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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
6 votes
2 answers
2k 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-...
Yurij73's user avatar
  • 171
8 votes
5 answers
443 views

Correct rendering of "I was honking at him" in Russian

How do Russians say "I was honking at him"? Here I have several options, but none of them sounds okay to me: Я бибикал ему. (sounds too childish and silly) Я сигналил ему. (can mean signaling only by ...
brilliant's user avatar
  • 5,752
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
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
6 votes
2 answers
652 views

"в/на материковом/континентальном Китае"

Which one is correct: на материковом Китае or в материковом Китае and also: на континентальном Китае or в континентальном Китае
brilliant's user avatar
  • 5,752
21 votes
7 answers
9k views

What is the difference between ы and и?

All other Russian vowels come in pairs, but this pair seems a bit special. So, how does one pronounce ы and и?
jrouquie's user avatar
  • 504
10 votes
2 answers
923 views

How do Russians translate "breaking news" caption on TV?

How do Russians translate "breaking news" caption on TV?
brilliant's user avatar
  • 5,752
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

"понима́ть" or "понять"

When saying that I don't know the language a friend taught me: Я не понимаю по-ру́сски. On a (German) language learner site they write to use Извините, я не понял. when not understanding what ...
Em1's user avatar
  • 1,658
4 votes
2 answers
171 views

Punctuation for "или ... или"

What would be the right punctuation in "Он или притворяется, или вообще ничего не понимает"
brilliant's user avatar
  • 5,752
8 votes
1 answer
487 views

How to decline adjectives modifying feminine nouns after 2, 3, 4?

In the nominative case, if we are counting something of size 2, 3, or 4 then the object being counted is in the genitive singular case, e.g., три треугольника. If we have an adjective involved, then ...
KCd's user avatar
  • 4,984
2 votes
1 answer
327 views

Are there any morpheme dictionaries for Russian?

Is there such thing as morpheme dictionary, where one could look up functions and meanings of prefixes, suffixes, particles, etc. ? In particular, I was interested in the range of meanings that ...
Olga's user avatar
  • 6,558
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Усатый нянь or what to call a male nanny (babysitter)?

Following the question about common feminine suffices for profession titles. Word няня has several meanings. According to gramota.ru: 1. Работница, занимающаяся уходом, присмотром за детьми (в ...
default locale's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
346 views

"занял целые 5 лет" or "занял целыx 5 лет"?

What's the right way of saying "Этот процесс занял целые пять лет" or "Этот процесс занял целыx пять лет". I guess it's accusative inanimate, so it should be целые, am I correct?
brilliant's user avatar
  • 5,752
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
4 votes
1 answer
357 views

Suffixes for feminine professions: "-ша", "-ка", "-иха", "-ыня", "-ица"

Is there actually a rule for forming feminine names of professions? I can come up with several examples (and some of the examples are colloquial, but nevertheless widespread), but I cannot figure out ...
Olga's user avatar
  • 6,558
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

сдавать/сдать экзамен

During my Russian classes and later, I never felt comfortable with the expressions "to take an exam" and "to pass an exam" as сдавать экзамен and сдать экзамен. It doesn't seem to me like taking an ...
KCd's user avatar
  • 4,984
16 votes
6 answers
2k views

A Russian word describing radio and television

I know there is a word in Russian that describes all the print media — пресса. Is there any word in Russian that would describe only radio and television?
brilliant's user avatar
  • 5,752
10 votes
5 answers
4k views

Swearing: "пошёл на ..." vs. "иди на ..."

Has anyone ever thought why in swearing people use not only the imperative "иди", but also (and even more frequently) the form "пошёл"?
Olga's user avatar
  • 6,558
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Russian translation for "it made me feel good (bad)"

I cannot find a good way to translate such expressions as It made me feel good (bad). Russian verb заставить means to make somebody do something against their will, and doesn't really fit here. ...
Olga's user avatar
  • 6,558
4 votes
1 answer
3k views

What cases are used after negation? What are the rules? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When to use the genitive or the accusative in negative sentences I've read somewhere that after a negation, the Genitive is more common for the object being negated. When ...
Alenanno's user avatar
  • 1,126
18 votes
5 answers
4k views

What's the plural for "пиво"?

Yesterday I visited a friend in Oxford. At some point we stopped at his favourite pub, where, as he said, was "большой выбор пив". This didn't sound right and got me thinking, but I soon realised ...
Aleks G's user avatar
  • 7,220
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
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
4 votes
1 answer
358 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 ...
Young's user avatar
  • 393
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is it true that the spelling reform changed the meaning of 'War and Peace'?

