grim Reaper”. The word “smrt” (death) is a femininum. So a personification is most often “kmotřička smrt” (a nice godmother death), which has no scythe at all. She is rather a helping and softly terminating hand in your last minute. There is also a “he-death” - Smrťák, he has a scythe, but he is not a cold reaper-killer. He is rather a hard working man from the neighborhood and sometimes you can discuss with him or even cheat him - but never forever. In the end he allways wins.


Paul13 - that is an interesting and informative narrative. It does, of course, change my opinion concerning the use of the word Kosa in relating to the “Grim Reaper.” It leaves me wondering once again why “kosa” was chosen as part of the name of a pistol and its cartridge. “Kosa,” it seems, is a noun, whereas “Kosit” apparently is a verb and is referring to a potential use of the implement as a weapon when paired with “neprátele.” (Pardon my incomplete punctuation of that word; I simply don’t know how to reproduce that form of the letter “r” on this forum). The choice of the noun “kosa” in naming the pistol and its cartridge once again is not clear to me.

Do you have a theory on why it was chosen? I really appreciate your input. In these things, knowing the grammar and mythology involved is certainly important. I would think if the word was used to represent death the chosen name would have been “Smrt’ák.”

One of the things I like about the study of ammunition is that in discussions, you can learn many additional things including language, history and yes, even mythology.

Thanks again for your very interesting comments. I appreciate them very much.

John Moss

Kosa is not a name for the weapon, nor for the cartridge. It´s only a a “covering name” (code name) of the “development task” - project . In Czech, such names are rarely straightforward (no one would use a covering name “Smrťák” for a weapon project - it’s too transparent), sometimes only partially. Some more names of weapon projects: Koště (Broom) - assault rifle Sa-58 - this is a similar case as Kosa, “to sweep” has also the conotation as in English (troops swept aside the enemy forces), Plamen (Flame) - the so-called URZ project (URZ = univerzální ruční zbraň - universal hand weapon), Hrom (Thunder), Mor (Plague). Nice name is project Krása (Beauty) - Krá-Sa for “krátký samopal” (short submachine gun). But there was also a project Lada (a feminine name with meaning “graceful”).
Weapons usually do not have an official name. The exception is eg the submachine gun vz. 61 Skorpion or the assault rifle CZ 805 BREN.
And many thanks for Your nice words.

Paul13 - great explanation. Thank you!!!

Even a dummy like me can understand it. :-)