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15 Awesome Expressions to Know Before You Travel to Russia

Russia Languages
by Tanya Poznyakova Jun 29, 2017

Russian language is one of the richest with ways of expressing feelings and describing situations. Russians cherish their great language, although many of the origins of expressions are lost and some are not easy to understand if you’re not a native speaker. Here’s 15 awesome expressions to know before you travel to Russia.

1. Bozhiy oduvanchik

“God’s dandelion”

I used to hear this one so frequently when I was a child. When a dandelion is white and fluffy, it reminds Russians of an angel. This is used to describe a person who behaves like an angel.

2. Ezhu ponyatno

“It’s clear to the hedgehog”

When something is obvious.

3. Mizintsca ne stoit

“It doesn’t cost a little finger”

This saying is commonly used when trying to cheer someone up after a loss. It means, whatever was lost is not worth getting upset over.

4. Kogda rak na gore svistnet

“When cancer whistles on a mountain”

It will never happen.

5. Kusat’ lokti

“Bite your elbows”

Said when something seems like it is impossible.

6. Dusha ushla v pyatki

“Your soul went to your heels”

Said when someone gets a tremendous fright.

7. Schitat’ voron

“Count the crows”

It is said when someone is daydreaming and is not paying attention.

8. Gluboko fioletovo

“It’s deep purple to me”

No one knows for sure why the color purple is referred to here in this saying, but it means the person is not interested in a subject.

9. Rabota ne volk, v les ne ubezhit

“Work is not a wolf, it won’t escape to a forest”

Used as a good excuse to delay work and have a lazy day instead.

10. Veshat’ lapshu na ushi

“Hang noodles on your ears”

Said when someone intentionally lies to another.

11. Kak ogurchik

“As a cucumber”

Russian usually say it after recovery from illness, it means now you are strong and fresh as a cucumber!

12. Zavarivat’ kashu

“To boil porridge”

Used in past tense when somebody made up a very unpleasant or difficult situation.

13. Tyanut’ kota za hvost

“Pull the cat’s tail”

This is used to describe somebody who is very slow and uncertain making decisions.

14. Kak syr v masle

“Roll of cheese in butter”

Doesn’t sound very delicious, but said for a successful person whose life is awesome.

15. Do svadby zazhivyot

“It will heal up for the wedding”

A common expression sued by both adults and children. Parents say it when kids are injured as a means of comfort.

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