Questions tagged [выражения]

Questions about the meaning, the origin, and the usage of multi-word expressions with more or less idiomatic or metaphorical meaning.

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3answers
214 views

Сорьян = sorry?

I was recently working at a Russian startup with a low median age - most of the employees were under 30. I cannot count the number of times I heard folks saying "сорьян" to each other, but ...
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1answer
199 views

“Пусть расползётся пэрча” - what does it mean?

Can anyone help me understand what this phrase means? “пусть расползётся пэрча” I’m sure it’s grammatically incorrect but I couldn’t find a proper interpretation of it. I’m not understanding пэрча. I ...
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1answer
117 views

Is the expression “По рассказам” idiomatic?

I was trying to translate a song called "город устал" by "плохо", and one of the lines of the song says: По рассказам всё было, но ты опоздал I tried to get a word by word ...
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3answers
281 views

What is the meaning of this Russian profanity?

I am a new learner in the Russian language, and I don't know the rules of this exchange. But recently I came across this saying (I am sorry in advance for the phrase): "ёпта мохнатка": Яже ...
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6answers
412 views

What does “Сейчас всё брошу и побегу!” mean?

Here's a dialog from a Japanese tutorial: A: Слушай, зай, принеси нам кофе, а? B: Сейчас всё брошу и побегу! Видишь, у меня фильм начинается. “Сейчас всё брошу и побегу!” is literally translated as &...
3
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2answers
124 views

“Reading up” on а subject

I would like to know the conventional and/or colloquial way in Russian to express that one is reading up on a subject. In English, to read up on/about something means to inform oneself about a ...
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1answer
375 views

How to express condolences

One of my neighbours died some days ago. I want to write his widow a card (to not get in contact too much, because of corona-restrictions here) to express the condolences of our family. The widow ...
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1answer
127 views

Doubts about “бы ни” meaning “No matter what/ how much/ etc.”

I know some Russian constructions which translate the English expressions "Whatever... [sth]", "Wherever... [swh]", "No matter how much... [things]". Those constructions ...
4
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2answers
389 views

После нас, хоть потоп - why is there хоть?

So I was searching the translation of the famous expression "Après nous, le déluge" and saw on Wikipedia that it's translated as После нас, хоть потоп. Having not seen хоть used in this way ...
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1answer
194 views

When was the expression “фунт презрения” introduced?

I am wondering when the expression фунт презрения was introduced. On Google Books, the oldest occurrence of фунт презрения seems to be in Slezkin's Козел в огороде (1923): Но только в силу моего ...
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2answers
188 views

Please explain the phrase “Тоже мне новость!”

I saw this example sentence on LearnRussianWords.com: То́же мне но́вость! Об э́том бы́ло изве́стно уже́ неде́лю наза́д. The suggested translation was: That's not news! It was known a week ago. ...
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2answers
156 views

What does “всякий взор” mean in this context? Is it a phrase?

So this is from Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, so I'm not sure if this an archaic 19th century expression, because I don't see how the word взор is being used in this sentence. Does it just mean &...
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3answers
222 views

How do I tell the waiter I want another drink: “Я повторяю это” or “Повторите это”?

When I finish my drink, I've often heard waitresses ask me: "Вы повторите это?" or something like that (maybe I heard wrong). The problem is I don't know how to ask for another drink. Do I ...
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4answers
14k views

If a Russian girl calls herself a thawing pike (тающая щука), what could it mean?

I recently had a video call with a Russian girl, and in the middle of the conversation she called herself тающая щука. That made no sense in the context, so I used a mirror to try to understand what ...
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10answers
2k views

Are there Russian words for “close-minded” and “open-minded”?

I'm translating an English text into Russian and got stuck trying to find a Russian word for "close-minded." None came to my mind, so I looked in Reverso and I saw the following translation ...
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4answers
5k views

Is there a Russian equivalent of “red flag”?

In English, the term red flag is used as a metaphor to mean a sign suggestive of a possible danger or problem: (1) Boyfriend not showing you his home is a huge red flag. (Link) (2) I've just spent ...
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3answers
316 views

Why is this Russian expression an idiomatic example of mutually exclusive things?

