My Kenneth Katzner dictionary translates grasshopper only as "кузнечик". And if you look up in virtually any internet dictionary, it is still "кузнечик". No more, no less.

However, I recently found that there exists a bug called katydid. Katydids have a green body, very long antennae, and if I do not mistake, they make their sounds using their wings rather than their hind legs.

Thus I have been confused. Katydid = кузнечик? Then how do you translate "grasshopper"? I'd appreciate more information about this issue.

  • 3
    I'm sure that an average English speaker would not be able to distinguish a katydid from a grasshopper. As well as an average Russian speaker would not be able to distinguish a кузнечик from whatever a katydid is. It's all grasshoppers and кузнечики.
    – Abakan
    Commented Dec 14, 2018 at 16:16
  • according to Multitran katydid in Russian is зелёный кузнечик and a number of other more scientific names Commented Dec 14, 2018 at 16:21
  • 2
    both are translated as "кузнечик" - this happens, terms for species not necessarily have one-to-one correspondence in different languages.
    – shabunc
    Commented Dec 14, 2018 at 16:32
  • 1
    by the way famous (at least in my time) Russian children's song "В траве сидел кузнечик" must be about katydid since according to the narrative it was зелёненький Commented Dec 14, 2018 at 18:43
  • Names of animals, fruits, plants in different languages is always a difficult problem. Usually lay people add something to classifications, so it could be a problem to define in a dictionary something which may have folk names. For example, the extinct sea cows were actually not cows, but the word cow was used in some languages.
    – alexsms
    Commented Dec 17, 2018 at 7:47

4 Answers 4


To be honest, this is the first time I encounter the word katydis.

enter image description here

Wikipedia says they belong to the family Tettigoniidae (Настоящие кузнечики) which belongs to suborder Ensifera, order Orthoptera.

enter image description here

Grasshoppers is an informal group of insects of the suborder Caelifera (Короткоусые прямокрылые) in the same order Orthoptera (Прямокрылые).

To a Russian person without zoological background all these insects would perfectly qualify as кузнечики.


It seems to me that most urban residents do not distinguish кузнечика, сверчка and цикаду. Except that саранча can be separately noted, because it is much larger. Therefore, I think that even if you make a mistake in the choice of a word, almost no one will notice.
As for me personally, on the territory of the exUSSR I most often meet grasshoppers.

  • 2
    Me, too. I live in Moldova and I have encountered grasshoppers only; they are plentiful. Katydids probably live in North America or so.
    – Alexander
    Commented Dec 15, 2018 at 9:54

Perhaps, you mean саранча? The difference is somewhere in the field of biology. :)

  • and entomology.. Commented Dec 15, 2018 at 9:22
  • 1
    Well, I thought "саранча" is translated as locust. My excuses if I'm wrong.
    – Alexander
    Commented Dec 15, 2018 at 9:53
  • 2
    @Alexander, locust is саранча и цикада, саранча is locust and grasshopper. :)
    – Elena
    Commented Dec 15, 2018 at 10:28

To be honest I'd say most Russian speakers would call those "кузнечик", with some (being more familiar maybe with nature) - "сверчок".

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.