There are words in the Croatian language that'll trip you up, no matter what. I don't even know what to call these language speedbumps...but they are sure to cause confusion whenever an English-speaking foreigner encounters them:
Smoking: this is not a verb. This is a noun. It has nothing to do with lighting up and taking a puff. A 'smoking' is the word for a tuxedo jacket. Yup. A guy wears a 'smoking' at his wedding. Nobody can tell me where this word came from...but I am guessing that in lots of old British and American movies, the guys in tuxedos were usually smoking...and then somehow in a roundabout way, it made sense. Somehow.
Keks: sounds like cakes. It refers to cookies (the kind you dunk in coffee, not the kind that live on your computer). If someone asks you to bring keks to a party and you show up with a cake instead of a platter of cookies...there'll be raised eyebrows.
Torta: no, it isn't a thin pie-like dessert item. Torta is the word for cake. If someone asks you to bring the torta for a birthday party...you'd better be bringing a birthday cake. Otherwise, there'll be some really raised eyebrows.
Pita: no, it isn't a type of Greek flat-bread that you fill with falafel and other yummies. Pita is anything (sweet or salty) that involves a filling being rolled in a phyllo-type dough and then baked (sort of like apple strudel). If someone asks you to bring pita to a party, and you show up with falafels....there's just going to be complete and utter silence. And raised eyebrows.
Hulahopke: okay, a while back, I told everyone how Croatians refer to the '@' sign as the monkey sign (for real). And I mentioned how it always makes me laugh when I have to say it out loud when giving someone my email address. Well, this next one is even funnier: hulahopke is the Croatian word for that piece of ladies hosiery known as nylons or pantyhose. I know, you are thinking to yourself: so what, hulahopke, pantyhose, that ain't funny at all. But wait, hulahopke is a Croatian word taken phonetically from the English word for hula-hoops! Yup, nylons are known as hula-hoops! So when you go to the ladies hosiery department and the saleslady asks how she can help you, you've got to tell her that you're looking for some hula-hoops! And it cracks me up each and every time. The best part, is that nobody can tell me WHY they are called hula-hoops. I can only imagine that the motion one has to go through to get the things put on looks a lot like a woman doing the hula, or working a hula-hoop.
That's all I got today. I'll have more soon.