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Questions tagged [идиомы]

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2
votes
1answer
90 views

When and why did the Russians start to call Asian and Southern people “чурки”?

Wiktionary gives eight different meanings as well as the etymological origin of the word "чурка": Meanings 1-4 are various small pieces of wood or metal, Meaning 5 is a simpleton or uneducated person, ...
3
votes
2answers
136 views

Тhe idiomatic expression “на три господа бога”

Reading a Russian book about a Russo-Japanese war, I saw the idiomatic expression на три господа бога: Тут, брат, все сделано на три господа бога. I performed a Google search and found some ...
1
vote
0answers
71 views

Translating the untranslatable: Are there good translations of Russian wordplay jokes about Stierlitz? [closed]

The Russian wordplay jokes about Stierlitz - the Russian James Bond - are among the funniest, but are considered untranslatable. But are they really untranslatable? Being a big fan of my language and ...
3
votes
3answers
125 views

Meaning of “компостировать мозги”

I need help with the meaning of the idiom "компостировать мозги" the full sentence being "прекрати компостировать мозги". What is the English version of this
3
votes
5answers
286 views

По-русски, пожалуйста!

In English, you can say "In English, please!" to mean that you'd like a simpler explanation (when someone IS speaking English but using technical terms that a regular person wouldn't understand). ...
8
votes
1answer
167 views

The origin of ни пуха ни пера - к чёрту

Why do we say ни пуха ни пера wishing someone good luck? The traditional response is also interesting. People are expected to say к чёрту. What is the origin of the idiom?
-4
votes
1answer
103 views

Meaning of “ни в зуб ногой - ни в жопу пальцем” [closed]

What does the mean expression “ни в зуб ногой - ни в жопу пальцем” ?
3
votes
1answer
131 views

Syntax of “Он как подорвался всё жрать”

I read this in a story online: Вечером сестра пришла забирать, а пацан на полу лежит сытый и даже конструктор собирать не хочет. Я говорю: "Таня, а чё ты ему сказала такого? Он как подорвался ...
6
votes
1answer
155 views

“You get the picture”

The literal translation that is found to be most closely equivalent to the English meaning of this is Вы поЛучите картину, but I don’t know if that is just the literal meaning of saying ‘...
5
votes
5answers
276 views

Russian equivalents of “all men, young and old”

Выходит, что мужчины -- что старые, что молодые -- просто не могут пройти мимо такой красавицы. In conversation, I wanted to express the idea of "all men, young and old". I wonder if my phrasing ...
7
votes
2answers
251 views

Meaning of “тренироваться на кошечках”

I Listened to a podcast, in which the speaker attempted to explain what тренироваться на кошечках means and how it's used, yet I failed to grasp the meaning. Can someone explain?
2
votes
2answers
204 views

Equivalent of “One man's trash is another man's treasure”?

is there a russian equivalent to that idiom? Edit: The meaning is not literal but, typically, a commentary on how there is no judging for taste — what one person may think is worthless may be ...
8
votes
1answer
108 views

The origin of “заморить червячка”

"Заморить червячка" is an idiom which can be loosely translated as "to get a bite to eat", or "to have a snack / to have something to eat". Which worm does the expression refer to? What is its ...
4
votes
2answers
125 views

The meaning of “бедный родственник”

Literally "бедный родственник" means "poor relative". But it doesn't make much sense in the following context: Что ты смотришь на меня как бедный родственник? What does this idiom mean? And what ...
3
votes
1answer
135 views

The origin of “на авось”

The Russian idiom сделать что-то на авось is very interesting indeed. I know that it may be similar to the English idiom on the off-chance, which means relying on the remote possibility (if you can ...
7
votes
2answers
239 views

Почему как стартовую команду применяют фразу «три-четыре»?

Почему когда русскоязычный человек начинает физическую нагрузку, он иногда говорит фразу «Три, четыре»? Почему пропускают «раз два»?
2
votes
2answers
99 views

How to parse and interpret "никому прохода не даст”?

(From young to old) – никому прохода не даст! They are talking about a ladykiller's taste in women covering a broad spectrum from young to old. I wonder if this phrase means something along the ...
2
votes
2answers
92 views

How to parse and interpret “Ну и досталось же ему от моей сестры!”?

