This section of the magazine – “Moscow Vocabulary” – was born of remembering … Ronald Reagan, who appeared to be a fan – and collector – of Russian proverbs and sayings. Well, and we would like to guide you into a world of Russian idioms – just as bright and colorful.
ВПИСАТЬ НОВУЮ СТРАНИЦУ – vpisat’ novuyu stranitsu.
(To write a new page into something)
Explanation: To do something outstanding.
УСТРАИВАТЬ СЦЕНУ – ustraivavat’ stsenu.
(To make a scene)
Explanation: To start a noisy or violent quarrel with someone.
ТИШЕ ВОДЫ, НИЖЕ ТРАВЫ – tishe vody nizhe travy.
(Quieter than water, lower than grass)
Explanation: One is mild, quiet, meek.
РУКА НЕ ПОДНИМАЕТСЯ – ruka ne podnimayetsa.
(One’s hand won’t rise)
Explanation: One is hesitant about doing something.
ШАПОЧНОЕ ЗНАКОМСТВО – shapochnoye znakomstvo.
(A cap acquaintance)
Explanation: A slight acquaintance.
ВАЛИТЬ В ОДНУ КУЧУ – valit’ v odnu kuchu .
(To throw everything into one heap)
Explanation: To lump everything together.
ПОЛОЖИТЬ ПОД СУКНО – polozhit’ pod sukno.
(To put something under the cloth)
Explanation: To shelve a problem or a plan.
УДАРИТЬ ПО РУКАМ – udarit’ po rukam.
(To strike each other’s hands)
Explanation: To confirm a business deal, to strike a bargain.
ОКУНУТЬСЯ С ГОЛОВОЙ – okunuttsa z golovoy.
(To plunge headlong)
Explanation: To be deeply involved in something.
ИМЕТЬ ВЕС – imet’ ves.
(To have weight)
Explanation: To be highly influential or important.
ХУДОЙ КАК СПИЧКА – khudoy kak spichka.
(Thin as a matchstick)
Explanation: Very thin.
НОСА НЕ ВЫСУНУТЬ – nosa ne vysunut’.
(Not to peep out one’s nose)
Explanation: One can’t go outside.