Russian Language Blog

Archive for 'Idioms'

Some Russian riddles to celebrate spring Posted by on Apr 15, 2022

Spring is finally here. After a long and snowy winter, seeing some цветы́ is a great relief, even if it is still a bit too cold and wet to actually enjoy being outside for a long period of time. However, the sad, gray landscape during this time starts to be dotted by tiny hints of…

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The Russian art of spitting Posted by on Feb 18, 2022

As it turns out from Bota’s blog from Tuesday, today is День Пельме́ней in Russia! This dish, of course, is one of my personal favorites, not only to eat, but also to make. But what if you take a bite of a пельме́нь and realize you don’t like it? Or maybe you’re a вегетариа́нец vegetarian…

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Familiar Unknowns II Posted by on Jan 27, 2022

king of the world

We continue to cover Russian idioms that make you say “What?” even though you are 99% sure you have heard them before. For Part I see here. Кануть в лету Definition: to be forgotten or to be long gone, to disappear. No, unfortunately we are not talking about summer (лето). Nor is this idiom about…

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Familiar unknowns Posted by on Jan 17, 2022

a boyar

In my blog about idioms with the word ‘white’ (белый), I got a great comment about two Russian words чернила и белила (black ink and white paint). (Thank you @samonen! Have I mentioned we love to read your comments?) Белила reminded me of the phrase “белены объелся”. And before you ask, белила и белена are…

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More Macabre Sayings Posted by on Oct 11, 2021


While Halloween on October 31st might not be a widely recognized or endorsed holiday in Russia, there are plenty of macabre Russian sayings to use this spooky season. Some are very similar to English idiomatic expressions, for example: то́лько че́рез мой труп – over my dead body. Others are dark but humorous and colloquial. Спать как…

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Do svidaniya, leto, do svidaniya! and Two Singers You Should Know About Posted by on Sep 24, 2021

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels In many parts of the world, we say до свида́нья to summer on September 22, the date of the осе́ннее равноде́нствие [autumn equinox – from the words ра́вный equal and де́нь day], but did you know that Russians actually have a calendar understanding of the seasons? What does that mean? В Росси́и…

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Oaks, fins, and hooves Posted by on Aug 16, 2021

some daisies

No, this is not a Russian bar or a metal band name, though last I checked it’s up for grabs. We are talking about more простонаро́дные фразеологи́змы о сме́рти (more informal idioms about death). So, today’s blog is an add-on to the one about death euphemisms and to the one about verbs that mean “to…

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