One of the phrases in Tolstoy's story ''Прыжок'' ('The Leap') is:

Обезьяна эта корчилась, прыгала, делала смешные рожи, передразнивала людей, и видно было - она знала, что ею забавляются, и оттого ещё больше расходилась.

I translated this as 'This monkey was twisting, mimicking people, and it was seen - she knew that they were being amused by her, and from this she was even more _'

The context of the sentence seems to suggest that she was even more entertained or encouraged in some way by the amusement of the people, but the dictionary definition (Wiktionary) only provides this:

to go away, to disperse (in different directions), to spread to break up (of a crowd, meeting, etc.) to part, to separate, to break up (of two or three persons), to get divorced, to drift apart to be sold out (well), to sell well (of a product) to disagree, to differ (of opinions) to diverge, to branch off to miss one another, to fail to meet to be spent, to go (of money) to separate, to not close (of clothes)

None of these seem to fit the context. (Another Dictionary - Collins - lacks a similiar useful translation.)

Anyone got any ideas? Does расходиться have an archaic meaning that I'm not aware of and that the dictionary doesn't list? Or am I being stupid and one of the meanings listed above is actually relevant?

  • 2
    A side note. "Oна" is used in this sentence only because "oбезьяна" is a feminine word. It does not imply sex; it could well be male. So technically, you should use "it" in the translation. Except, of course, it would make the sentence ugly, so you may choose any specific gender for aesthetic reasons. Funny how a gender-less language pushes you to specify a gender...
    – Zeus
    Commented Aug 6, 2021 at 0:55
  • Although technically wrong, saying 'she' just felt right. It's weird that a grammatical category makes me think for some reason that the monkey is female. But, I'm sure that if the noun had been обезьян I would have translated it as 'he'.
    – ermatveit
    Commented Aug 6, 2021 at 9:29
  • "Does расходиться have an archaic meaning" - "расходиться" is derived from "ходить" (to go, to walk), it's one of these words for which no dictionary could possibly contain all meanings. Commented Aug 6, 2021 at 14:33
  • 1
    "Обезьян" is a declension of the plural, "обезьяна" does not have a male form in standard Russian; these words are a constant headache of (say) children's lit translators. E.g. Bagheera (the actual character) in Russian is female because "пантера" is female. You could use "обезьян" as the male form for humorous effect, implying the narrator is making fun of that quirk of the language. It would be very inappropriate in all other circumstances. Commented Aug 6, 2021 at 14:43
  • It is helpful to think of the basic meaning of the раз- prefix. When put on a verb of motion it indicates a forking, separating, or scattering motion. Here it suggests that the behavior of the monkey was becoming less calm and focused, more scattered and chaotic.
    – David42
    Commented Aug 6, 2021 at 14:55

2 Answers 2


The verb "разойтись" in Russian has a lot of different meanings, including (see #16 and #17) of getting more and more excited, getting slightly out of control even, so imagine a corporate karaoke event, and one of your coworkers is drinking more and more while singing louder and louder.

One can say about him:

"Что-то у нас Семён Петрович сегодня разошёлся"

  • 1
    Thanks. I decided to translate it as 'and therefore she grew even more excited'
    – ermatveit
    Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 10:42
  • @ermatveit: or "...more animated", yes. See meaning II. 2) here
    – Andriy M
    Commented Aug 6, 2021 at 18:01

it is something in-between 'more rowdy', 'more encouraged' and yes 'more excited' - I am not a linguist , I am just a native Russian speaker , rowdy - first word that comes into the mind and it feels right in this context.

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