Questions tagged [этимология]

The history and the origin of words and phrases.

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2 votes
1 answer
255 views

Are "работа" and "раб" related?

From this Hacker News discussion, I learned that the Czech word "robota" means "forced labor" and has mostly negative connotations. In Polish, which is a closely related Slavic ...
4 votes
1 answer
280 views

What is the etymology of какаовелла?

Inspired by this question, what is the etymology of какаовелла? The какао part is easy, but what about велла?
7 votes
2 answers
428 views

What is the etymology of phrase "морского извозчика"

In China, the Netherlands has a very popular nickname: 海上马车夫 (literally: carriage drivers on the sea or sea coachman), it's so popular that it's printed in Chinese high school textbooks. It's also ...
4 votes
1 answer
257 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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
397 views

What is the meaning of Shatun when applied to Russian family names?

I understand that the Russian word shatun was applied in Siberia to describe a grizzly bear that didn’t go into its usual hibernation, or was awakened before spring, and prowls around in winter, ...
8 votes
3 answers
972 views

Why was the Russian letter X called "хѣръ"?

The official name of the letter Х in the old Russian alphabet was хѣръ, which is how modern Russians say хер (dick). The names of most other letters of the old Russian alphabet are understandable: азъ ...
1 vote
1 answer
77 views

Сноситься / связаться

While reading a Russian language resource published in 1950, I noticed that сноситься/ снестись was translated as "to get in contact with." After reviewing some online dictionaries, I ...
13 votes
3 answers
1k views

Distinguishing between "effectiveness" and "efficiency" in Russian

The Russian translation for "effectiveness" seems to be "эффективность", a word that sounds pretty similar to "effectiveness" and also initially would seem to be able to ...
6 votes
2 answers
467 views

What's the difference between "Ива́нович" and "Ивано́в"?

Are both Ива́нович and Ивано́в derived from the given name Ива́н (Ivan)? Ивано́в is a surname, how about Ива́нович?
2 votes
1 answer
199 views

Etymology of -ова in Russian surnames

How should the suffix of feminine surnames, e.g. Морозова, be considered from an etymological perspective? Are -ов and -а etymologically distinct morphemes or parts of a single one?
1 vote
5 answers
347 views

Is my understanding of the surname suffix -ов correct?

I have two questions about the suffix -ов in Russian surnames. Is the -ов surname suffix the most common one in Russia? Does the -ов surname suffix in modern Russian mean "a descendant of the ...
2 votes
1 answer
753 views

What's the difference between the surname suffix -ов and patronimics in -ич?

Are the suffixes -ов and -ова in people's names equivalent to the suffix -son used in Germanic languages? The suffixes -ич, -ича also refer to the name of the father in patronymics. Are they ...
3 votes
3 answers
226 views

How pleonastic is "эту работу выполним целиком и полностью"?

... до конца года мы эту работу выполним целиком и полностью ... do kontsa goda my etu rabotu vypolnim tselikom i polnost'yu I understand what this means from closed captions, google translate and a ...
5 votes
5 answers
297 views

Thesaurus organization by lexical kinship and etymology

Is there a kind of thesaurus that teaches words based on kinship? An example will make clear to you what I have in mind: суд - судья́, суди́ть, ... коне́ц - наконе́ц, зака́нчивать/зако́нчить, конча́ть/...
0 votes
2 answers
174 views

Is разговор in fact раз + говорить because a conversation is like a repeated/iterative/continuous act of speaking?

Take the three chunks of text below: One time. Speak. A conversation. They can be translated as Один раз. Говорить. Разговор. So I can't help but notice that pазговор- looks and sounds like a ...
0 votes
1 answer
156 views

палёнка = pálenka?

Недавно я наткнулся в чешском языке на слово "pálenka" - это такое фруктовое бренди. Первая ассоциация, пришедшая на ум - слово "палёнка" (алкоголь низкого качества). Это может ...
11 votes
4 answers
341 views

радиус-вектор vs. вектор-строка

Yesterday I came across the term радиус-вектор in physics, which surprised me because the order of the two parts is reversed by comparison with the terms вектор-строка and вектор-столбец in linear ...
9 votes
7 answers
889 views

What are the meaning and etymology of "выпендриваться"?

I am very much puzzled by the frequently used Russian verb выпендриваться and cannot understand it. Dictionaries and Reverso Context give a variety of translations, but I feel that none of them hits ...
2 votes
1 answer
259 views

Why is непричемыш word written with не?

Why is the word непричемыш written with не, despite the fact that ни при чем is always written with ни?
2 votes
4 answers
289 views

Сначала vs Начало

I've noticed that начало means beginning and сначала means first (in the sense of precendence in time), for instance: At the beginning of June I bought the table first. is translated as В начале ...
0 votes
1 answer
101 views

Is there a relation between звонила and телефоне? [closed]

-вон- in звонила sounds a lot like -фон- in телефоне, so I wondering if the former comes from the latter. The reason I don't think the relation (if it exists) can't be the other way around is that it ...
2 votes
1 answer
180 views

Is there a relation between готов and готовить?

I'm at a very basic level, and I'm doing my best to remember words and notice connections to save some memory. Cooking and be ready seem to be related to me. In some way, when something is cooked... ...
1 vote
1 answer
158 views

Understanding the different meanings of 'снисходительный'

I was hoping somebody could help me understand the connection (or lack thereof) between the two translations I have seen of the adjective 'снисходительный' on Wiktionary, respectively 1.'indulgent' or ...
8 votes
2 answers
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, ...
1 vote
1 answer
236 views

Что значит личный в личном составе?