Ну и досталось же ему от моей сестры! They are talking about a ladykiller trying to seduce a girl. I can't make head nor tail of the meaning of this sentence. I wonder if "dative + достаться + от" ...
4
votes
2answers
167 views

How does “Чья бы корова мычала” have the meaning “You're a fine one to talk”?

Чья бы корова мычала... Is this expression said sarcastically, with "чья" alluding to "твоя"? Whose cow would be mooing/complaining? Don't tell me it's yours (of all people/cows who should be ...
5
votes
2answers
150 views

How do I infer the meaning from “Стол на месте”?

I am learning Russian using Duolingo as a resource. One of the questions in an exercise was to translate the following into English: Стол на месте I (maybe naively) interpreted it as Table/Desk ...
9
votes
3answers
732 views

How to ask someone to be less polite and not use white lies?

Note: Please let me know if this question is off-topic, so it can be closed or deleted. I am afraid that it either focuses too much on Russian culture, or alternatively is asking for a translation. ...
2
votes
2answers
92 views

Не справиться as an idiom

"Только силой с этим явлением [terrorism] не справиться, тем более, что смерть террористов не пугает". I was intrigued at the usage of the infinitive справиться here. Normally the third person plural ...
2
votes
4answers
259 views

What do these mean: pupushik and pupushonok?

A man used the first and a woman used the second, to each other. What exactly do they mean? Are they naughty terms of endearment or harmless, cute ones? :-) Context: Armenian man and Ukrainian woman ...
7
votes
2answers
894 views

Russian equivalents of English idiom “what a …”?

E.g. What a beautiful day! or What a jerk!. The phrase doesn't have in general any positive or negative connotation, but is just a general exclamation about the perceived (large) magnitude of ...
8
votes
3answers
422 views

Russian equivalents of the English idiom “So much for (a peaceful vacation)!”

First ..., and now this!? So much for a peaceful vacation! In English, you use the expression "so much for X" ironically and dejectedly when something didn't turn out the way you'd hoped. In this ...
5
votes
3answers
177 views

Meaning of же in “его сыновья … его же дочери”

I’m deciphering a modern transcription of ревизские сказки (revision records) written in the 19th century. All throughout I see a pattern similar to this (names have been changed): Илья ...
4
votes
3answers
121 views

Idiom: “Хлопот полон рот” or “хлопот полный рот”?

This idiom roughly translates as "the thing is, he/she is very busy", right? However, a friend of mine on VK used "Хлопот полный рот", whereas on gramota.ru I saw "хлопот полон рот". Which one is ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Russian equivalent of the idiom “crown jewel”

I'm looking for a Russian idiom which would be the closest analog of "crown jewel" as in, for instance, "the crown jewel of my collection". I'm not satisfied with "главное украшение" since that's ...
6
votes
3answers
235 views

Interpretation of “Понеслась душа в рай!”

I recently read a piece of text that was translated into Russian by a very reputable translator. In it, a couple was at a party when someone asked the husband what he thought of a new legislature. The ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

He couldn't hold his alcohol - how to say it in Russian?

I was trying to explain to someone the English phrase: He couldn't hold his alcohol (also liquor) This means that one becomes drunk very easily. Are there any Russian idioms/expressions that are ...
4
votes
3answers
161 views

Interpretation of “забить” and “цацкаться”

In a chat about an annoying user (I believe in Russian you would call her a тролль), I came across the following comment: Ну остаётся только забить на неё, мне кажется, её только подстегивает то,...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

What are Russian equivalents of the English idiom “spread yourself too thin”?

What are Russian equivalents of the English idiom "spread yourself too thin", which is often used in: "Try not to spread yourself too thin." From The Free Dictionary: spread yourself too thin ...
1
vote
2answers
151 views

Понимаешь по-английски? [duplicate]

Is it Ты хорошо понимаешь по-английски? or Ты хорошо понимаешь английский? I have seen (1) in some Russian books I came across through an online search, but literally it does not make sense (...
5
votes
6answers
554 views

What are Russian equivalents of the English idiom “It's a work in progress”?