I've seen copies of War and Peace with the old orthography. Does the old form carry a different connotation or meaning than the new? Is there a nuance in pronunciation that indicates awareness of ...
luser droog's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
427 views

How to refer to bird legs: "нога" or "лапа"?

When are bird legs called ноги and when are they called лапы? I can see that it is different for different birds, ноги for a stork, лапы for a sparrow. Sometimes you can use both word for the legs ...
Olga's user avatar
  • 6,558
10 votes
4 answers
2k views

Pronunciation exercises

Does anybody know good exercises to learn to pronounce /ы/, /ч/, /щ/ and palatalized consonants?
Olga's user avatar
  • 6,558
4 votes
3 answers
896 views

Pronunciation norm

Is there a standard Russian pronunciation? If yes, what are its most important features, such as: quality of vowel reduction ([о], [е], and maybe other vowels in unstressed positions); pronunciation ...
Olga's user avatar
  • 6,558
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
3 answers
613 views

"нет грамм" vs. "нет граммов": a new case or two different words with separate paradigms?

The question comes from the discussion here and is a little bit geeky =) It was suggested that there may be a new case in Russian: Счетный (Numerative). As an instance of this case, Anixx gave the ...
Olga's user avatar
  • 6,558
7 votes
2 answers
455 views

The origin of complex plural forms

What caused complex plural forms in Russian? Were they borrowed from another language, inherited from Old Russian, or is there another reason why they appeared? By "complex plural forms" I mean the ...
nanofarad's user avatar
  • 355
59 votes
2 answers
8k views

What are the lesser known Russian cases?

In schools, it is taught that Modern Russian has 6 cases: Nominative (Именительный) Genitive (Родительный) Dative (Дательный) Accusative (Винительный) Instrumental (Творительный) ...
Armen Tsirunyan's user avatar
5 votes
5 answers
263 views

Which is more appropriate - "просим извинить" or "приносим извинения"?

The context of usage is the following. Someone causes inconvenience to others and wants to seem polite. For example a development company will surround a piece of territory with a fence, start ...
sharptooth's user avatar
18 votes
7 answers
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 "...
Aleks G's user avatar
  • 7,220
8 votes
4 answers
6k views

What is the understanding of Church Slavonic among Russian native speakers?

Let's say we have a native Russian speaker, who never learned or heard Church Slavonic. If he listens to a text in this language (I mean contemporary CS as used by today's Orthodox Church and with ...
zefciu's user avatar
  • 909
12 votes
3 answers
2k views

When is semicolon used in Russian?

What are the cases and possibly rules for using semicolon (;) in Russian?
brilliant's user avatar
  • 5,752
6 votes
2 answers
640 views

What are the common inflection mistakes that Russian kids make? [closed]

What are the common inflection mistakes that Russian kids make as they progress in mastering their first language?
brilliant's user avatar
  • 5,752
19 votes
6 answers
5k views

Is it odd to say "До свидания" to somebody if you are unlikely to ever meet them again?

I have a habit of saying 'До свидания' (Au revoir; until we meet again) when terminating a conversation. Would this seem strange if I'm not likely to actually meet that person again, such as a clerk, ...
kotekzot's user avatar
  • 1,552
5 votes
2 answers
190 views

What is the difference in usage between "ветвление" and "разветвление"?

The word ветвление (branching, ramification) appears to be a purely technical synonym for разветвление. I can find разветвление in ordinary dictionaries, but ветвление is not there, although it is ...
KCd's user avatar
  • 4,984
8 votes
2 answers
934 views

What's the difference between плыть and плавать, пройтись and поxодить, полетел and залетал, etc.?

What's the semantic difference between verbs in column A and their counterparts in column B? Is there any term (in Russian) describing the verbs in A and the verbs in B? А B пл'ыть ...
brilliant's user avatar
  • 5,752
12 votes
3 answers
465 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.
Trident D'Gao's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
291 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 ...
theUg's user avatar
  • 1,584
6 votes
2 answers
272 views

Are двусторонний and двухсторонний completely interchangeable?

Are двусторонний and двухсторонний just two valid versions of the same word or are there slight differences? If the former is the case, which version, if any, is considered more formal/more modern/...
Armen Tsirunyan's user avatar

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