The word ISTEN – that is ‘God’ – is frequently used outside religious context in Hungarian. A graphic example is the saying MEGFOGTA AZ ISTEN LÁBÁT, meaning ‘He/she has caught God by the leg.’ The phrase is used in situations when someone is lucky. He/she has found the way to succeed. E.g. someone got a good job or met a person who will support him/her.

More pictorial proverbs include:

AZ ISTEN HÁTA MÖGÖTT VAN i.e. ‘It’s behind the back of God’. E.g. a small village is in the middle of nowhere.

AZ ISTEN NEM VER BOTTAL i.e. ‘God does not punish/beat one with a stick.’ E.g. a dishonest or evil person has bad luck which he deserves.

FELVITTE AZ ISTEN A DOLGÁT i.e. ‘God has boosted his fate.’ Someone has got a high position or got rich and then behaves arrogantly.

NAGY AZ ISTEN ÁLLATKERTJE. i.e. ‘God’s zoo is large.’ Someone is atrociously dumb or stupid.

Though a bit old-fashioned, we still use ISTEN, ISTEN i.e. ‘God, God’ as a synonym of EGÉSZSÉGEDRE i.e. ‘Cheers’ when clicking glasses (not beer though).

Finally, a frequent occurrence of Isten in everyday language use can be observed among the swearing phrases, which belong to the territory of taboos and thus this post stops here.