What are Russian equivalents of the English idiom "It's a work in progress"? To make this question self-sufficient, the definition of "work in progress" is "an unfinished project that is still being ...
6
votes
1answer
343 views

Не по глазам - что это значит?

Здравствуйте. Никогда не встречал такого выражения, по контексту вроде бы со значением "сразу не увидел" или "прозевал" (например, просматривая список). Есть ли примеры использования этого выражения в ...
4
votes
1answer
496 views

Asking for a table

What is an idiomatic way to say when entering a restaurant A table for two, please? A table for one, please?
9
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the idiom for “enjoy it!” in Russian?

What is the idiom for "enjoy it!" in Russian? Contexts for example: "I'm going to travel with my friends." "I'm traveling with my friends." "We are in the camp now." "We are walking in ...
4
votes
4answers
258 views

Сети у нас есть, или SETI?

Дорогая передача! I must confess that until recently I never read any of Vysotsky in print. Doing so for the first time I've stumbled upon these lines, and I was immensely surprised. As far as I ...
5
votes
2answers
255 views

Is there a translation of “A fool and his money are soon parted”

I am wondering if there is a Russian equivalent of the English idiom "A fool and his money are soon parted".
3
votes
0answers
213 views

Any idiomatic expression in Russian commonly misinterpreted by non-Russian speakers? [closed]

Do you know of any idiomatic expression in Russian, the meaning or etymology of which is usually misinterpreted by non-Russian speakers? Is there such an expression in Russian that Russian speakers ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

Use of “Kamchatka” to represent any poor, faraway place

In Russia, the place name "Kamchatka" at some point became a generalized means of referring to faraway, underresourced, or undesirable places (according to a couple of sources, this includes the far ...
0
votes
6answers
2k views

Is there a Russian expression used when both sides know they are lying?

I just heard someone talking about Putin propaganda techniques on BBC Radio 4 this morning... And he mentioned an expression in a situation where "both sides know they are lying"... but they persist ...
5
votes
3answers
220 views

How to say “for one's own sake”

Например: "He should listen to his mother, for his own sake". Я думал, что-to похоже: "Он должен выслушивать свою мать, чтобы спасать себя.", но это казалось слишком буквально, так как на английском ...
2
votes
2answers
112 views

What does “до” and “со значительными утратами” mean in this sentence?

At the Russian wiki page for the "All Saint's Bridge", it says: Представлял собой выдающееся архитектурное и инженерное сооружение, считался одним из чудес Москвы. Существовал, со значительными ...
7
votes
4answers
192 views

Meaning of куда мне

I saw the following exchange: Будешь поступать в институт? - Куда мне, мне б в училище поступить". Since there's no question mark, I'm led to believe that куда мне is rhetorical here, and quite ...
5
votes
1answer
424 views

History of “Глаз на жопу натянуть” idiom

I am wondering about ethimology of an idiom "Глаз на жопу натянуть", which literally means "Pull an eye onto ass". Surfing through the internet I have found that it was used in Shirli-Myrli [Ширли-...
7
votes
2answers
645 views

Does anyone understand the sense (смысл) of this Soviet-era poster?

I forgot how I found this poster on the internet, but it looked strange so I thought I would translate it so it would make sense: However, it seems even more bizarre and non-sensical after ...
6
votes
4answers
340 views

Meaning of “одна морда чего стоит”

I found this in a book and have no inkling of what it can mean, and nothing in dictionaries to help me understand. Any ideas? Сама знаю, что зря. Мужика у меня уже Святая Дева знает сколько не ...
7
votes
3answers
220 views

What'd be a formal way to say “морочить голову”?

As in: приношу извинения что морочил голову Context: made a booking but plans were cancelled. Checked ru.wiktionary.org and frazbook.ru but none of the suggested options sound natural.
1
vote
3answers
155 views

Interpretation of the idiom “только дай повод”

In the following sentence, given that дай is an imperative form (and singular at that), I have to assume that только дай повод is an idiom: Я знаю, что вам только дай повод надо мной поиздеваться, ...