I am looking for a nickname/affectionate name for a character in a story that I am writing. I was considering basing it upon the word 'riddle' or 'puzzle' Are these the proper translations? Решето and загадка. Is there a diminutive form for each? I tried reading about how to choose the proper suffixes but my understanding of Russian is too limited to work it out.

  • @V.V. Решето is listed as one of possible translations of word riddle: загадка; тайна; загадочный человек; решето; грохот; сито; щит; экран; трудная проблема
    – Artemix
    Jan 30 '17 at 21:16
  • Is the character male or female?
    – Quassnoi
    Jan 31 '17 at 8:03
  • To understand the meaning of russian noun, it is often useful to search it at google image.
    – user31264
    Jan 31 '17 at 15:20
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    @Artemix It must be mentioned that riddle (загадка) and riddle (решето - и, возможно, не кухонное решето, cf. A large coarse sieve, especially one used for separating ashes from cinders or sand from gravel.- OLDonline) are homonyms. These two words are not related at all (except they are homonyms of course).
    – alexsms
    Dec 26 '18 at 11:04
  • Here is agricultural (or industrial) riddle en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riddle_(tool) , while решето in Russian is most likely a kitchen item (i.e. sieve).
    – alexsms
    Dec 26 '18 at 11:13

Решето is a household item - a sieve. Better synonyms are загадка, головоломка, ребус, шарада. Diminutives are загадочка, головоломочка, ребусик, шарадочка.

As for gender - only ребус is masculine noun, while загадка, шарада, головоломка are feminine nouns.

  • Решето: cdn01.ru/files/users/images/4a/65/…
    – Artemix
    Jan 30 '17 at 20:30
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    @Tamz That's great! Then mark this answer as "accepted" (it's a checkmark under the answer vote count).
    – Artemix
    Jan 31 '17 at 18:06
  • And out of these, Шарадочка is the only one that could make a credible nickname. Jan 31 '17 at 19:33
  • Thank you. Yes, I would want it to be credible. That is important to me. I try to take great care when choosing character names.
    – Tamz
    Jan 31 '17 at 20:59
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    By the way, I had a colleague that had a nickname Барсук. I guess that nobody of his male colleagues in sound mind would call him "Барсучок" (however maybe this would sound ok, if he would be called that way by a woman he loves?). Another one was known as Кот, and I heard many times when he was called Котик by his women colleagues.
    – Artemix
    Feb 1 '17 at 11:22

To answer the question:

"Решетечко" - a word rarely used. Something that can be said to a 3 years old, or to deliberately create humor.

"Загадочка" - a more widely used word. Can be used in virtually all diminutive contexts.

As person's nicknames, both look unlikely, but not impossible.

  • 2
    also решетишко & загадонька Dec 26 '18 at 18:33
  • @Баян Купи-ка yes, right. But also quite rare.
    – Alexander
    Dec 26 '18 at 18:41

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