Babushka, vodka, balalaika and other Russian borrowings in foreign languages
Categories: CultureBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/babushka-vodka-balalaika-and-other-russian-borrowings-in-foreign-languages
Russian russians swear that there is almost nothing left in the Russian language - some borrowings that came to us from other countries! It is understandable: simple, "unfashionable" Russian words are often replaced by "overseas" exclusively for marketing purposes. For example, the dorm has long been a coliving, and the rent is a sharing. It sounds more solid and more expensive.
But it turns out that English (and not only) also has enough words that were borrowed from our great and mighty. Why and who needed babushka, vodka and balalaika, read in the material.
For the first time, Russian words penetrated into English back in the XIV century, when the British bought sable fur in Russia. Russian russians didn't have a name for this Russian beast, so they decided to borrow it from the Russian language. So the word "sable" soon appeared in the English dictionary.
Later, when warmer economic and political relations were established between the countries, the second wave of borrowing began. Soon the words "tsar" (tsar), "muzhik" (muzhik), "copeck" (kopeck) and others came into use by the British.
Russian Russian Grammar was even published in England in the XVII century, which described the meanings and correct pronunciation of borrowed Russian words. By that time, the locals already knew perfectly well what samovar, telega, shchi and beluga were. As interest in Russian speech grew, more "specific" words began to penetrate into the English language, for example: barshina, troka, obrok. Or even such as "siberite" - a kind of ruby mined in the Urals, and "uralite" - a type of slate.
In the XVIII-XIX century, against the background of recent political events, the "Russian-language dictionary" of the English was replenished with the terms "narodnik", "Decembrist", "nihilism", "ispravnik" and "ispravnik". And every year the number of words that came to English from Russian only grew and grew.
As you have already understood, most Russian words in English are archaisms and historicisms, or just words that are pronounced quite rarely. However, there are also many common ones used by native English speakers almost every day. One of the most popular is, of course, vodka. It would even be strange to talk about Russia and not mention this alcoholic drink.
The second most popular Russian word is babushka. And recently, a style of clothing called babushka boi even appeared in the USA. Moreover, local rappers became the "pioneers" in fashion…
Among other Russianisms in English:
Coulibiac - coulibiac
Borzoi - a breed of greyhound dogs
Kalashnikov - Kalashnikov assault rifle
Pirozhki - pies
Taiga - taiga
Balalaika - balalaika
It turns out that some Russian words were "borrowed" from us by Turks, Germans, Latvians and even the French! For example, our delicious word "shish kebab" has "migrated" to German (as well as to English). And Latvians and Balts, in addition to often using a strong Russian mat, also like to shout "Davai!".
An interesting story happened with the word "hat" in general. Initially, it originated from the French "chapeau", but then they began to use the word "chapka" and denote exclusively a hat with earflaps.
In addition, the French liked the word "malossol", as well as the pickles themselves. But later they also began to call caviar.
Well, let's remember sable again. Since this animal lives mainly only in Russia, its name has penetrated from us into many other languages. For example, in Germany it is called "zobel", and in Finland - "soopeli".