Questions tagged [этимология]

The history and the origin of words and phrases.

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11
votes
2answers
14k views

“Война войной, а обед по расписанию”

Откуда пошло выражение (поговорка)? Война войной, а обед по расписанию
7
votes
3answers
611 views

Etymology of the phrase “Пряничные ворота”

I understand the phrase as metaphoric gates you want to enter but cannot: Б. Гребенщиков, "Дуй": Сколько ни стучись у этих пряничных ворот... I cannot find an origin of the phrase
8
votes
3answers
2k views

котов and Петров

This is a follow up to this question. Here is a Daniil Kharms short story: ПЕТРОВ И КАМАРОВ ПЕТРОВ: Эй, Камаров! Давай ловить комаров! КАМАРОВ: Нет, я к этому еще не готов. ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

Why “подруга”, not “друга”

I wonder are there any other cases when prefix по- indicates feminine gender? I can recall some nouns with по- prefix, like постель or повесть, but this words have roots that are also feminine. On ...
7
votes
3answers
305 views

Впервые or впервыя (in old orthography)?

In pre-1918 Russian orhography, female and neuter adjectives in pl. nom. had endings -iя, -ыя: новыя вещи, голубыя озёра, but новые наряды, голубые киты. Pluralia tantum require some etymologic ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

When and how “разбор полётов” became a idiom

In Russian "разбор полётов" means an ex post facto analysis of some event, which most likely had dramatic consequences or lead to failure. For example: Дмитрий Медведев обещал провести разбор ...
5
votes
2answers
872 views

What's the origin of “по первое число”?

This phrase по первое число, meaning "large amount", is usually used when describing a punishment or generally an unpleasant experience e.g. Завалило снегом по первое число. Получил от ...
14
votes
2answers
4k 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?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Происхождение и значение современного употребления “погнали”

Хотел бы сверить с обществом собственные социокультурные соображения по поводу выражения погнали в значении начали. Откуда оно есть пошло? Пример употребления глагола "погнать" в значении "начать что-...
22
votes
6answers
14k 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?
4
votes
1answer
328 views

Where did the phrase “гладить против шерсти” come from?

I figured out through its usage and some Google-Fu, that гладить против шерсти means rubbing the wrong way, but can someone explain to me why "touch/press against the wool"? Where did this phrase come ...
18
votes
7answers
6k views

Why “пить таблетки”?

"Пить таблетки" (literally "drink pills") is a commonly used phrase. But why is it "пить" ("drink")? Naturally, pills are solid and thus can't be "drunk" in a traditional sense. There is phrase "...
12
votes
3answers
422 views

Where do the following words come from: лето, весна, осень, зима?

I am interested in knowing the etymology of names of the seasons in Russian: лето, весна, осень, зима. UPDATE: And especially the original meaning of the proto-words that gave birth to these words.
12
votes
1answer
276 views

Defining autochthonous etymology of Russian lexems

Judging by several etymological discussions erupting around this site, people have vastly different ideas about what constitutes “native” Russian word. For me, borrowing (whether it be recent (last ...
11
votes
4answers
798 views

Etymology of “Пошел в Баню!”

Given the meaning of the phrase ranging from benign "Go away" to the rude "Пошел на ..." I am curious of the origins of this form?
16
votes
2answers
546 views

Do “русый” and “русский” have a common root?

Does the name of the hair color русый come from the name of the people/land?
15
votes
3answers
673 views

Почему Евклид, а не Эвклид?

Why is Евклид spelled with Е in Russian? All the other words and names with Greek origin starting with E that I can think of are spelled with Э in Russian. Эратосфен, эвтаназия, эвристика ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the origin of “на обиженных воду возят”?

I've been always wondering what are the origins of this expression? I searched through the net and found few discussions on this issue: Link 1: http://lingvoforum.net/index.php?topic=4111.0 Link 2: ...
15
votes
4answers
481 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
990 views

Etymology of “С дуба рухнуть”

The expression С дуба рухнуть means: crack up, go nuts. For example: Ты что, с дуба рухнул? Have you lost it? What is the etymology of this expression?
26
votes
3answers
1k views

Are there words that can be spelled with both т and ф?

Some words of Greek descent use ф as corresponding to the Greek θ, while some use т. The former I think tend to be loaned earlier. However, in "Brothers Karamazov" I have found Mitya using the word "...
16
votes
2answers
613 views

Etymology/Origin of “Грузия”

In many languages, the name of the country Georgia is derived from the name of St.George. In Georgian, Georgia is called საქართველო(Sakartvelo), so obviously Грузия has nothing to do with it either. ...
33
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
915 views

What are some of the most common words which were borrowed from other neighbouring Soviet republics? [closed]

The Soviet Union endured for over seventy years and I know lots of Russian words were borrowed into the languages of the Soviet Republics around Russia during this time. But are there some words ...

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