The Russian idiom "и рыбку съесть, и на хуй сесть", whose literal meaning is "to eat fish and sit down onto a dick too," is an idiomatic way to say that your interlocutor is ...
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8answers
2k views

How should I understand and translate “закатить истерику”?

Some time ago I took a test in which I had to translate some short texts from Russian into English. One of them contained the following sentence: По приходу домой она закатила истерику. My solution ...
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1answer
204 views

Нормально ли спросить “сколько время”?

Пусть неправильно по грамматике, но, если хочешь узнать где-то время, то нормально ли спросить "сколько время"? Меня не столько волнует граммотность, сколько естественно ли это звучит в ...
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4answers
2k views

How can I understand this puzzling dialogue with “ну я имею в виду вообще”?

My Russian teacher recently had us, his students, listen some audio recordings of what he called "authentic everyday communications of Russians." We had to understand the dialogues and ...
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2answers
276 views

Figurative meaning of в полосочку

I have read in various sources : «жизнь в полосочку» or «через полосочку в клеточку» Is this roughly equivalent to saying “life is up and down?” I’m having trouble finding an explanation of this ...
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2answers
250 views

What is the meaning of “ищущим людям” in this text?

The context is the following paragraph (from https://baaltii1.livejournal.com/198675.html): Этот разговор мы начали в Принстоне, прогуливаясь по тамошней жизни и красивому закату. Показалось, что ...
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3answers
3k views

What's the meaning of “у нас” in phrases like “он у нас умный”?

The grammatical construction у меня, literally at/near me, is the Russian way to express possession and is also used to express proximity: У меня хорошая подруга. (I have a good friend.) Она сейчас у ...
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7answers
995 views

How should I translate “the fighting boar” in Grenfell's poem into Russian?

My Russian teacher, whom you know by his tough approach to teaching the language, strongly pushed me to try to translate English poems into Russian, and we agreed I'd have a look at Hymn to the Wild ...
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6answers
784 views

Why do Russians say that all men are billy goats (все мужики козлы)?

I was given a Russian song as a listening exercise, and, as far as I could discern, its chorus is: И мы не устаем, и с ночи до утра Мы можем говорить, говорить о мужиках. Бокал до дна в трудные ...
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0answers
121 views

How to translate “окающие и акающие, секающие и шекающие” correctly into English language? [closed]

I've tried versions like "retaining the unstressed “o” and “a”" and it seems to be wrong.
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6answers
396 views

Is it a mistake to say, “Oвчинки выделка не стоит”(sic!)?

In a recent essay of mine, I accidentally mixed up the grammatical cases in an idiom. Namely, I wrote: овчинки выделка не стоит The most common variant of this idiom is: овчинка выделки не стоит ...
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2answers
279 views

What does “тоже мне” mean? [closed]

What is the best way to translate these? Тоже мне! Тоже мне герой. Тоже мне новость. -
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3answers
195 views

Поиск идиомы со значением “близко к друг другу”, “телом к телу”, в идеале с намёком на половую связь

В песне группы Faun "Tanz mit mir" поётся: Ich schenk' dir ein nur wenn du tanzt mit mir, Wenn du tanzt mit mir, und zwar jetzt und hier Ich schenk' dir ein nur wenn du tanzt mit mir, Ich ...
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5answers
527 views

What is the meaning of: “Войну ждали. Но она пришла неожиданно.”?

I recently read an article in Russian written by a doctor of art science for the journal Живая история, and that article is about the Soviet-German war and starts with the following two sentences: ...
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1answer
237 views

Можно ли говорить “это очень жаль”?

Слушаю Вертинского: Увы, на жизни склоне Сердца всё пресыщённей, И это очень жаль... (автор стихов - В. Инбер) Мне последняя строчка режет ухо. Хотелось бы понять: это я ошибаюсь, или ...
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3answers
416 views

What does “я сейчас в неадеквате” mean?

I just sent a message to a language exchange partner and instantly received the following response: давай завтра, я сейчас в неадеквате What does this expression mean? Has he tied one on?
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3answers
609 views

Origin of the Russian idiom “like a grass snake on a frying pan”?

When Russians say that you are like a grass snake on a frying pan ("как уж на сковородке"), they often mean that you are grilled by tough incriminating questions and desperately trying to save your ...
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6answers
4k views

“Cобака на сене” - is this expression still in use or is it dated?

