5

I came across the phrase "каким боком" during my studies ("каким боком это тебя касается?"), and I can't wrap my head around what it means. Is it maybe interchangeable with "каким образом"? What is a good translation? And how does it come to mean something like that when it literally translates to "by which side" - can a Russian speaker shed some light on this?

8

This is a colloquial expression meaning “in what way”.

I understand it as a witty reinterpretation of the abstract word «касаться» (to concern) in its original concrete sense (to touch). So you may try to translate the pun as on which side does it apply to you? if you wish.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    Probably бок here means rather "facet" than "side" (and "side" can have that meaning too), just one of those polysemantic words which make this confusing – Swift Oct 4 at 13:52
3

1 А good translation is

Remind me why that has anything to do with you.

What does that matter to you?

What does it have to do with you?

How's that any of your business?

How is that your problem?

2 Никаким боком/местом means in no way.

3 When we have an idiom, no way should we translate it literally. But the dictionaries show a similar idiom in English.

Тебя это ни с какого боку не касается — it's none of your business

| improve this answer | |
  • I would like to learn the reason for downvoting. Come on, speak up! – V.V. Oct 4 at 11:28
  • Not downvoter, but last variant barely related to the meaning (it actually means "it would cost you nothing"). And if we translate idioms within literary text, we probably have to replace it with something what a native speaker would say. E.g. 'Why does that concern you?" "Why do you even care?" or something informal. When this question is asked in this form, it's implied that asking person thinks that topic in question shouldn't be concern of object person. – Swift Oct 4 at 13:59
  • Well, I didn't want to repeat the previous answer. I believe point one corresponds to the topic. Thanks anyway. – V.V. Oct 4 at 14:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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