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Questions tagged [этимология]

The history and the origin of words and phrases.

7
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1answer
122 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?
3
votes
1answer
93 views

What is the meaning of 'ать [его] копалку'?

I am currently in the midst of translating a passage of Victor Astafiev's Где-то гремит война and I have come across a phrase several times that I cannot get my head around. 1. Но нет у меня ...
1
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0answers
19 views

Indo-European cognates [migrated]

Where can I discuss the prehistoric relation between Russian and English. For example Z might be related to our G in zelyoni and zemlya (ge-ometry). The only clue my teacher ever mentioned was that ...
0
votes
2answers
99 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
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0answers
51 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
0answers
49 views

Why use Г in for example Горизонт and not for example Х? [duplicate]

I am just a happy beginner in Russian language, but to my ears Х sounds closer to H than Г. Does anyone know why words like Horizon (Горизонт) choose Г instead? Is there some historic explanation ...
4
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2answers
216 views

Origin of the word ''захолустье''

What is the etymological origin of the word ''захолустье''? For me, the origin of this word is a big mystery of the Russian language. In modern Russian, this word means ''a remote place, a place ...
1
vote
1answer
82 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 ...
5
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3answers
194 views

…дались тебе эти макароны!

Как вообще возник оборот "далось тебе [это] XXX" ? Почему он означает то, что означает? Т.е. я его использую, нутром ощущаю, но логически разложить этот оборот на составляющие, объяснить его механику ...
4
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1answer
236 views

The origin of “В тридевятом царстве, в тридесятом государстве”

"В тридевятом царстве, в тридесятом государстве" ("in a Faraway Land") is a phrase that is used in numerous Russian fairytales. Why is царство - тридевятое (3-9ое), and государство - тридесятое (3-...
4
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1answer
157 views

Are the Russian word “чары” and English word “charm” etymologically related?

Do "чары" and "charm" share a common etymological root? According to the OED, "charm" originates (through French) from Latin carmen ("song"), which is believed to originate from the Proto-Indo-...
3
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1answer
129 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 ...
4
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1answer
106 views

Этимология слова “черенок” в значении кошелёк, использованное Гоголем?

В произведении "Тарас Бульба" Н.В.Гоголя присутствует следующая фраза: "... снявши с него саблю с дорогою рукоятью и отвязавши от пояса целый черенок с червонцами". Очевидно (и подтверждается ...
4
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1answer
203 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 ...
2
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1answer
128 views

How to make up a name - eighth day of week? [closed]

I'm planning to give a speech in Russian where I'll say something like "imagine there's an eighth day of the week--let's call it ______." Представьте, что прибавился еще день недели--назовем его ...
3
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2answers
209 views

Почему “Венера”, а не 'Венус"?

In Latin, Венера is Venus. A similar word "corpus" is translated as "корпус", not as "корпора" (or "корпор" if we take its gender into account). Why is then Venus not Венус?
3
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1answer
164 views

Are “спорить” and English “spar” cognates?

Do спорить and spar have any common etymological root? EDIT: I'm referring specifically to the usage of spar for training for a fight or engaging in an argument.
4
votes
1answer
152 views

Could a translation error lead to squares to not be considered as rectangles?

I'm reading a certain set of kindergarten/lower primary maths textbooks that is written by American authors for a non-American company. Whenever students are asked to identify the number of ...
4
votes
1answer
178 views

Russian vs Latin

Is дом an import from Latin domus as a loanword, or is it the byproduct of the common indo-european substratum? In my country, on the façade of courts, it's written DOMUS IUSTITIÆ, "the house of ...
2
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1answer
122 views

Name suffixes -ов, -ич

Are suffixes -ов and -ова on people's names equivalent of the suffix -son used in Germanic languages? The suffixes -ич, -ича also imply the name of the father, on the patronimic. Are they, too, ...
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2answers
188 views

What semantic notions underlie 'to see, show' and 'order'? [closed]

Please see the screenshot (original) with my question inscribed:
4
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2answers
224 views

Is “культуры Энергетик” a set phrase based on the German “kulturelle Energetik”?

I recently found out that Pripyat has/had a place called Дворец культуры Энергетик (Palace of Culture Energetik). The phrase reminded me of the German term "kulturelle Energetik", which was used by ...
5
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2answers
184 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 ...
11
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3answers
730 views

“Скатертью дорога” - was it ever a positive thing after all?

There is a well known phrase "скатертью дорога" which is sort of caustic version of "good riddance". There's also a common knowledge that this phrase initially meant something exactly the opposite ...
8
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3answers
709 views

Origin of name “Kamchatka”

I am seeking the etyomology of the name of the peninsula, Kamchatka. The only explanation I have found is in the old book "A shooting trip to Kamchatka", which suggests that it comes from a term ...
4
votes
1answer
427 views

Origin of “Котлин”

I searching for "kotlin" word definition, probably someone who knows Russiancan help me. What does 'Kotlin' mean? It's related to Kotlin Island? What the history behind this island and the name ...
5
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2answers
207 views

Махать платочком - which specifically and why?

