Questions tagged [история-языка]

Questions on the history of the Russian language, its origin and changes it underwent through the centuries.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
10
votes
3answers
536 views

What circumstances led to dramatic change in Russian language between 17th and 18th centuries?

The language of 19th century (even its beginning), judging from the poetry and prose of Pushkin and Lermontov was quite the same language we speak today. Even if somebody decided to compose similar ...
9
votes
4answers
883 views

Any way to trace when «учёный» became a noun?

I need to know the approximate time учёный was substantivised. Dahl has no separate entry for the word as either noun or adjective, but he does use it as a noun when defining other terms (e.g. «...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Did Russian language brought any thing from Tamil language?

My mother language is Tamil (which considered to be a very old language). While creating Russian language did they got any words or characters from Tamil language?
7
votes
7answers
1k views

Why are German soldiers of WWII commonly referred to in the Russian language as fascists (фашисты)?

I read quite a few Russian materials about WWII and noticed that Russians commonly refer to German soldiers of WWII as фашисты (fascists). Here are some typical examples: (1) Фашисты заняли ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

History of /f/ sound in Russian

My wife is Russian and I am learning it. One thing I seem to see is that no "native" or "elementary" words seem to start with the letter ф (other than the name Fedor perhaps, and I ...
4
votes
5answers
310 views

How to explain two almost opposite meanings of "лихой"

I am puzzled by the fact that while most earlier usage of лихой have distinctly negative connotations (лиходей, лихой человек is most certainly a villain, лихие времена - bad times, лихоимство - deeds ...
22
votes
6answers
9k views

Why do Russians call a joke a stake (прикол)?

In modern Russian, прикол is a very frequently used word and means a joke, a funny incident, or just anything funny, but the original meaning of this word is very different: a stake to which a ship, a ...
19
votes
4answers
4k views

Why are there so many Dutch words that sound similar to Russian words?

Some examples: Dutch Russian English appelsien апельсин orange broek брюки pants dam дамба dam jacht яхта yacht kajuit каюта cabin matroos матрос sailor meubel мебель furniture paprika ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Why has the word Жид (Jew) become a taboo in Russian?

As far as I know, it is a neutral word in some Slavic languages, and it was legal in Russian before the Russian Revolution. However, now, it's completely illegal and, thus, Russians utter it only to ...
2
votes
1answer
200 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

The history of which case to follow after a number in the nominative case

In the nominative case, if we are counting something of size that ends with 1 (literally in Russian), then the object being counted is in the genitive singular case, e.g., тридцать один час. if we ...
10
votes
4answers
445 views

Comprehensibility of "Sub-Standard" Speech?

I suspect that this question may be both too specific and too vague for this forum, but here goes... I recently tried to watch the film "Жила-была одна баба" (2011) -- I'm not sure I'd recommend it ...
-4
votes
1answer
250 views

Why do so many Russian words sound similar to the ones in English and Sanskrit? [closed]

I have been trying to learn Russian and have come across many words that sound very similar to English words. This is particularly surprising because, unlike other European languages (which would ...
37
votes
8answers
5k views

Why doesn't Russian have native words beginning with А?

I've heard that Russian has no native words beginning with the letter A. The claim is that the words appearing under A in dictionaries were all imported at some stage or another. Browsing through the ...
2
votes
3answers
370 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
148 views

Is there an ancient language related to Russian that can be easily studied? [closed]

I am a native American English speaker. To improve my SAT verbal score, I studied Latin. Is there an analogous ancient language for Russian?
7
votes
5answers
1k views

"Красная" Площадь

It seems to be relatively common knowledge that the name "Красная Площадь," while translated in English as "Red Square," does not actually mean "Red Square" in Russian, but rather "Beautiful Square." ...
4
votes
3answers
724 views

Why do phonetically same Russian and Polish obscenities mean very different things?

Let us compare the meanings of some phonetically same Russian and Polish obscenities: Заебать (Russian): to get to, to pester. Zajebać (Polish): to beat someone up, to steal something, to brutally ...
25
votes
5answers
4k views

How come the Russian cognate for the Czech word "čerstvý" (fresh) means entirely the opposite thing (stale)?

