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Questions tagged [лексикон]

Sets of words or words with specialized meanings that have to be learned.

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38 votes
8 answers
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 ...
Vitaly Mijiritsky's user avatar
37 votes
2 answers
7k views

How can "to teach" and "to learn" be translated to Russian?

I know that there are several Russian verbs can be used to translate the English verbs "to teach", "to study", and "to learn", e.g. учить, выучить, научить, учиться, изучать, ... However, I am a bit ...
Giorgio's user avatar
  • 793
31 votes
11 answers
9k views

What is the Russian translation of "excited about something"?

I find it very hard to translate "excited" to Russian. Dictionary says "взволнованный, возбуждённый" which doesn't fit in most cases. For example how would you translate the following sentences: ...
serg's user avatar
  • 419
29 votes
13 answers
9k views

How to address people in the street?

Suppose you want to ask someone for directions or to attract someone's attention. What is the appropriate way to address this person? Context: ..., подскажите, как выйти на улицу Чехова? or ......
Olga's user avatar
  • 6,558
28 votes
4 answers
4k views

What is correct: "их" or "ихний"?

My wife always corrects me when I say ихний or ихних instead of их. However, I've seen these pronouns in classical literature many times (Chekhov, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky). Which form is correct in ...
VisioN's user avatar
  • 675
26 votes
9 answers
2k views

Equivalent adjective of 'thirsty' in Russian

When you're hungry, you say Я голоден. When you're thirsty you say Мне хочется пить. Is there an adjective in Russian that means thirsty? Perhaps derived from жажда (thirst)? Has there ever ...
Armen Tsirunyan's user avatar
24 votes
8 answers
16k views

"Left" and "right" in Russian

On a German page about the Russian language, I learned the words прямо [prjáma] – geradeaus (straight on) направо [napráwa] – rechts (right) налево [naléwa] – links (left) for directions (location ...
Em1's user avatar
  • 1,658
24 votes
6 answers
3k views

What's the difference between -либо and -нибудь?

The pairs кто-нибудь and кто-либо, когда-нибудь and когда-либо etc. have slight differences in meaning and each particle is used in specific settings, but I can't quite pinpoint what the difference is....
Vitaly Mijiritsky's user avatar
23 votes
6 answers
16k views

The history and meaning of "ни фига себе"

I understand how the expression is used pretty well, but wonder where did it come from? What exactly does фиг mean?
JAM's user avatar
  • 1,316
23 votes
3 answers
2k views

Difference between "мир" and "свет"

What's the difference between мир and свет to mean world? When would one use one over the other, and are there any set expressions where these are not interchangeable?
Philip Seyfi's user avatar
  • 2,615
21 votes
9 answers
4k views

Is there a word that starts with "ы"?

I remember from my school years that there is no such thing as a word that starts with 'ы'. Is this true? If so, is there something fundamental that prevents this from happening? If no, can anybody ...
Trident D'Gao's user avatar
20 votes
7 answers
4k views

Russian words for magic. Etymology, usage and connotations

Something that I realised early on when learning Russian were the different words Russians would use where an English speaker would just say magic: The first word I came into contact with was ...
18 votes
1 answer
943 views

Idiomatic translation of "Debug"

Is there a proper idiomatic translation of "Debug" into the Russian Language? I am not sure about "наладка программы", which I found on en.bab.la
nanofarad's user avatar
  • 355
17 votes
1 answer
1k views

How to say "Kafkaesque" in Russian?

What is the best way to convey the meaning of the English word "Kafkaesque" in Russian as succinctly and correctly as possible? I'm interested in both noun and adjective versions. I understand "...
Mirzhan Irkegulov's user avatar
16 votes
6 answers
2k views

Как назвать искреннего ханжу?

Определение ханжи таково: Тот, кто притворно набожен, добродетелен; лицемер. А как назвать человека, который непритворно, а искренне набожен, добродетелен? Он лезет ко всем с нравоучениями, ...
coverback's user avatar
  • 528
15 votes
4 answers
6k views

Russian word for female teacher

I am unclear as to whether the word for a female teacher is учитель, учительница or училка. I believe it could be the first as, although the word is masculine, it refers to a profession and is like ...
Bob Daley's user avatar
  • 893
15 votes
1 answer
2k views

Various words for "priest". What are their emotional connotations?

