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Статья о русских фразеологизмах на английском языке


Philological Sciences

Mustafina K. E., Makhviladze M.

Kostanay State University

National particularity of Russian phraseologisms

The phraseology of the Russian language, as well as that of any other language, reflects the national identity and the originality of the Russian people, its way of life, traditions and customs, particular features of the worldview and vernacular wisdom, which were worked out in the course of centuries of labor activity. Let’s take a closer look at phraseological units of the Russian language, through which it is possible to learn about the realities of Russian life, both in past and present. After being analyzed, these phraseological units were divided into the following thematic groups:

  • Phraseological units in which some elements of clothes (the cloth) are reflected:

By Senka is the cap” is used to mean "everyone has what he/she deserves" and has its history of origin. In the old Russia the nobility of boyars could be easily understood by the height of their fur "gorlatniy" (gorlatnyi is the name given because of the fur that was taken from the throat of the dead animal) caps. The more high-ranking and noble person had the highest cap. The ordinary people had no right (and funds) for wearing caps made of beaver or sable fur. Hence this idiom was born: "By Senka and cap" or "On Eremu and cap," that is, the honor due to each person.

To sit down in the kalosha” means to be in a difficult or embarrassing situation, to get into the "trap". It's a figurative expression that has a long history and is associated with folk merrymaking - fighting. One of the opponents often found himself on the ground, in the mud. The word “kalosha”, which now represents rubber shoes, was derived from the word kaluzha , which meant a “puddle”.

  • Food as one of the main elements of phraseological units can be found in:

Worse than bitter radish” means very much, unbearable (to bore smth). The matter is that in Russia radish, as well as turnips, was one of the everyday foods. Very often radish was eaten during the long vigils (or fasting), so especially in that time the radish was that kind of food people were tired of.

  • Phraseological units with anthroponyms. Anthroponym is a personal name which includes forename (a person's individual name, usually assigned at birth) and surname (a family name). [1]

Filka’s charter” (contemptuously) – is usually said about empty, worthless paper, which has no legacy of the document. There are several theories about the origin of this phraseologism: 1. Initially, it is a charter, written by an illiterate person of “vile” origin. “Prostophilya” is from the Greek - Philip or in Russian – Philiya. By this name a master often called his servants. 2. The term is formed on the model of spiritual revolutions diploma, certificate and bill of sale, etc. with the figurative meaning of the name Philka - " a stupid , narrow-minded person". 3. In the component Philka there was reflected the meaning of the words "shish, fig". 4. The origin dates back to the turn of Ivan the Terrible, who called so with despise the revelatory letters - the letters of Metropolitan Philip of Moscow, who protested against the roistering and Oprichnina of the king.

  • Phraseological units which came from the fables by I.A. Krylov, and from the Russian folklore:

Vaska listens to but eats” - ironically about the situation when one says, convinces, but the other does not listen to him, and continues to do his/her (usually reprehensible ) work. This expression is also a famous quote from the fables by I.A. Krylov "The Cat and the Cook" (1813).

Thomas and Erema”. This idiom is usually about people of low flight. Thomas and Erema are traditional clownish characters in the Russian splint. Though Thomas is stupid, he is cunning and easy to get with. Thomas is narrow-minded, but great in his scrip. In comparison with cunning Thomas, Erema is stupid and sentimental. He often gets kicks and cuffs.

  • Toponyms included in phraseological units. Such phraseologisms are not so many in the Russian language, but they exist and reflect national identity of the Russian people:

(To go) to Tula with samovar” is said about the situation when a person takes with him/her such a thing that there it is in abundance wherever he/she goes. Tula is considered to be the birthplace of samovars. And now in Tula almost everywhere you can buy a samovar. The expression comes from a silly situation, as if a merchant from another region is going to sell his samovars in Tula.

Right and proper use of phraseologisms in communication gives a unique identity, special expressiveness, imagery and accuracy to the speech, making it more emotionally colored, and allows judging your companion as a person, as well as his/her national mentality. That is why the study of Russian as a foreign language is impossible without reference to its phraseology, which is one of the most difficult levels to acquire in the Russian language.


1 The Merriam Webster Dictionary. 2004. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster.

2 Dictionary of the Russian phraseologisms by A. Molotkov, Moscow 1968

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