The text focuses on non-scholarly etymology. This language phenomenon is illustrated using Czech place names. Attention is devoted to the following problems: 1. The method of non-scholarly interpretation of the words. 2. The role of non-scholarly etymology as a rhetorical device in medieval literature. 3. The usage of the non-scholarly etymology of place names in the 19th and 20th centuries, i.e. as a method of historical work, its usage in advertising and its influence on the standardisation of changes in the place names.