What does 'neopusta' mean?
September 14, 2006 4:55 AM   Subscribe

[Slovak? Filter]: What does 'neopusta' mean?

I'm researching genealogy and found the baptism record of an ancestor. They were in Austria-Hungary but their town is now in Serbia. In the column for where they are from is the word 'Neopusta'. Googling that, it doesn't seem to be a place name, but a word.

Many google results have the form: 'neopúšťa' and are on .sk websites. So, it leads me to believe that it may be a word in Slovak.

Online slovak-english dictionaries have failed me.

Anyone know what this word is?

By the way, this is from the Baptismal records of a Roman Catholic church, so I guess there's a chance it could be Latin.
posted by nightwood to Writing & Language (18 answers total)
My family is Slovak, so there are a few resources I can ask. From the context in the google search I did, it sounds like it has a religious connotation and may be archaic.

I will send out a couple emails now.
posted by piratebowling at 6:21 AM on September 14, 2006

The ' seems to indicate a y/i consonant sound before the a, so also google neopustia.
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:44 AM on September 14, 2006

opustia might mean something like abandoned, not sure. In that case, ne would be a negation.
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:49 AM on September 14, 2006

I found it: it means something like "stay" or "not leave".
In this document (google html cache of pdf) at the very bottom is a reference with the word in it, translated to English:

"SME online, “Janda neopúšťa šéfredaktorský post so zlým pocitom”, (“Janda is not leaving the
Editor-in-chief’s post with a bad feeling”), 12 April 2005, available at
www.sme.sk/clanok.asp?cl=2008147 (accessed 15 April 2005)."

Then I looked up "opusta" in the dictionary and "opustat" = "to leave"
posted by easternblot at 6:55 AM on September 14, 2006

reports that opúšťať means 'to leave'. Ne is indeed the negating prefix, but precisely what 'not left' means in this context escapes me.

On preview: bugger.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 7:00 AM on September 14, 2006

Could it be a parish name?
posted by thirteenkiller at 7:08 AM on September 14, 2006

Don't know if this is relevant, but it's used in the Slovak liturgy: Lebo Pán miluje spravodlivosť a neopúšťa svojich svätých, which I believe means 'For the Lord loves righteousness and does not abandon his saints.' (Just to be clear: in Czech and Slovak, the 'not' is not a separate word but is prefixed to the verb, so neopúšťa is not a "word" in the dictionary sense—it's the prefix ne- plus the verb opúšťa.)
posted by languagehat at 7:36 AM on September 14, 2006

Response by poster: unfortunately, I didn't note the column title - which was in latin. But the other entries in this column were like 'Ujfutak No. 113' where Ujfutak is the name of the town.

If I get back to the family history center (where this microfilm is), I'll see if I can get the latin column title.

But I wonder if it means 'not left' that it is that it is unknown, or the parents didn't tell the priest.
posted by nightwood at 8:14 AM on September 14, 2006

Response by poster: I've place the picture here.

The line that I'm interested in the second one. The second column is the name of the godparents and the third column, I believe, is the priest who did the baptism.

Perhaps I'm reading it wrong - could it be 'Nespusta'?
posted by nightwood at 8:28 AM on September 14, 2006

Neopúšťa doesn't mean 'not left,' it means 'does not leave/abandon.' It couldn't have the sense of 'unknown.'

Yes, that looks at least as much like an s as an o. You should maybe talk to a specialist in such documents; our guesses aren't going to do much good, I'm afraid.
posted by languagehat at 8:34 AM on September 14, 2006

Response by poster: Yes, I guess I will have to find a specialist (that search may lead to another ask metafilter ;) ).

On the 's' vs. 'o'. Looking at it blown up, the connector to the next letter ('p') is at the top, like an 'o', but the body of the letter is slightly squashed like an 's'.

The amateur consensus of the people I showed it to was that it was an 'o', but it certainly could be an 's'.

Looking up 'spustat' means 'to lop', so Nespusta i suppose would mean 'does not lop'. Still confusing in this context.
posted by nightwood at 9:09 AM on September 14, 2006

Could "does not lop" mean uncircumcised, in the context of a baptism?
posted by Margalo Epps at 10:50 AM on September 14, 2006

nespusta could also mean, does not drop/set down, as spustiti (the infinitive of the verb "to drop, set down") in the third person active indicative is spusta- and ne is still a negation (er, that's what it would mean in Serbian at least- it might just be a coincidence that it means something in Serbian and be a totally different language in reality). But it doesn't make any sense to me in the context you're describing. Good luck!
posted by Oobidaius at 12:33 PM on September 14, 2006

I just remembered, the other possible meaning of nespusta is "does not go below"- spustiti can also mean to decrease, so it might be used when describing, for example, a minimum value which something does not fall below (if it was nespusta- without the negation, you could use it to say that the temperature dropped to X degrees or whatever).
posted by Oobidaius at 12:36 PM on September 14, 2006

Can "set down" mean "write down" or "record" in Serbian the way it can in English? "Unrecorded" would make sense in this context.
posted by nebulawindphone at 3:22 PM on September 14, 2006

I tend to agree with nebulawindphone on this one, for the simple reason that this is the only entry without a number.

And nightwood, you weren't wrong about Latin. There is Latin used here: uxor ("wife of") and capellanus ("chaplain"), but nespusta is clearly of Slavic origin.
posted by rob511 at 4:14 PM on September 14, 2006

It seems Slavic, but it doesn't look like Slovak. More probable it's Serbian.

If it would be Slovak, this inflection (3rd person singular, present tense: 'neopusta/nespusta' => 'he/she doesn't leave/start') wouldn't make sense in this context and it's missing acute and carons (neopúšťa/nespúšťa vs. neopusta/nespusta).
posted by b. at 9:15 AM on September 15, 2006

My gf woman bird chick (serb) says its related to 'can't let go' or 'can't relax'.
posted by mooreeasyvibe at 1:04 PM on January 21, 2007

« Older Translate my birthday card   |   Home warranty renewal? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.