Что именно означает слово "личный" в словосочетании "личный состав"? Может ли состав быть не личным или просто составом или составом каким-либо другим?
6 votes
4 answers
265 views

In the impersonal expression “Мне везёт” (=I am lucky), what was originally the implicit subject and what would be its literal translation?

I understand that in the expression “Мне везёт”, it is not the transitive verb “везти́” (to carry by transportation - unidirectional) that is used but it is the intransitive verb “везти́”, meaning to ...
1 vote
1 answer
133 views

The perfective verb опереться (to lean on) has the strangest conjugation in the future and imperative, what is the etymological reason for it?

From the impf/pf pair опираться/опереться (=to lean on), опереться seems to be the only verb that exhibits the following strange conjugations, though apparently belonging to the -e- conjugation group: ...
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

What's the origin of the phrase, "на обиженных воду возят"?

I've always wondered what the origins of this expression are? I looked it up online and found a few discussions on the subject: Link 1: http://lingvoforum.net/index.php?topic=4111.0 Link 2: http://...
4 votes
2 answers
324 views

How is "дача" related to "дать"?

I recently began working through "Leveraging Your Russian with Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes" by Gary Browning, David K. Hart and Raisa Solovyova. In it, they list дача as being derived ...
3 votes
2 answers
288 views

The strange behavior of “обо” (=about), apparently valid only for two expressions? What is the historical reason?

In Russian, the preposition “o” when meaning "about" becomes “обо” when we say “обо мне” (=about me) and “обо всей книге” (=about all the book) but why do we then say: “о многих книгах » (=...
1 vote
1 answer
276 views

On the etymology of Чубайс

I am curious about the origin of Anatoly Borisovich's family name. Is it derived from Чуб? Or, perhaps, do Чубайс and Чуб have a common origin? Is anything at all known about it?
1 vote
1 answer
174 views

Why the distinction between animate/inanimate appears in masculine accusative but only in feminine plural?

What is the reason in terms of the history of the language and is there the exact same difference in other Slavic or non-Slavic languages ?
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

What's the origin of the idiom "Глаз на жопу натянуть"?

I'm curious as to the etymology of the idiom "глаз на жопу натянуть", which literally means "to pull an eye onto someone's ass". Surfing the net, I found that it was used in the ...
7 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why do some Russian words look similar to English ones?

When studying Russian, I often encounter words that seem like they are coming from English. However, that is purely a superficial impression because the words are Latin or Greek. практиковать - ...
3 votes
4 answers
541 views

Did the adjective рад used to have a longer form?

While I was searching for the longer form of an adjective рад, I found the following sentence: рад, рада, радо, рады are short form adjectives, and also the only commonly used short form adjective in ...
6 votes
4 answers
3k 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, ...
3 votes
2 answers
264 views

да ладно meaning [duplicate]

I'm new to Russian language and I was wondering since Literal translation of да ладно doesn't mean "are you kidding" or "no way", I guess it should have some sort of irony like &...
2 votes
1 answer
274 views

origin of expression "да ладно"

since literal translation of "да ладно!" doesn't mean "are you kidding!" or "no way!" . I am interested to know the origin of such a expression. I guess it may be a ...
1 vote
2 answers
133 views

Анатолий - анатольев, but Анатолия - what adjective?

From the proper noun Анатолий we can form the possessive adjective анатольев (like in the expression анатольевы стихиры), but from the proper noun Анатолия (i mean the girl's name, not turkish region) ...
2 votes
1 answer
159 views

Is it coincidence that “плуг” in Russian is so similar to “plough” in English (they mean the same thing) [closed]

The translation of “plough”, a farming tool, into Russian is «плуг», they sound very similar, why? What’s the etymology of these words?
15 votes
2 answers
902 views

Are the Russian “рыжий” and French “rouge” (red) related? / Как связаны русское «рыжий» и французское «rouge»?

While I since had learned that linguistics works in much more mysterious ways than simply “if words sounds alike, or also mean similar things, they must be related”, for a long time I presumed that ...
0 votes
1 answer
688 views

Why is the Russian word Лошадь (horse) so similar to the word площадь (square)? [closed]

I am just starting to learn Russian and I noticed that these 2 words are very similar. Are they actually related? Is a square a place to keep your horse? Thanks in advance.
4 votes
5 answers
336 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 ...
23 votes
6 answers
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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
265 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 North American authors for a European company. Whenever students are asked to identify the number of ...
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 ...
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Этимология слова «Глюк»

Как образовалось слово «глюк»? Различные источники утверждают, что оно произошло от слова «галлюцинация», но без дальнейших объяснений, а они так друг на друга не похожи
2 votes
1 answer
181 views

Is there a link between the word "horse" and "rot"?

Today's French TV news covered the reconstruction of the Napoleonic army retreat from Russia in 1812 (it was held in Vyazma, and there was an official burial of Russian and French soldiers from that ...
3 votes
4 answers
340 views

What is the origin of the suffix -он?

I learned that the Russian language has a number of words with the suffix -он: музон, закидон, выпивон, закусон, расслабон, etc. This suffix is indeed not a part of the root, as can be seen from words ...
6 votes
2 answers
24k views

Правда ли что слово "блядь" происходит от польского "błąd"?

В недавнем вопросе о правильности написания слова "блядь" в комментариях разгорелась дискуссия по поводу этимологии этого слова. Были высказаны две версии заимствования. Например, что само это слово ...

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