In literature, I can read some type of earlier-times custom, that women машут платочком to say goodbye (waive with scarf?) Which piece of fabric did they waive and is there a special hidden original ...
12
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1answer
309 views

Why “Гиппократ” but “ипподром”?

Both these words have Greek origin, specifically: Гиппократ (Hippocrates) comes from ίππος (horse) + κρατώ (I hold) = The one who holds the horses. Ипподром (horse-race track) comes from ίππος (...
6
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2answers
331 views

Why is “томат” spelt without an “o” at the end?

I'm trying to understand how spelling works in Russian. Why does "томат" lack an "o" at the end, when some other words which I assume are derived from European loanwords, such as "пианино" or "метро", ...
5
votes
1answer
205 views

What's the etymology of the Russian verb “иметь”?

What's the etymology of the Russian verb "иметь"? What is its root ("-им-" or "-име-")? What was the root's meaning originally?
6
votes
1answer
454 views

Откуда взялось местоимение «её» и куда пропало «ея»?

Интересно было бы узнать больше об истории и этимологии личных местоимений третьего лица. Помнится, я где-то читал, что они якобы происходят от слова «оный». Как вы считаете? Может быть, все как ...
5
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3answers
188 views

Pronunciation/etymology of иначе

I read on Wiktionary that иначе could have stress on the first or second syllable. Which pronunciation is more common in your experience? Why does such a common word not have a standard pronunciation ...
5
votes
1answer
245 views

Examples of compound words “hidden in plain sight”?

I've known for a while what the word "совсем" means, but only recently did I realize that the meaning stems from the fact that: "совсем = с(о)+всем" (entirely=with everything). This is probably ...
1
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1answer
122 views

Is Интернационализм a French loanword?

It obviously seems to have a Latin etymology, but I wonder if it came into Russian from French.
4
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2answers
133 views

French loanwords ending in “-tion” [duplicate]

I've noticed that, not only in Russian, but in many other Eastern European languages that in French loanwords that end in "-tion", the suffix almost always appears as "-cija" (-ция). Examples include ...
6
votes
2answers
404 views

What is the etymology of “блондиться”?

There is a word which is used in Yaroslavl, "блондиться", here's a quote: Блондиться – значит где-то долго находиться, отсутствовать. Но оказывается, это слово чисто ярославское. Ни в каких ...
7
votes
2answers
212 views

Why Яковлев/Яковлевич with the intrusive -л-?

As the title says, why are the surname and patronymic formed from Яков Яковлев and Яковлевич instead of *Яковов and *Яковович? Where did this -л- come from? Is it simply because Яковлев(ич) is more ...
10
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5answers
461 views

Why does the word “мужчина” decline like a feminine noun?

In all languages with genders I know the word for man is masculine, and the word for women is feminine. While this is still technically true for the word мужчина, it is the only Russian masculine word ...
11
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3answers
1k views

Etymology of word “тройбан”?

"Тройбан" is a slang word for "три" (more rude variation of 'three'). I know that also exists word "трояк", less rude and more common; affix "як" can be attached to some other numerals to make more ...
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1answer
1k views

Слова “дюжий” и “недужный”

Слова дюжий и недужный близки или далеки с точки зрения этимологии?
6
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1answer
414 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-...
4
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2answers
123 views

Are the verb suffixes “-ate” and “-ать” cognates?

Are the verb suffixes "-ate" in English and "-ать" in Russian cognates? I would guess that "-ate" comes from Latin and is also the source of the verb suffix "-ar" in Spanish. Latin and Russian are ...
7
votes
1answer
303 views

Этимология выражения “хернёй страдать”

На другом форуме кто-то поделился следующим инсторическим толи анекдотом толи былью: В XIX веке военнообязанные, но достаточно обеспеченные мещане косили от армии следующим образом: покупали у ...
9
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6answers
1k views

Question about spelling “чьё/чья/чьи”

As far as I understand, "ч" is always soft. The letter "ь" usually denotes that the preceding letter is soft. These two facts together seem to imply that the combination "чь" (just like "щь") would/...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

What are the lasting effects of communism on the russian language? [closed]

The history of a country probably heavily affects the language, therefore I would presume that some concepts in the russian language might differ from their counterparts in languages from western, ...
10
votes
1answer
280 views

Do the words дорогой (expensive) and дорога (road) have a common origin?

When learning a new language, I'm always looking for similarities between word roots - this helps me in remembering them. When learning Russian, I was surprised by the similarity of the words дорогой (...
5
votes
2answers
132 views

Derivation of word человецех

The phrase 'в человецех благоволение' means goodwill among men. What is the nominative of человецех? It appears to be old Russian.
5
votes
2answers
1k views

“Жратва” и “жертва”, “жрать” и “жрец”

Мой первый здесь вопрос. Заголовок я постарался сделать забавным, но вопрос вполне серьёзен. Друг спросил сегодня, нет ли общего происхождения у вышеозначенных слов. У меня под рукой нет словарей, ...
6
votes
6answers
428 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
924 views

What is the etymology of “грёбаный”?

Some of my friends use the word "грёбаный". Where does it come from? I suggested to myself that it could be somehow linked to words like "бан" or "баня", but it does not make sense in a sentence "...