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I am looking for an indigenous Russian word for women who entertained guests at social gatherings in Russia. To put it simply, I am looking for a Russian analogue of geisha.

I tried to find such a word on my own, but found only an intriguing statement in Wikipedia:

Вместе с тем для обозначения подобных артисток и их профессии, как в японском, так и в остальных мировых языках, включая русский, встречаются и другие наименования. (Link)

This statement says there is a Russian word for that, but does not name that word.

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  • I'm afraid, there's no such profession in the Russian culture. The rich has always been too ignorant and disdained all the entertainment beside hunting, torture, and sex.
    – Yellow Sky
    Jul 6 '19 at 14:19
  • @YellowSky : So Wikipedia lies, right?
    – Mitsuko
    Jul 6 '19 at 14:39
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    @Mitsuko you'd be surprised but Wikipedia is not something we call in Russian "истина в последней инстанции".
    – shabunc
    Jul 6 '19 at 15:03
  • @shabunc : I am not surprised, but am stull curious whether Wikipedia lies in that particular statement :)
    – Mitsuko
    Jul 6 '19 at 15:12
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    lie is a deliberate misinformation, until we have a proof of such intent it's a mistake or inaccuracy Jul 6 '19 at 17:33
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I'm not aware of a native Slavic word for this profession.

Since this profession has come to Russia from the West, Russian uses loanwords to describe it: куртизанка, кокотка, демимонденка, гетера, эскортница etc., including гейша itself.

Note, however, that all those words (except гейша naturally) don't describe a woman who would do exactly what a geisha would do.

That's why we all know the word "geisha" in the first place: if we had an exact native word for a geisha, we would not need the Japanese word.

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Тамада. It can be a woman or man. This person entertains guests at social gatherings like wedding, parties, in Russia. It reflects only this part of geisha.

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  • 1
    +1. The geisha is good and the ozashiki asobi are interesting.
    – Quassnoi
    Jul 6 '19 at 23:13
  • Oh, God! Really, a female tamada is a purely Russian invetion. )))
    – Yellow Sky
    Jul 7 '19 at 2:59
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Вместе с тем для обозначения подобных артисток и их профессии, как в японском, так и в остальных мировых языках, включая русский, встречаются и другие наименования.

I suppose this piece of text means "there are some other words for geisha", i. e. "other words for this Japanese profession" because there is no such profession in Russian culture.

Nowadays, there is a word with a similar meaning - "аниматор". Usually "аниматор" is a person who entertains children on birthdays. Also, hotels in Turkey which work on "all inclusive" model, have animators for adults.

UPD
As for the word "массовик-затейник" proposed by Quassnoi in comments, it is a word from the Soviet epoch, which means more or less the same as "аниматор".

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  • >> I suppose this piece of text means "there are some other words for geisha", i. e. "other words for this Japanese profession" << If you suppose that, then what are the other Russian words for geisha?
    – Mitsuko
    Jul 6 '19 at 15:08
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    массовик-затейник
    – Quassnoi
    Jul 6 '19 at 15:10
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    массовица-затейница? массажистка-затейница? массажистка-зательница? Jul 6 '19 at 17:35
  • @Mitsuko I don't know other words, you should ask the author. I just noticed that the phrase can have another meaning.
    – Dmitriy
    Jul 6 '19 at 18:47
  • @Quassnoi I have never heard anyone saying "массовик-затейник"
    – spbnative
    Jul 7 '19 at 10:19
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"Тамада" is a man or a woman, who entertains guests at weddings, bithdays and so on, organizing contests and games. Usually it takes place at weddings and anniversaries in restaurants.

"Эскорт" is a woman (or a number of them) who are going to different places with somebody who pays them, but actually their job usually (not always) includes intimate services as well. There are differencies between "эскорт" and prostitutes, you can read articles about it.

"Аниматор" is a someone who entertains you (with contests, games, quests, etc.) and you pay them only for that. Usually "аниматоры" are being paid to entertain children when their parents are eating in restaurants, relaxing at the seaside and so on.

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