Russian Language Blog

Archive for 'Vocabulary'

Russian hocus-pocus Posted by on Jun 24, 2022


This title is just one of the combinations I used trying to search for the name of the super-duper fascinating language thing we are about to discuss. Would you like to guess what it is? An itsy-bitsy guess? I cannot give you another clue, but I will say this: googling ‘Russian hanky-panky’ will NOT take…

Continue Reading

Monasteries, eyeliner, and poverty Posted by on May 18, 2022


Today is a deep dive into one Russian verb. Recently one of my students and I were casually talking about ways to express in English that you “подвёл кого–то” (as in ‘to let someone down’) when it dawned on me that I don’t know why we use “подводить” in that sense in Russian. What I…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

Using English slang in Russian Posted by on Feb 3, 2022

nesting doll

Англицизмы или Американизмы — не новая тема в русском языке. (English and American English loanwords is not a new topic in Russian). However, it is one thing to hear about it on the news, for example when a Russian politician calls to ban English loanwords from the Russian language. It is a completely different story…

Continue Reading

Let’s Explore Russian Morphology with Baby Animals Posted by on Jan 14, 2022

With all the craziness going on in the world, I think we need a bit of baby animal therapy to take our mind off things. How about a lesson on Russian morphology to go along with it? Уби́ть двух за́йцев Kill two birds with one stone. (Yes, in Russian, we say “to kill two hares”)…

Continue Reading

White roses, knees, and ravens Posted by on Dec 21, 2021

car in the snow

When you think of Russian winters, you imagine early mornings with untouched сугро́бы (snowdrifts), краси́вые узо́ры на стёклах авто́бусов (pretty frost patters on the windows of buses), and serene forests of snow-covered pines and birch trees. Вокруг белым–бело́! (It is white everywhere!) To be fair, this Russian white winter fantasy varies greatly depending on where…

Continue Reading

Make-up and Drag in Russia Posted by on Dec 14, 2021

drag queen polaroid

Whether you are doing some holiday shopping or would like to avoid saying, “you know that thing that does this to your eyelashes”, these make-up related Russian vocabulary and phrases are here to help. Basics Unlike in Soviet Union times, modern Russian markets have широ́кий ассортиме́нт косме́тики (many choices of make-up) from all over the…

Continue Reading

Older posts