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1
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0answers
88 views

Where does the phrase “кто девушку ужинает тот ее и танцует” come from?

While listening to Pozner I've heard the phrase "кто девушку ужинает тот ее и танцует". Where does it come from?
2
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0answers
35 views

Как можно перевести «сделано на коленке»? [on hold]

В значении «быстро, не затрачивая много времени и усилий; наспех».
2
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3answers
349 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
180 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
327 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 (Source) (2)...
12
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2answers
442 views

What is the meaning of: “- Отнеси кота на веранду. - Да уж лежит там.”

In a recent test I had to translate the following: -- Отнеси кота на веранду. -- Да уж лежит там. My translation was: "Bring the cat to the verandah." "It is already lying there." My ...
2
votes
7answers
191 views

“On the side” — «На стороне»?

I have tried to translate into Russian the sentence: I am studying the Russian language on the side. I.e., I just occasionally spend time on it. Google Translate says: Я изучаю русский язык на ...
4
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6answers
353 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 ...
0
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2answers
159 views

Possible to use Я хотел бы without direct object?

This quite a short question. I was wondering how to express in Russian the sentence "I wish!" without any direct object. As a silly example, in English you could say — Have you finished your project? ...
1
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0answers
61 views

Russian sport idioms in business [closed]

Are there any sport idioms (or war, or maybe some other topic) used frequently in Russian business discussions? This topic came up in conversation, and we were unable to think of any obvious ones. ...
1
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7answers
402 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 ...
4
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5answers
235 views

What is the Russian idiomatic term for Western hypocrisy?

There is a view in Asian countries that the Western culture is hypocritical, and there is even a special term for this - "Western hypocrisy." Roughly speaking, the view is that whilst the Westerners ...
3
votes
2answers
287 views

Is there an idiomatic way to tell a Russian to talk quietly?

The short version of my question is: How can I idiomatically ask a Russian to talk quietly, regain his composure and calmness, stop being emotionally intrusive and domineering, and think in terms of ...
3
votes
7answers
388 views

Correct use of the the idiom 'Гнать/Катить бочку'

I heard both versions, which one is correct? 'Гнать' or 'Катить'? If I want to say: "не гони бочку на китайцев, падла. кто бы нам пособил электронику и одёжку, если не их пацаны на тех жутких ...
12
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7answers
4k views

Russian equivalents of 能骗就骗 (if you can cheat, then cheat)

On this SE there have been many interesting questions about Russian equivalents of various idiomatic expressions and proverbs of the French language and other languages, and I decided to make my own ...
4
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3answers
266 views

What is the logic of the expression “только и всего”?

Some time ago I watched the excellent Russian movie "The Horde" with English subtitles and got intrigued by a few expressions from there, with one of them being "только и всего." The movie is on ...
7
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3answers
821 views

What is the precise meaning of “подсел на мак”?

Some months ago I saw a Russian gomokunarabe player saying in an online chat to his compatriot, А я подсел на мак. I cannot recall the context. I can only recall that their chat looked highly ...
8
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2answers
2k views

The origin of “за двумя зайцами погонишься”

За двумя зайцами погонишься, ни одного не поймаешь. We have the same proverb, 二兎を追う者は一兎も得ず, which is considered borrowed from somewhere, so I am curious whether we borrowed it from the Russians or ...
10
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2answers
1k views

“Отведать тунца” - what does this idiom mean?

I frequently play gomokunarabe, a Japanese strategy game, on an international server and sometimes face Russians as opponents, as a variant of this game is apparently popular in Russia and known as "...
11
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5answers
3k views

What people are called boars (“кабан”) and why?

I discovered yesterday that the Russians often use the word "кабан" ("wild boar") or its Old Russian analogue "вепрь" to talk about people: (1) Что ещё раз доказывает, что здоровья у Уайта ...
6
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4answers
594 views

When and why did Asian and Southern people start to be called “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, ...
4
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2answers
189 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
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0answers
101 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
176 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
315 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). ...
10
votes
1answer
251 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
121 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
142 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
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1answer
162 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
285 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
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2answers
268 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
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2answers
256 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
116 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
145 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
153 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
246 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
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2answers
103 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
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2answers
95 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" ...
5
votes
2answers
192 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
180 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
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3answers
753 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
96 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
330 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
924 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
431 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
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3answers
179 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
123 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
260 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 ...