As I understand it, it describes a person who doesn't let others enjoy a resource / service while he himself doesn't utilize it either: Собака на сене — ни себе, ни людям. Смысл поговорки ...
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0answers
250 views

Meaning and usage of the Russian proverbs that seemingly discourage proactiveness [closed]

The Russian language abounds in wise proverbs, but I am very much confused by some of them, specifically by those that appear to discourage proactiveness. I am at a loss as to how such a good thing as ...
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8answers
694 views

What does the idiom “что уж там” mean?

I am very much puzzled by the idiom "что уж там" and its sister "чего уж там". Let me show you a few sentences: (1) Давайте везде курить, что уж там, детям в лицо: депутат Госдумы ...
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4answers
278 views

Different ways of saying “I got”

I've encountered several different ways of saying "I got" in Russian, but I am a bit confused on the differences in nuance these expressions have. To be clear, my question is about the ...
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2answers
292 views

How long is the night from the Russian language standpoint?

When Russians tell what time it is, they often add "дня" ("of the day"), "вечера" ("of the evening"), "ночи" ("of the night"), or "утра&...
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4answers
220 views

How to emphasise the insignificance of someone/thing in Russian?

We were having a conversation in French about asteroids, and I said: Je ne suis peut-être pas expert en astronomie, mais... Qu’est-ce qu’un petit humain de rien du tout peut contre quelque chose d’...
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7answers
343 views

Russian equivalents of “have ideas above his station”

In conversation, one of my colleagues said: He's thinking of making advances to the hospital director's daughter. If you ask me, he's got ideas above his station. He's not set up for life or ...
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4answers
250 views

Контекст возбуждения - (не) только сексуальный?

Если человек, получив интересную информацию, не разволновался, а эмоционально вовлекся и заинтересовался, стал активно размышлять на эту тему - какими словами это лучше описать? "Возбуждающая тема", "...
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3answers
470 views

Russian equivalents of “We would never hear the end of it”

We were talking about ... My girlfriend whipped up a mousse-like cold dessert with some fresh fruits, but the thick slices of apple inside turned out a bit too frozen to eat as is. And here I wanted ...
3
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2answers
283 views

What is the actual origin of the aphorism about intentions and capabilities?

UPDATE: It turns out that even Russia's president Vladimir Putin himself quoted Bismarck as saying that phrase! (Source1, Source2). It thus seems unlikely to be a made-up quotation, because it is ...
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6answers
421 views

What is the Russian equivalent of the proverb 水清ければ魚棲まず (if the water is clear, fish won't live there)?

The proverb's meaning is that just as fish prefer muddy waters and avoid clear streams, people generally do not associate with those who are too ideal in terms of ethics, manners, and habits. In other ...
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13answers
3k views

How can I say in Russian “I am not afraid to write anything”?

The question is in the title of my post. Somehow this simple idea made me really confused as to how I can express it in Russian. My first attempt was: (1) Я не боюсь писать всё. But I guess ...
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5answers
404 views

How can I say in Russian “they cannot make the tournament attractive by itself”?

The question is in the title of this post. A couple of explanatory points: Context: The organizers of a certain tournament cannot provide a big cash prize that would attract a lot of participants, so ...
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4answers
196 views

How is “have half a mind to do X” commonly expressed in Russian?

e.g.: I’ve half a mind to quit my job right here and now -- only if I'm already set for life, that is... or: I’ve a good mind to quit my job right here and now -- only if I'm already set for life, ...
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2answers
137 views

Russian equivalents of “X puts the smile back on her face”

We were having a conversation in German, and I was wondering how the same idea is commonly/idiomatically expressed in Russian. Sie lässt sich nichts anmerken, aber so viel muss sie durchmachen. Mit ...
3
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1answer
122 views

How is the idea of “Dahergelaufen” commonly expressed in Russian?

Doch wir verteilen die nicht einfach an jeden Dahergelaufenen. But they are too valuable for us to just dish out (left and right) to anyone who happens to come along. We were having a conversation ...
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8answers
582 views

What is the Russian equivalent of 干物女 (dried fish woman)?

Literally meaning dried fish woman, the popular slang 干物女 is used to call a woman in her twenties or older who, as nicely summarized in Wikipedia, has many of the following traits: Her text ...

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