Russian Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Russian language. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Does прятки, the Russian word for the game hide and seek, come from пяток (five), пятка (heel), or something else?

My guess is пяток, because of counting from 1 to 5.

share|improve this question
It's like assume that what "frivolous" is related to "five" - why on earth "r" would be gone ;) – shabunc Mar 22 at 1:01
I just noticed actually that прятки contains a 'р', whereas пяток and пятка don't. I think this confusion was caused as I was typing прятки into Wiktionary's search field. They don't have a page for прятки, so пятки shows up as the spelled out version. My eyes are apparently still getting used to parsing the Cyrillic alphabet, because I didn't notice the difference and clicked on пятки, leading me to пяток and пятка. :) – ycele Mar 22 at 17:55
up vote 30 down vote accepted

Neither. This word derives from the verb "прятаться", which translates as "to hide (oneself)".

share|improve this answer
Vilmar is right. "pryatki" word is from "pryatat'sya". and it has nothing to do with counting and heels))) you can count up to 100))) – user6984 Mar 21 at 15:44
So the next question is: where does салки come from? :) – ghostarbeiter Mar 21 at 17:11
@ghostarbeiter: from салить "to grease" – Quassnoi Mar 21 at 18:38

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.