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59 votes
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Why do Russians call their women expensive ("дорогая")?

There's nothing special about Russian. In many European languages there's one word that can be used to state that something is highly esteemed and/or expensive. French - cher means both expensive (...
Frank from Frankfurt's user avatar
47 votes
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How can I understand this puzzling dialogue with "ну я имею в виду вообще"?

You have a very good teacher, Mitsuko, and I'm sure one day you will appreciate what he's doing for you. :) The dialogue seems to be grossly ungrammatical and to make little sense It makes perfect ...
tum_'s user avatar
  • 3,012
42 votes
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How should I understand and translate "закатить истерику"?

I think your translation, a bout of hysteria, is more about an uncontrollable physiological process, whereas the verb закатить speaks to the girl’s motives. So maybe ‘throw a tantrum’ would be better ...
Slo_nik's user avatar
  • 639
37 votes
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If a Russian girl calls herself a thawing pike (тающая щука), what could it mean?

It seems she said я та ещё щука. Тот ещё means "quite, some, hell of", as in "That's some vacation you spent with me", "That's quite a wife you have", etc: Скорее я могу ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
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35 votes
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What's the meaning of "у нас" in phrases like "он у нас умный"?

There are a few different meanings in your examples. Let's try and unpick them. У меня, у нас can be used to express: Possession: у меня = мой, у нас = наш: У меня рука болит = Моя рука болит. У нас ...
Sergey Slepov's user avatar
34 votes

If a Russian girl calls herself a thawing pike (тающая щука), what could it mean?

I'm native russian speaker. If you had video/audio call, then you most likely misheard her. It is not "Так что я тающая щука" It is "Так что я та ещё сука". It's not an idiom it's ...
Archirk's user avatar
  • 461
30 votes
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What does the word "да" mean in "Иван да Марья"?

The word "Да" has got various functions in Russian. In your example Иван да Марья (Иван и Марья) it is a conjunction which means "и". As a conjunction it can also mean "но&...
V.V.'s user avatar
  • 21.6k
27 votes
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What is the meaning of: "- Отнеси кота на веранду. - Да уж лежит там."

First of all, you translation is correct and I would not fail you for that. That said, да уж лежит там is a peculiar, if grammatically correct, to put "it's already lying there" in Russian. ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
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24 votes
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Meaning of "Что ни день"

It is a real sentence, but the poster incorrectly used "не" where they should've used "ни". The correct form of the sentence is: Что ни день, то приключение! which means: Not a ...
oboecat's user avatar
  • 356
24 votes
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What is the meaning of "понаехать"?

Понаехать here is used in the sense 4 in Wiktionary: "to go in large numbers to a place where one isn't welcome". It's normally used in reference to big cities like Moscow or St. Petersburg ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53.8k
24 votes

What is the meaning of "понаехать"?

The colloquial пона- prefix, in general, describes something done to excess. Понастроили домов! — Too many houses have been built! Понапокупали прав! — Too many people have bribed their way into ...
Roman Odaisky's user avatar
23 votes
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Why do Russians call a joke a stake (прикол)?

Just homonyms.There's an older word, подкол 'joke' together with the verbs подколоть (perf.), подкалывать (imp.) 'to play a joke [on smb]', but here 'the joke' is aimed at a person to make laugh of ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
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21 votes
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What does "флуд" mean?

It's an example of a word which belongs to a quite interesting class of words – words of English origin which are used in a completely different way in non-English languages – or just forgotten. ...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 37.9k
20 votes
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The original word for a wild boar

You are probably looking for “вепрь”. While understandable to a modern Russian speaker, it still has an air of “fairytale-ness”. I personally would just use “кабан”. I don't know how and why “кабан” ...
Ainar-G's user avatar
  • 1,527
19 votes
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Difference between "даже" and "аж"

Аж is indeed etymologically connected to даже, however has nuances in usage. When used with measurable quantities it means "no less than", "as many as", "whole" etc., ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53.8k
19 votes

How can I finally understand the confusing modal verb "мочь"?

