enter image description here

I underlined two words in green. They have obsolete letters that I cannot track down. What are the translations?

Context: This is a map legend. The full map is here.

  • That could not be Russian Cyrillic. In the title of the map, there is a "western" "I" letter. Also in the snippet provided, in the word "znaki" (please excuse me for not using Cyrillic) the "k" has what looks like an extender. This could be a Kazakh symbol. Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 9:29
  • 7
    A text in the question is written in a Russian pre-reform orthography that was widely used prior to 20th century. It had “i”, “ѣ”, “ѳ” and “ѵ” but lacked of modern “ё” and “й”. Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 9:36

3 Answers 3


The first word is Уездная (County, district).
The second word is Нарым. It's a geographic title, no translation.

  • Okay, so what is that old letter that looks like п combined with ь?
    – DrZ214
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 17:52
  • I thought it was an л-ь ligature, because I know such a thing exists. But it looks like @Dmitry had identified it as е.
    – spoko
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 18:26
  • 11
    @DrZ214 That obsolote letter is ять.
    – Dmitry
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 20:06

First word (Уездная) has an obsolete letter "yat" ("ять") in cursive, so it looks different form its typical form (ѣ).

Second word (Нарымъ) has no obsolete letters, although the first letter "Н" is written in uncommon form (maybe someone knows an explanation).

  • 5
    Nevertheless, writing 'Нарымъ' is obsolete, because now it is 'Нарым'.
    – Dmitriy
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 20:13
  • 1
    @Dmitry Writing - yes. Letters (the question is about letters) - no.
    – Abakan
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 10:20
  • Letter "ять" looks different because of used font - it has the same look in the city name "ВѢНА" (Vienna), which isn't in cursive
    – Victor
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 20:42
  • 2
    Wiki (ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%AF%D1%82%D1%8C): "... начертание ѣ вроде слитного ГЬ, ставшее в XIX—XX вв. основным в рукописных и курсивных шрифтах, но иногда встречавшееся и в прямом шрифте, особенно в заголовках, плакатах"
    – Victor
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 20:49

I don't see any obsolete letters in that second one. It's Нарымъ.

  • 1
    It looked more like Наръ + w + жъ to me, but I confess I am terrible at cursive Russian.
    – DrZ214
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 17:50
  • @DrZ214, Нарым is a really existing minute village, so your theory looks incorrect. And it would be really strange looking ж. Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 19:09
  • 1
    BTW there is a cursive ж one line upper in an abbreviation ж.д. It looks much different from cursive м.
    – artptr
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 21:12
  • There is plenty of other "ы"s in this document. Same form as in "Нарымъ".
    – Alexander
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 22:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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