Why do people say "пинать ногами" when the act of "пинать" can only be done by "ноги" and nothing else?

  • often one word is too few for the meaning to be conveyed with enough weight... as a side note, one of the differences between classic and modern Chinese lies in the fact that in the old days words consisted mainly of one syllable, but today they normally have at least 2, besides being a device for broadening the vocabulary it may have been the result of pleonastic tendencies as well Aug 26, 2018 at 19:22
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    Off topic, but in Chinese this is to do with the fact that a written Chinese character conveys meaning quite clearly by itself, whereas its sound can have dozens of homophones, so just saying the single word by itself is too ambiguous, leading to most words having at least 2 syllables, written with 2 characters that have similar meanings.
    – Curiosity
    Aug 27, 2018 at 11:31

2 Answers 2


Such redundancy is called плеоназм (an link for the English article) and in natural speech there are lot of examples of phrases that can be shortened without loosing any information. In the link provided above there's another example:

  • «Он сказал мне [о том], что его приняли на другую работу» (what is in square brackets can be omitted).

other examples А где это находится географически?, aктёрское амлуа, отара овец, героический подвиг and I can go for quite a long but you got the idea. As you can see, some of such usages a de-facto used quite often - that often that you don't even think about such redundancy.

Good editor is supposed to recognize such phrases and get rid of them though.

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    шутка юмора, морда лица ))))) Aug 26, 2018 at 19:16
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    Pleonasm is typically used to stress the obvious - "хватать руками", "кусать зубами", "думать головой".
    – Alexander
    Aug 27, 2018 at 18:17
  • слушать ушами, есть ртом...... Aug 27, 2018 at 21:16

Пинают не обязательно ногами. Например, можно пнуть с работы. Когда-то такое употребление слова пнуть было переносным, сейчас уже, наверное, стало вторым значением.

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