When reading my Russian-German dictionary today, I came across the following German translation of It's all Greek to me:
das sind mir böhmische [spanische] Dörfer
Here are a two other variations of the above idiom from online dictionaries:
My question: What was historically so special about Bohemian or Spanish villages that made them synonymous with something inscrutable? In other words, what's the etymology of the German idiom?
Here's a passage from Wikipedia about the origins of the English phrase It's (all) Greek to me:
It may have been a direct translation of a similar phrase in Latin: "Graecum est; non legitur" ("it is Greek, [therefore] it cannot be read"). This phrase was increasingly used by monk scribes in the Middle Ages, as knowledge of the Greek alphabet and language was dwindling among those who were copying manuscripts in monastic libraries.