Questions tagged [этимология]

The history and the origin of words and phrases.

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6
votes
1answer
518 views

Grammatical role of можно

I have learned how to translate "можно" in phrases (e.g. with "it is possible", "one can", "it can be (done)"). However, I would like to know the actual grammatical role of the word. My conjecture ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the meaning and origin of “The grand piano in the bushes”?

There is a saying "The grand piano in the bushes" ("рояль в кустах"). What does it mean precisely, how to correctly use it in speech, and what is its origin?
4
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2answers
449 views

What is the meaning of the “Tal” in the Russian/Muldovan last name “Talsky”?

As far as I can tell, "Tal" isn't a Russian word that has any specific meaning. Is there some kind of translation or history of the sound Tal that would shed light on the meaning of this family name?
9
votes
1answer
598 views

What's the origin of saying: “Ну ты молоток!”?

Basically the title. I have just had a discussion with some of my friends and we could not come up with the origin of this saying. The best we could come up with was that it sounded closer to "...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the etymology of the Russian word “ёлка”?

Is the Russian word "ёлка" related to the English word "yule"? "Yule" is related to Old Norse "jol," which refers to an old pagan feast of midwinter. There could easily be some Norse words surviving ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Почему “баю-бай” итд? / Why “баю-бай” etc?

Почему баю-бай, баюшки, басиньки и т. д. в русском языке ассоциируются со сном? Эти слова и другие, образованные от них, встречаются практически во всех колыбельных. Интересно, чем это вызвано и с ...
9
votes
4answers
301 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
281 views

Connotation of the spelling “Расея”

Are there any guidelines on using Расея over Россия? Is the former archaic or comical? Grandiloquent, ridiculous? Something else? Was it perhaps the actual official name of the country at some point ...
6
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3answers
383 views

“Битком набиты” — was “биток” actually a noun at some time?

Did биток always only exist in the context of the idiom "битком набиты", or was it a "perfectly valid noun in its own right" at some point in the past?
5
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2answers
343 views

Why is this who steals icons called “клюквенник”?

Today I've learned that there exists a term for thief who is specializing in stealing icons and church plates - клюквенник. I just wonder when this term had been adopted and why does it actually "...
8
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1answer
2k views

Origin of the Russian word for water “voda”

The most of sources I encountered (Vasmer, Mellory-Adams etc) assert the Russian word "voda" "вода" originates from the same PIE root as English word "water", i.e. from the PIE form u̯odr. This is ...
21
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5answers
18k views

Racist language in Russia/USA

I really hope this question doesn't get deleted or flagged, so to make sure it doesn't I will try to keep it as academic as possible. I am currently an American student studying in Saint Petersburg ...
11
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4answers
2k views

Why does the phraseme “души не чаять” have positive meaning?

OK, this question has been asked many-many times on the internet, and yet I can't google any reliable and constructive answer with a bit of documented proof. How come the meaning of this phrase - "...
3
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2answers
14k views

Название «Птичье молоко» для конфет и тортов

Почему популярный рецепт торта и конфет называется «Птичье молоко»? Как это связано с пернатыми? Насколько мне известно, не существует млекопитающих птиц, а значит название вымышленное.
14
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6answers
1k views

Origin of Да будет свет! - сказал электрик и перерезал провода

What is the origin of the expression Да будет свет! - сказал электрик и перерезал провода.?
12
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5answers
4k views

Почему говорят “вострить лыжи”? Why the “skis” are being “sharpened”?

Впервые я встретил это выражение в сказке Шарля Перро "Синяя Борода": Он узнал братьев своей жены - один служил в драгунах, другой в конных егерях, - и тотчас навострил лыжи; но братья нагнали его,...
17
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1answer
5k views

Кофий и кофе - что от чего произошло? Is the кофе derived from кофий or vice versa?

Артемий Лебедев в своем "ководстве" пишет: Мужской род бедному напитку достался от устаревших форм «кофий» или «кофей». У Корнея Чуковского в книге "Живой как жизнь" сказано: Русский язык ...
11
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1answer
278 views

Are платье and платок connected? Did платье initially mean a square piece of cloth?

Are платье (platie) and платок (platok) connected? Did платье initially mean a square piece of cloth? I know that the both words ultimately derive from the same PIE root meaning "flat" (from which ...
8
votes
4answers
870 views

Why are cows (коровы) called “крупный рогатый скот” so frequently?

Why cows/bulls rarely called so, especially in official documents, but the term КРС (Крупный рогатый скот, lit. "large horned cattle") is used instead? Other farming animals are called simpler. ...
10
votes
2answers
1k 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
8
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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, ...
4
votes
1answer
529 views

Is the Russian word «рейс» related to the German word “Reise”?

Both words have similar meanings and they both seem phonetically similar as well. So, it seems to me that there's the possibility of some relation between the two words. I'm curious if one of the ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Спутники естественные и искусственные

Есть ли сведения о том, когда впервые было использовано слово спутник для обозначения естественных (Луна - спутник Земли), либо искусственных спутников (вывести спутник на орбиту)? Разыскивая ...
17
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7answers
3k 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
549 views

Special treatment for plural forms depending on number of objects - where does it originate from?

This has puzzled me for a long time. In Russian, we count objects in a weird way: Один камень Два камня Три камня Четыре камня Пять камней ... Двадцать камней Двадцать один камень Then, the pattern ...
2
votes
2answers
173 views

Are пырей and перо somehow connected?

