Russian Language Blog

В моем иглу [in my igloo], or The Weather Forecast for Next Week Posted by on Dec 21, 2008 in Culture

This is the weather forecast for next week in my corner (read ‘igloo’) of the planet Earth. In Russia igloo is «иглу». This is not a Russian word, even though Russia is a cold country. One knows that some words are not Russian words by the way they’re written. If a word ends on an «и» but isn’t plural, like for example «такси» [taxi], then that’s a clear sign of that its etymology isn’t Slavic. Or when a word ends on «о», as if it was a classic neuter, but then it doesn’t change in different cases, like «метро» [subway], and you know you’ve met one of them ‘foreigners’ in the Russian language. This goes for «иглу», which doesn’t change in any of the cases.

I have sent out a wish to «Дед Мороз» this year about the only thing I want for «Новый Год» (since in Russia they celebrate Christmas on the 7th of January, and then without any gifts, and as they say – when in Rome…). I want этимологический словарь [an etymological dictionary]. It’s the only thing I don’t have in my life, and the only thing I can honestly say that I truly, deeply, really need. If I had such a dictionary then I could look up all sorts of words and find out where they came from and how they changed through the centuries and I’m sure that then, right then, with that dictionary, I would be happy. And my life would be fulfilled 🙂

What can I say; I did after all grow up in a Western Capitalistic Country

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  1. Charly:

    Oh, I can so relate to the need of having a good etymological dictionary in the house. I enjoy browsing through one in the bookstore so often and am tempted to buy one. Some day I will.