For a person (and in Russian everything is a person), the Russian thought model makes no distinction between: the person's moral right to do something; the person's ability to do something (like, ...
Vader B's user avatar
  • 299
19 votes

Why do Russians call their women expensive ("дорогая")?

дорогой/ая is not only expensive, it's also dear, the word has at least two meanings Not only women are called дорогая in the sense of dear, men are addressed as дорогой as well, in formal ...
Баян Купи-ка's user avatar
18 votes

Что значит фраза “это вам не это"?

It's apparently a film quote. It's a staple of army-related humour that officers have a problem speaking coherently. Это вам не это means something like, "This ain't the, you know", i.e. the second ...
Nikolay Ershov's user avatar
18 votes
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Meaning of "кагбе пыщъ"?

It's in Upyachka slang. Literally translated that would roughly evaluate into something like well, sorta kaboom. Provided your context I guess that would mean he had sent you something, or something ...
ttaaoossuuuu's user avatar
  • 2,252
17 votes
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Different expressions for "ten" in Russian: десять, десятка, десяток

Десятка - Typically, an informal reference to something numbered 10 (like a bus following route 10) or about a 10 ruble banknote (in the past, when it mattered more). Now, it can sometimes informally ...
Alex_ander's user avatar
  • 11.9k
17 votes

What is the difference between "ещё" and "больше"?

"Ещё" and "больше" intersect only partially and have a lot of usages that are by no means interchangeable. "Ещё" can mean: yet (like in "Я ещё не решил, идти ли мне в институт") again (like in "...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 37.9k
17 votes
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What's the meaning of the word "расходилась" in Tolstoy's story ''Прыжок''?

The verb "разойтись" in Russian has a lot of different meanings, including (see #16 and #17) of getting more and more excited, getting slightly out of control even, so imagine a corporate ...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 37.9k
16 votes
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What kind of "girlfriend" is meant by "подруга"?

"Girlfriend" and "boyfriend" are most usually conveyed in Russian as девушка and парень (or молодой человек). Подруга usually means "girlfriend" as well but its meaning is somewhat less suggestive of ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53.8k
16 votes

What is the meaning of "нигде так не любят русских туристов как нигде"

Short: the meaning is "Nobody loves Russian tourists". Long This is a humoristically paradoxical sentence. Let's replace the last word: Нигде так не любят русских туристов, как в Париже. This ...
Abakan's user avatar
  • 4,309
16 votes
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Difference between "девушка", "девочка" and "подруга"

Подруга is the feminine form of "friend", друг and can mean, depending on the context, both: either just a friend or a girlfriend (though this is figurative and obsolete). Девушка is a girl ...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 37.9k
16 votes

What is the meaning of: "- Отнеси кота на веранду. - Да уж лежит там."

Quassnoi suggested in his answer that the key might be the homonym "уж", which can mean "already" and "grass snake," and this possibility made me so pissed off that I got ...
Mitsuko's user avatar
  • 11.2k
16 votes

What is the meaning of: "Войну ждали. Но она пришла неожиданно."?

It's a paradox rather than absurdity. Such things happen. You might eagerly be expecting a phone call, and still be shocked when the phone rings suddenly. Or even more paradoxically, you might know a ...
Zeus's user avatar
  • 3,088
15 votes
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Заканчивать versus кончать

There is no difference. You can say interchangeably: Закончить университет // Кончить университет Закончить доклад // Кончить доклад Okay, you can't now. Not in the last ~25 years. Because now the ...
ttaaoossuuuu's user avatar
  • 2,252
15 votes

Does the famous Russian translation of Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll imply using drugs?

Absolutely not. It absolutely does not imply drug usage and this is a classic example of overthinking without prior thorough research. There is canonical explanation Dina Orlovskaya, the translator ...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 37.9k

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