Are пырей and перо somehow connected? UPDATE Some material from PIE: pulos a single hair of the human body poums body hair peumos adult (having hair) peuqs tail (> Eng. fox) peuros wheat ...
14
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1answer
498 views

Why some Russian interrogatives start with к- and others - with ч-?

Many Russian interrogatives start with к-: кто? кому? куда? кем? как? который? где? (<кде?) когда? On the other hand, some interrogatives start with ч-. They seems to be case variants of "что?": ...
6
votes
1answer
382 views

When “кде” became “где”?

When in history of Russian language "кде" became "где"?
8
votes
4answers
366 views

Вероятность and вера

In Czech language, the word "вероятность" sounds like "pravděpodobnost" [правдеподобность], and means "it is truthlike" (подобно правде). This made me look to Russian word - вероятность. Does it ...
0
votes
1answer
211 views

этимология слова “ружьё”?

Кто-нибудь знает происхождение слова "ружьё"? Не смог найти ни одного однокоренного слова, кроме его производных.
4
votes
4answers
381 views

Is Яна a variant of Жанна

Well, everybody knows that there exist pairings between names. For example, Александра - Александр, Виктория - Виктор etc. However, sometimes these pairs can be confusing. It is generally accepted ...
1
vote
3answers
208 views

What are the exact orthography, etymology and explicit semantics of галимо/голимо?

In phrases like: Это г@лимый бред. Это г@лимыe сопли. The word has been detected in conversational register of middle/low class native speakers in NW Russia, sometimes in fictional literature to ...
4
votes
0answers
170 views

Are the уж (a kind of snake) and узко (narrow) related? [closed]

According to Mallory we have the following PIE words (in this notation, g = palatal/plain ġ=plain/uvular): a̯enġhu̯is snake (> уж) a̯enghus narrow (> узко) a̯enghnos fear, constriction (> ужас) ...
9
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3answers
876 views

Can someone tell whether this Russian swear word derives from German?

Лох is a word that I heard among Russians and Ukrainians who never visited Germany. So it’s not quite clear whether the German language is the origin. Can anyone shed any light on the origin of this ...
6
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3answers
563 views

Are there verbs in -оть not having been subject to the metathesis of the liquids?

All Russian verbs ending in -оть I can think of had been subject to the metathesis or the liquids and did not have this ending in Proto-Slavic: бороть (CS брати) < *барти (cf. брань) колоть (CS ...
3
votes
2answers
479 views

Adjectives ending in -тный

Upon this discussion with YellowSky, a follow-up question arose: There are some adjectives ending in -тный which could be grammatically possibly originated from both a noun and a verb with -т- not ...
7
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7answers
1k views

What is the etymology of берлога?

I am wondering why the shelter of медведь is берлога.
11
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1answer
490 views

Etymology of “ежу понятно”

Откуда пошло выражение "ежу понятно"?
14
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2answers
820 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
194 views

Are there any patterns for loanwords phonetics in Russian which are specific for a source language?

В (древне)русском языке есть (был) набор специфических фонем. В языках, из которых осуществлялись заимствования, тоже был набор специфических фонем. Вопрос: могли ли одни и те же звуки (древне)...
6
votes
1answer
273 views

Kакова этимология слова “варяг”? What is the etymology of 'varyag'?

Имеется в виду буквальное значение слова. The word is meant in its literal sense.
7
votes
2answers
342 views

“Качели” vs. “качель”

While reading Osip Mandelshtam, I came across the word качель in singular. Я качался в далеком саду На простой деревянной качели, И высокие темные ели Вспоминаю в туманном бреду. ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Etymology of “переборщить”

What is the origin of "переборщить"? I really do doubt it has something in common with Russian soup борщ. Another hypothesis was that it is somehow related to "перебор" in this meaning: Derived ...
3
votes
1answer
659 views

What is the etymology of чашка? Какова этимология слова “чашка”?

Does it have anything in common with Sanskrit चषक (casaaka) = bowl, glass, cup, wine, liquour? Please avoid elliptic definitions like 'it is a diminutive from 'чаша'. Есть ли у слова что-либо общее с ...
6
votes
1answer
670 views

Этимология слова «даже» / Etymology of the word “dazhe” (even, although)

Каково происхождение слова? Сочетание да + же представляется слишком очевидным. Фасмер дает только *датже, не останавливаясь на использовании современной лексемы и не останавливаясь на элизии (...
6
votes
1answer
580 views

Etymology of хорваты / Этимология слова “хорваты”

What is the possible origin of this word? Can it be related to "сарматы"? Каково возможное происхождение этого слова? Может ли оно быть связано со словом "сарматы"?
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Этимология слова «аист» / etymology of “аист” (stork)

Считается, что в русском языке нет исконных слов, начинающихся на букву «А». Как объяснить этимологию слова «аист», явно отличающуюся от лексем в родственных языках? бел. бусел укр. лелека русин. ...
5
votes
1answer
234 views

Traditional utility outbuildings and annexes: etymology, patterns, and geogrpaphical differences

When we are talking about utility buildings near or around traditional Russian dwelling (be it izba or khata), mayhaps the first that comes to mind is the сени (seni) — enclosed veranda separating ...
6
votes
3answers
725 views

Origin of the phrase “их нравы”

Where and when did the phrase in question originate? Was it the invention of Soviet propaganda, or did authorities themselves adopted the earlier phrase from other literary sources? Could it be used ...
12
votes
3answers
561 views

Difference between “нация” and “народ”

Given that народ is connected to род, and has to do with birth, and нация derives from the Latin natus, past participle of nasci (being born), is there any difference between the two terms? I have ...