New Russian words

with 6 Comments

Here’s a list of my newest Russian vocab (and a few words I’m still trying to figure out)…


Words my students taught me

круг (shape) vs шар (has volume: the Earth, a bowling ball, etc).

выбросы = “Bad air quality incident” aka a common topic of conversation in Chelyabinsk.

безопасность жизнедеятельности = Civil defense, a class everyone takes in school from 6th grade on.

Не понижать градус. = Beer first, then hard alcohol. (This is totally the opposite of what we say in the US: “Liquor before beer, in the clear. Beer before liquor, never been sicker.”)


Words life taught me

шарлотка = apple pie

тефтели = meatball

“Просто атас!” = “Watch out, run away, danger!” A Russian friend returned from China with a strong answer on whether Chinese food stalls were sanitary. (Multitran has several more meanings for this word.)

перекись водорода = hydrogen peroxide
засор = clog
☐ To be fair, I didn’t know the word “speedcubing” in English either! 😂


Words I don’t understand yet

Can you explain any of these to me?

мило сердце = ?
☐ Why is there an И here? Is it for emphasis?
☐ What is заводной in regards to chocolate? (At first I thought this was заводный шоколод as in factory chocolate.)
☐ My husband tried to explain this to me, something about an idiom. ?
☐ Has anyone ever heard the word русамовцы? Is this a reference to Russian-speaking Ukrainians (мова = язык) or am I way off?


Corrections and explanations welcome! Have you come across any interesting / memorable / unusual new words recently? 🙂

6 Responses

  1. J.T.
    | Reply

    “мило сердце” is actually милосердие, which translates to something like charity or grace.

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Ah, that makes sense, I see the И now! Спасибо, J.T.! 😀 I’d never encountered милосердие before.

  2. David Emerling
    | Reply

    “мило сердце” seems like it would mean “sweet heart” or “kind heart”.

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Hi David! That’s what I was thinking too… until some eagle-eyed readers pointed out it wasn’t сердце at all but -сердие. Russian cursive still gets me sometimes. 😹

  3. Teango
    | Reply

    I imagine “заводной шоколад” means something like “lively chocolate”, which kind of fits if they’re marketing it as a pseudo-healthy muesli/trail mix/energy/pep-you-up type of choccie bar. My wife tells me that “заводной”, when referring to a person, can also mean someone who has bags of energy and can get other people up and moving and excited too. A quick search on Google images also revealed some ice-cream bars bearing the same brand logo, this time marketed for people into extreme sport *lol*. Now after all this talk of snacks and fitness, I’m off to the couch to engage in tonight’s extreme sport of eating Häagen-Dazs and watching Netflix. 🙂

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Privet Teango! It’s great to see you here again 😀

      Thank you for your research into заводной! You lead me into a Google image search- did you know that “A Clockwork Orange” is translated as «Заводной апельсин»? I found the заводной ice cream too 🙂 Hope you enjoyed your Häagen-Dazs!

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