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The 30 Funniest Russian Expressions and How to Use Them

Russia Student Work
by Yulia Denisyuk Feb 1, 2016

1. The Russians won’t tell you they don’t want to hear something…they’ll say that their ‘ears are wilting’ (Уши вянут).

2. The Russians don’t show off…they ‘throw dust in your eyes’ (Пускать пыль в глаза).

3. The Russians don’t miss an opportunity…they ‘fly like a plywood over Paris’ (Пролететь как фанера над Парижем).

4. A Russian person who tells lies is not a liar…he is a ‘castrated ash gray male horse’ (Врет как сивый мерин).

5. The Russians don’t lose their temper…they ‘go out of themselves’ (Выйти из себя).

6. A Russian person is not a coward…it’s just that his ‘soul went away into his heels’ (Душа в пятки ушлa).

7. A Russian person does not give you a warning…he will ‘show you the mother of Kuzma’ (Покажу тебе кузькину мать).

8. But if that doesn’t stop you, then they will show you ‘where the lobsters spend winter’ (Где раки зимуют).

9. The Russians don’t make unfounded calculations…they ‘carve up the skin of an unkilled bear’ (Он делит шкуру неубитого медведя).

10. The Russians don’t just go somewhere…they go ‘to a mountain to steal some tomatoes’ (На Кудыкину гору воровать помидоры).

11. The Russians don’t just start trouble…they are ‘making a porridge’ (Заварил кашу).

12. A Russian person is not embarrassed…he is a ‘wet chicken’ (Мокрая курица).

13. The Russians don’t say a place is located far…they’ll lament it is ‘on the horns of the devil’ (У черта на рогах).

14. The Russians don’t just stop doing something…they ‘wash their hands’ (Умываю руки).

15. A Russian person doesn’t swear something is true…he will ‘give you his tooth for it’ (Зуб даю).

16. The Russians won’t say you are dependent on them…they will call you a ‘poor relative’ (Бедный родственник).

17. A Russian person doesn’t live well…he lives ‘on a broad foot’ (Живет на широкую ногу).

18. A Russian person who just lost a menial job is not a poor guy…he is a ‘retired goat’s drummer’ (Отставной козы барабанщик).

19. The Russians won’t say you’re guilty of something…they’ll mention that your ‘spout is in feathers’ (Рыльце в пуху).

20. The Russians don’t have to prove obvious facts…they have to prove they are ‘not a camel’ (И доказывай что ты не верблюд).

21. A Russian person doesn’t find himself in an uncomfortable situation…he is ‘not in his saucer’ (Не в своей тарелке).

22. The Russians will not call someone tedious…they will say ‘he ate my whole bald patch’ (Всю плешь проел).

23. The Russians do not cheat…they ‘lay the horns onto their spouses’ (Наставлять рога).

24. The Russians won’t call you poor…they will say it is time to ‘put your teeth on a shelf’ (Зубы на полку).

25. But if you have made it and live without worries, they will say you live ‘behind Christ’s bosom’ (Как у христа за пазухой).

26. A Russian person won’t call you dumb…they will say you have ‘a room full of smarts, but the key is lost’ (Ума палата, а ключ потерян).

27. The Russians don’t get to the truth…they cry out “That’s where the dog was buried!” (Вот где собака зарыта!)

28. A Russian person doesn’t just remember something forever…they will ‘hack it onto their nose’ (Заруби себе на носу).

29. If Russians fail, they are not left with nothing…they are ‘left with the nose’ (Остаться с носом).

30. The Russians won’t say these expressions are absurd…they will say they are ‘for chicken to laugh about’ (Курам на смех).

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