Hungarians have consistently proved good at odd things

Monday, May 29th, 2017

I remember a short anecdote from By the Sword: A History of Gladiators, Musketeers, Samurai, Swashbucklers, used to make the point that “Hungarians have consistently proved good at odd things”:

In the early 1950s the scientific advisory board of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission convened in Washington D.C. A first count of the members showed a minority absent, but still a quorum; another count enabled the chairman to ask his colleagues, in his faultless native Hungarian, “Shall we conduct this meeting in the mother tongue?” Agreed and done.


  1. Kirk says:

    Odd historical coincidence, or continuing historical thread…

    Orban, the gentleman who cast the siege guns for the Turks when they besieged Constantinople, was a Hungarian. Not sure why it is that the Hungarians didn’t parlay that early superiority at casting guns into later becoming an industrial powerhouse, but there you are… Superweapons of the era, designed and built by Hungarians for foreigners.

  2. Dick Kovar says:

    An ancestor of mine crafted weapons against the Turks at an earlier time and was awarded a coat of arms depicting a Turk’s head severed by a scimitar blade. His name was Kovar, which means smith in the Czech language. As recently as my great great grandfather we were still well-regarded, prosperous smiths. A 20th Century metallurgical development is called the Kovar process.

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