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Basically the title.

I have just had a discussion with some of my friends and we could not come up with the origin of this saying. The best we could come up with was that it sounded closer to "молодец" или "молодчина" but could not tie "молоток" to it.

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    I think you are right. "Молоток" is sounded close to "Молодец" – cha Jan 15 '14 at 0:45
  • It's some kind soviet union legacy. Reference to symbol of working proletariat - hammer and sickle. Used as accordant to Молодец etc – Sugar Jan 15 '14 at 6:28
  • Терпи молоток, выростишь кувалдой будеш – Vladimir Oselsky Jan 16 '14 at 16:28
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    Ну типа, лопата... – Karlson Jan 16 '14 at 18:44
  • It means surprise and praise: "You're done!" or just "aw!" – stepan Jan 17 '14 at 5:49
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Молоток is a slang and jokey word for молодец, which is a noun in Russian corresponding to the English expression "well done". (Reference: Большой толковый словарь под ред. Кузнецова).

The reason exactly the word молоток is used is not explained in dictionaries I saw. But one could speculate with a rather high chance of hitting the point that

  1. the two words sound similar due to sharing the first two syllables and the same stress on the last syllable
  2. the word молоток literally means hammer i.e. an instrument used to accomplish a task requiring some skill.
  • The reason is what I was looking for. Speculation you have posted is unfortunately just that. :( – Karlson Jan 17 '14 at 10:56
  • Actually it seems comparison appeared due to comparison with hammer nailing things. In english if one guy beat another you can say nailed. Especially if advantage was huge. So playing a little with the sense behind it you get same for молоток, guy that nail tasks or anything – Yaroslav Yakovlev Jan 20 '14 at 18:22

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