In Russian, черствый хлеб (chorstvy khleb) is stale bread. And to my great surprise, I recently learned that in Czech, čerstvý chléb is precisely the opposite thing: fresh bread. My question is: ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

Значение слова кощун в средние века

Современные словари определяют слово кощун как "насмешник, богохульник". Однако в "Материалах для словаря древнерусского языка" Срезневского напротив слов кощуна, коштяна, коштюна написано "μύθος, ...
6
votes
2answers
645 views

Why was it decided in 1956 to abolish the spelling чорт (devil) in favor of чёрт?

I read in Wiktionary: чорт This spelling of the word was officially abolished in 1956 in favor of чёрт and is no longer in use. Both variants are pronounced identically. (Source) I see in Ngram ...
4
votes
1answer
209 views

Was "Novgorod" in 1815 one city or the other?

This question is not about grammar or syntax, but about historical toponymy. In 1815 an employee of the Russian-American Company was taken prisoner in Spanish California. An interpreter from a ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Why did the frequency of the word "черт" (devil) in books increase by a few times since the October Revolution?

I see in the Google Books statistics that the frequency of the word "черт" (devil) per unit of text length in books increased by ~3 times since the October revolution: Link. I used the case-...
4
votes
2answers
227 views

Kamchadalskii dialect

The native people of southern Kamchatka are Itelmen. The arrival of Russian men around 1700 created a mixed group called Kamchadals. By 1800, the Itelmen languages were mostly extinct and the Russian ...
16
votes
1answer
4k views

What kind of Russian orthography is this?

This is a screen shot from Tchaikovsky's Harmony textbook: Is this the pre-reform orthography? If someone learns modern Russian, how difficult will it be to understand such paragraphs?
5
votes
3answers
241 views

"дочерям их не будет ни в пути, ни при Дворе никаких обид"

The ИСТОРИЧЕСКИЙ ОЧЕРК ГЛАВНЕЙШИХ СОБЫТИЙ В КАМЧАТКЕ. 1650—1855 by Sgibnev, 1869, contains this passage: Января 13-го 1758 г. прибыл в Нижнекамчатск штат-фурьер Шахтуров для выбора ко двору ...
10
votes
7answers
694 views

Was "сладкий" ever synonymous with "пресный" in Russian

Fresh (non-salt) water is also called sweet in English. Surprisingly, the word sweet is also used in some Slavic languages. To be precise: in Polish, woda słodka in Czech, sladká voda in Croatian (...
14
votes
1answer
641 views

Why is there a "ц" in "Сан-Франциско"?

San Francisco, Сан-Франциско in Russian, is a Spanish name meaning "Saint Francis". The Сан in the city name is a direct phonetic adoption, but the Франциско differs from the Spanish in the inclusion ...
8
votes
6answers
694 views

The exact origin of шёл

I'm aware of шёл's derivation from Proto-Slavic *xьdlъ, related to ходить, but that form still seems irregular — given that вёл, which has the exact same relation to водить, had e rather than ь in the ...
1
vote
1answer
105 views

From where does "это" come?

Sorry if this is not exactly about Russian language, but I do not know where else to ask. What is the origin of word "это" in Russian language? Is it some kind of a combination of "je co"/"jest to" ...
2
votes
2answers
145 views

Mainland Russia as seen from Kamchatka circa 1800

Kamchatka is a peninsula, but overland access is so difficult that it also resembles an island. The road and rail networks of Siberia are a long sea or air voyage away. Around the year 1800, how ...
4
votes
2answers
184 views

Have technology changes had any effect on the usage of идти vs. ехать (and similar verb pairs)?

I've only been studying Russian for about a year (and slowly at that), so I'm probably misunderstanding a lot. From what I understand, though, идти and ехать are both unidirectional verbs of motion ...
1
vote
2answers
148 views

Origin of Валюта

I am curios about Валюта meaning currency. What is the origin of the word? Does it come from greek or latin or somewhere else?
0
votes
0answers
83 views

Origin of Валюта

I am curios about Валюта meaning currency. What is the origin of the word? Does it come from greek or latin or somewhere else?
1
vote
1answer
108 views

Why did the meaning of the loanword креол change?