There are various words used for "priest" in Russian language: поп, батюшка, священник, иерей, ксендз... What are emotional connotations of this words and when are they appropriate to use?
zefciu's user avatar
  • 909
14 votes
2 answers
8k views

Different words for "German" in Russian?

The Russian word for German is немецкий which means something like, "voiceless" or "mute." And yet the country is sometimes referred to as Германия. Why the difference between the two?
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 1,213
14 votes
6 answers
31k views

What are the common responses to "как дела?"

When somebody asks как дела?, what are the common things that I can use to answer?
ycomp's user avatar
  • 337
14 votes
5 answers
3k views

What is the difference between дыра and дырка?

What is the difference in usage, if any, between дыра and дырка? For comparison, my impression is that нуль and ноль are largely equivalent except that there are some standard phrases using one word ...
KCd's user avatar
  • 4,984
14 votes
10 answers
918 views

How to say "handwaving" in Russian? [closed]

If someone gives a derivation of a formula in math, physics, etc. without justifying the steps, you can say in English that the person is giving a "handwaving argument" or "this step is handwaving". ...
KCd's user avatar
  • 4,984
14 votes
3 answers
5k views

What is the proper use of the word ли?

My understanding is that it means "whether" in some contexts, but can mean "if" in others. What is the difference in usage? And what might be the difference between ли and Если, assuming that they ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 1,213
14 votes
2 answers
967 views

Difference between грусть, печаль, тоска?

When to use one or the other, and in wich context?
omittones's user avatar
  • 243
14 votes
3 answers
4k views

Difference between "использовать" and "пользоваться"

I know that the verb to use can be translated into Russian as использовать (with the accusative) or пользоваться (with the instrumental). I wanted to ask if there's a difference in meaning/usage ...
Giorgio's user avatar
  • 793
14 votes
2 answers
5k views

Put noodles onto somebody's ears?

I've been asked to explain why people say вешать лапшу на уши for uncovering lies and expressing distrust. Where does it come from?
Trident D'Gao's user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
502 views

Addressing taxi/bus driver by "шеф"/"командир" - where does it come from?

While using buses and marshrutkas as a means to reach point B from point A, I often hear drivers being addressed as "шеф" or "командир", as in: Командир, возьми за проезд! or Шеф, до вокзала ...
xyzman's user avatar
  • 817
13 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is there a difference between "отель" and "гостиница"?

Is there a difference between words отель and гостиница? Can I always use either of them for some given estate?
Vladimir F Героям слава's user avatar
13 votes
8 answers
2k views

Is there a difference between "кидать" and "бросать"?

In many cases, you can find that words which initially appear to be absolute synonyms actually have slight differences in meaning, so that one can be used in a specific setting while the other cannot. ...
Vitaly Mijiritsky's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
14k views

Почему зовут символ @ "собака"? Why is the @-symbol called "dog"?

Почему зовут символ @ "собака"? Why is the @-symbol called "dog"? I saw this translation on the Babbel website. Most of the Russian terms regarding computer technology seem to be either direct ...
Chill2Macht's user avatar
  • 3,071
12 votes
6 answers
1k views

A Russian translation for "privacy"

How would you translate privacy into Russian? May I have some privacy? I care about my privacy.
Philip Seyfi's user avatar
  • 2,615
12 votes
2 answers
4k views

Which word in Russian has the longest consonant cluster?

I've heard about this word контрвзбзднуть which has 9 consonants in a row. Obviously this word doesn't exist. Which real word(s) has the longest consonant cluster?
Armen Tsirunyan's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
437 views

Has заец really become an acceptable spelling?

This is a follow up to the question Has кофе become neutral? I have read somewhere on the web that it is now acceptable to write заец instead of заяц. Not that I am going to do that, just like I am ...
Dima's user avatar
  • 3,126
12 votes
5 answers
10k views

Значение слова "политота"

Я стал встречать по-видимому новое слово политота. Когда я попросил объяснить мне его значение, мне его объяснили так: Это школота, только в политике. Это пролило некоторый свет на то, что оно ...
ovgolovin's user avatar
  • 1,059
12 votes
6 answers
12k views

Words in Russian of foreign origin

Like any language, Russian has plenty of words of foreign origin. Specifically: there are lots of words from Latin (most likely, because Latin was wide-spread from old time), e.g. вакуум, ...
12 votes
3 answers
456 views

When are diminutive forms of time words (e.g., часик, неделька, годик) used?

