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My Russian friend told me "я ухажеру бороду отбила". What did she mean? She told me this after I told her I got in a fight.

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    It might mean she had hit her admirer very hard on the chin. "Борода" can be used to refer to "подбородок". Feb 4, 2014 at 11:37
  • JFYI, the phrase sounds rather strange. I've never ever heard the отбить бороду expression. Also, I don't hear the word ухажёр in spoken language.
    – Ark-kun
    Feb 5, 2014 at 17:28

1 Answer 1

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Your example can literally be translated as "I've hit my admirer in the chin real hard".

"Ухажер" is a colloquial for "admirer".

"Борода" is used as a synonym of the word "подбородок", which means "chin".

The trickiest word to translate is "отбить". Here is used in the meaning "hit smth so hard that it hurts very much". Usually, the word "отбить" is used not when you hit someone, but when you hurt yourself, e.g.

Он неудачно прыгнул и отбил пятки.
He jumped unfortunately and hurt his heels.

But, as in your example, it can also be used to refer to the actions directed at other people.

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  • Can't "отбить" mean to break off, as in "отбить замок"?
    – dimitriy
    Feb 4, 2014 at 22:55
  • It can, yes. But it is hard to break off somebody's chin.
    – Olga
    Feb 5, 2014 at 12:05
  • In English, there are many expressions like this that are figurative. Threatening to "knock someone's head off", for instance, rarely involves decapitation.
    – dimitriy
    Feb 5, 2014 at 16:03
  • But я ухажеру бороду отбила is not a figurative expression, as far as I know.
    – Olga
    Feb 5, 2014 at 16:18

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