The term креол was adopted in Russian a couple of centuries back. Just possibly, it was introduced by Nikolai Rezanov after he visited Brazil and California. The term's origin is described as the ...
10
votes
4answers
580 views

Почему с конца 30-х перестали употреблять словосочетание "в Украине"?

В русском языке сочетание "в Украине" используется издавна. Господин гетман, <...> того ради вам надлежит итти по Киева, в Украйну свою и смотреть того, о чем уже вы известны. (К Мазепе) ...
1
vote
0answers
104 views

Had any Spanish words been established in Russian by 1800? [closed]

I started wondering about long-established loanwords from the Spanish language. It's easy to find some lists of same, but not with dates of attribution. Here's a great list from Wiktionary. Had any ...
3
votes
2answers
234 views

common-usage term for pre-1861 Russian agriculture system?

When referring in English to the dominant agricultural system in the southern US pre-1865, one typically says something like "plantation slavery," and reasonably-educated people "know what you're ...
4
votes
1answer
295 views

Cathedral, "Кафедральный", why is ф in there?

After reading this article I got curious how ф is in place of "th" in English for the word Cathedral (Кафедральный)? Sounds almost like a coffee-place. (I know it is not Café or Kafee in russian but ...
12
votes
6answers
533 views

Talking of historical grade systems, how should I call "отличник"?

In pre-prevoluationary times in Russian gymnasiums there was a 12-level grade system. In Soviet Union, as well as in Russian Federation, schools stand with 5-level grade system, but there is an ...
5
votes
2answers
291 views

Use of "да" instead of "и"

In Mussorgsky's operas Boris Godunov and Khovanshchina it strikes me how often "да" (usually meaning "yes") is used as a substitute for "и" ("and"). Is that how they normally spoke in the late 19th ...
1
vote
0answers
278 views

Lomonosov's three literary styles [closed]

According to Serhii Plokhy's Lost Kingdom, at a time of linguistic-nationalist tension, Mikhail Lomonosov prescriptively defined three styles: the high style, to be used for the composition of ...
4
votes
0answers
183 views

What are some Russian shibboleths? [closed]

I just read about shibboleths and I was wondering: what are some Russian shibboleths used today or in the past? A shibboleth is a phrase (or a custom/tradition) that is used to distinguish between ...
15
votes
2answers
537 views

Странный слог А. Дубровского

В романе Пушкина «Дубровский» повествователь, комментируя следующее письмо, написанное одним из персонажей, Государь мой премилостивый, Я до тех пор не намерен ехать в Покровское, пока не ...
4
votes
1answer
222 views

Why is "миллиард" used instead of "биллион"?

Russia uses the short scale number-naming system. Why is, then, "миллиард" used instead of "биллион"? "Миллиард" (as opposed to "биллион") is used in the long scale number-naming system.
5
votes
3answers
801 views

Church Slavonic lettering style

Church Slavonic texts often appear in a particular old style of script. The lettering is related to Glagolitic and Blackletter (Gothic) in its parallel-line construction and dense packing. It does not ...
7
votes
2answers
440 views

What were the original half-Russian Siberians called?

What were the Imperial Russian terms for a mixed-race Siberian person? Historical background: As Russia expanded eastward, many mixed children were born to native women and Russian men. Near the end ...
5
votes
1answer
173 views

How early is "животноводство" attested?

Животноводство (from животные) describes animal husbandry and particularly cattle-raising. From how long ago is it attested?
3
votes
2answers
240 views

What is the correct name of the ship, Il'men or Il'mena?

About 1814 the Russian-American Company renamed an old ship, called "Il'men" or "Il'mena" in works written in English. Ильмень is of course a famous lake. Boris Dralyuk suggested to Susan Morris that ...
5
votes
2answers
204 views

"Промышленники" working for the fur companies

The term промышленник described individuals seeking furs and the employees of 1700s and 1800s fur companies such as Shelikhov-Golikov and the Russian-American Company. Those workers were involved in a ...