I was searching the Russian National Corpus recently and in the results I noticed that nouns referring to duration in time are sometimes marked with a diminutive suffix, as in the following examples: ...
Matt Menzenski's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
1k views

What does the phrase пойти в разведку mean?

I assume that in casual usage, it doesn't really mean to serve in an intelligence agency, or to reconnoiter an enemy position, right?
Young's user avatar
  • 393
11 votes
8 answers
3k views

To be confused about something

How would one express that one is "confused about something"? I was once told that no direct translation exists, as in Russia no one is confused, but jokes aside, I wonder how I would say it.
JAM's user avatar
  • 1,316
11 votes
5 answers
1k views

What is the meaning of "напортачил" and "портак"?

What exactly do these words mean? How can you correctly use them in speech? I know that "портак" is some sort of a prison tattoo, but then what does "напортачил" mean?
novchinnikov's user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
1k views

The meaning of verbs with prefix "раз-\рас-" and postfix "-ся"

Can the following words be used in any context? I even doubt that some of them exist, but I cannot think of any reason why they shouldn't: разработаться расчитаться (from читать) раздуматься ...
Olga's user avatar
  • 6,558
11 votes
3 answers
529 views

Is there a difference between "порадовать" and "обрадовать"

When someone is about to tell you some long-awaited news: Угадай, что мне сказал шеф сегодня. Guess what my boss told me today. you may ask him y saying one of these phrases: Давай, порадуй ...
Olga's user avatar
  • 6,558
10 votes
6 answers
7k views

What are synonyms for "срач"?

I need to translate the word "срач" to a different language. I am having a hard time trying to say it in different words in order to accurately explain the exact shade of the meaning. Could you please ...
Trident D'Gao's user avatar
10 votes
5 answers
4k views

What exactly separates Russian swearing from others?

I've been told more than once by Russian speakers that Russian swear words have some kind of different connotation than English ones do, yet without being a speaker I can never quite understand how. ...
10 votes
3 answers
1k views

What are some expressions that starts with "курица - не птица"?

I've heard of: Курица - не птица, баба - не человек! Курица - не птица, Украина (Монголия, и т.д.) - не заграница! any other interesting ones?
Young's user avatar
  • 393
10 votes
5 answers
286 views

Verb roots: -секать/сечь

I've been trying to master your verbs, especially verbs of motion and with prefixes (приставки). it's interesting to me how verbs with the same root but different приставки can have dramatically ...
Lily's user avatar
  • 181
10 votes
7 answers
2k views

The meaning of "влекомый"

Is it possible to use "влекомый" as a passive participle of the verb "влечь" in meaning "to cause"? I can only think of examples where it is used in meaning "to carry" or "to attract": карета, ...
Olga's user avatar
  • 6,558
10 votes
3 answers
328 views

Гол!... - нет - штанга!

Русская футбольная терминология естественно заимствована из английского. Многое было переведено на русский, многое русским освоено, кое-что продолжает существовать в обоих вариантах. Есть, однако, ...
user58697's user avatar
  • 253
10 votes
1 answer
372 views

Why do "наддать" and "поддать" have the same meaning?

There are examples like наддать пару and поддать пару (not my favorite Russian words, but still they both exist). They have the same meaning, at least that is what gramota.ru suggests: наддать, ...
Olga's user avatar
  • 6,558
10 votes
2 answers
408 views

Is there a single word to mean съедобный for drinks?

What съедобный is to food, __________ is to drinks. Of course, one can say которую можно пить, and there's the word питьевой, but both are not quite equivalent in meaning and usage to the ...
Philip Seyfi's user avatar
  • 2,615
9 votes
5 answers
2k views

The word подарок - abstract meaning?

In my Russian class, we are learning holiday vocabulary, and I am wondering if there exists an abstract meaning for “подарок». For example, could you be talking about “the gift of forgiveness” or “the ...
Yelena's user avatar
  • 101
9 votes
5 answers
4k views

What do I call somebody being a smart ass in Russian?

What do I call somebody being a smart ass in Russian? UPDATE Well, I would say smart asses are: arrogant, annoying, think they are witty and funny, but they are not, think everybody cares of what ...
Trident D'Gao's user avatar