What does "терпячка" mean? I know it has to do with suffering and bearing, but I need the exact meaning.
This word was created from the word терпеть, which in English would more or less mean to tolerate or put up with or hold on.
In Ukrainian, which has the same roots as Russian, the word терпячка means patience or tolerance, depending on the context, albeit colloquially. In Russian, the meaning is somewhat different.
In Russian, the word терпячка refers to a scenario where a person is holding on and pretends that everything is fine despite it really not being fine. This is usually done to save face or look cool, or to show off, ... you get the idea. And this person believes that this is the right thing to do.
For example, you may be holding on and pretending you're perfectly fine despite being in severe pain after being hit by a bus. I don't know why anyone would do that, but if one did, this would be referred to as терпячка.
And it doesn't necessarily refer to physical pain; it can also refer to an emotional state. For example, while at work, someone can pretend that everything is fine at home despite the fact that a close relative has died.
Or, for example, if two kids went on their own to the forest and one of them admits to being scared, the other one would almost certainly pretend that they're not scared just to show off, although, most likely, they're just as scared.
These are just a few examples, but they should be enough to convey the meaning of the word. If you can read Russian reasonably well, I recommend you read these posts:
I don't know all the intricacies of the usage of this word, and the changes it's undergone over time, but to provide some background and to clear up some misconceptions, here's some additional information and examples of usage (of which I wasn't able to find many).
Терпя́чка ж. терпѣнье. У него терпячки нѣтъ, или у него нетерпячка. Терпя́чій человѣкъ, терпѣливый и сносливый.
That definition simply equates the word with терпение, which translates to “patience” or “endurance”, without any notes on special usage. Notably, the dictionary of the Ukrainian language by B. Hrinchenko (1907‒1909) gives exactly the same definition.
Когда Данилов уехал, он пришел крайне подавленный и сказал: «Если у каторжного терпячка лопнула, то мне что же остается — пулю в лоб?»
Here, it seems to be used the same way someone would use the common phrase терпение лопнуло (one’s patience was lost). However, it somewhat leans towards a sense of “endurance.” That is, if Danilov, a former labor camp convict, couldn't bear or endure a particular event, how could others?
- Contemporary Kazakh writer and Ural region and Cossack historian A. Yalfimov used the word in a novel that is still being written, but with a few chapters published in some regional literary magazines:
И вот, когда терпячка совсем кончилась, сна не было и кусок не лез в горло, вздрогнули казаки на ранней заре от могучего, протяжного гула.