20 words and phrases with an interesting origin story

1. Flash

This word, as well as the expression “Hey you, hat!”, Has nothing to do with headdresses, soft intelligentsia and other standard images that arise in our heads with you. This word came into slang speech straight from Yiddish and is a distorted form of the German verb "schlafen" - "to sleep". And the "hat", respectively, "sleepy, raunchy." Your suitcase is draped while you are here.

2. Nonsense

Seminarians who studied Latin grammar had serious problems with it. Take, for example, the gerund - this venerable member of the grammatical community, which simply does not exist in the Russian language. Gerund is a cross between a noun and a verb, and the use of this form in Latin requires knowledge of so many rules and conditions that often seminarians were taken to the infirmary with a brain fever right from class. Instead, the seminarians began to call any tedious, tedious, and completely unintelligible nonsense "nonsense".

3. Unafraid Idiot

Most people with congenital idiocy have the fortunate trait that it is quite difficult to scare them (as well as convince them to use a spoon and button their pants). Painfully steadfast, they do not want to absorb any information from the outside. The expression went for a walk with the light hand of Ilf and Petrov, who in their "Notebooks" enriched the world with the aphorism "The land of unafraid idiots. It's time to scare. " At the same time, the writers simply parodied the title of Prishvin's then very popular book "In the Land of Unafraid Birds" *.

* Note: “By the way, the word 'idiot' also has a delightful origin. Two and a half thousand years ago in Greece, "idiots" at public meetings politely called citizens who were not involved in politics, did not belong to any party, but led a quiet, peaceful life. In general, as we see, little has changed since then "

4. The Moor has done his job, the Moor can leave

For some reason, most people (even those who actually read Shakespeare) believe that these words belong to Othello, who strangled his Desdemona. In fact, Shakespeare's hero was anything but a cynic: he would rather strangle himself than blur out such tactlessness over the corpse of his beloved. This phrase is said by another theatrical Moor - the hero of Schiller's play "The Fiesco Conspiracy in Genoa." That Moor helped the conspirators to gain power, and after the victory he realized that yesterday's comrades-in-arms did not care about him from the high Genoese bell tower.

5. Throwing beads in front of pigs

The process of throwing small glass rubbish in front of a pig is really an ideal idea in its meaninglessness. But in the original text of the Bible, from where this phrase was engraved, there is no talk of any beads. It says about people who throw precious pearls into the pigs' feeder.

It’s just that once the words “pearl”, “beads” and “pearls” meant exactly pearls, its different varieties. It was then that the industry perked up to stamp penny glass beads and called them the beautiful word "beads".

6.With a twist

The image of a zest - some small piquant detail that gives a sense of sharpness and unusualness - was presented to us personally by Lev Tolstoy. It was he who first introduced the expression "woman with a twist" into circulation.

In his drama Living Corpse, one character says to another: “My wife was an ideal woman ... But what can I tell you? There was no zest - you know, there is a zest in kvass? - there was no game in our life. "

7. Last Chinese warning

If you were born before 1960, then you yourself perfectly remember the origin of this expression, for this is never forgotten. But subsequent generations have already been deprived of the happiness of watching the confrontation between the United States and China at the turn of the 50-60s of the XX century. When, in 1958, China, outraged by the US air and navy support for Taiwan, issued its angry note titled "The Last Warning", the world shuddered with horror and held its breath in anticipation of a third world war. When, seven years later, China issued its 400th note under the same name, the world howled with delight. Since, apart from pieces of paper with menacing words, China had nothing to oppose to the United States, Taiwan nevertheless retained its independence, which Beijing still does not recognize.

8. How to drink give

It would not be very clear how the process of serving drinking is related to the concepts of “sure” and “guaranteed”, if it were not for the lists of criminal jargon of the 18th – 19th centuries, in which the expression “to drink to give” is synonymous with the word “to poison”. For poisoning is really one of the safest and safest ways for a killer to get rid of a disturbing person.

9. Not one iota

Iota is the letter of the Greek alphabet for the sound [and]. It was portrayed as a tiny dash, and all the time lazy scribes simply threw it out of the text, since even without iot it was always possible to understand what was at stake. We don't dot the "e", do we? The author of the phrase is Jesus Christ, who promised the Jews that the Law will not change "one iota", that is, even the most insignificant changes will be excluded.

10. The case smells like kerosene

Yes, we also thought at first that these words were a common phrase from the vocabulary of a firefighter who, examining the burnt ruins, puts forward a version of deliberate arson. So: nothing of the kind! The aphorism has a very specific author - the famous journalist Mikhail Koltsov, who published in 1924 in Pravda the feuilleton “Everything is all right”. The feuilleton castigates the mores of the American oil magnates who hand out "kerosene-smelling" bribes back and forth.

11. Alive, smoking room!

The famous expression, which everyone knows that it belongs to the poet Pushkin, in fact does not belong to Pushkin.

This is a verdict from the once popular children's game. The children, standing in a circle, quickly passed each other a burning splinter and sang: “The smoking room is alive, alive! The smoking-room is still alive! " The same unfortunate man, in whose hands the smoking-room was extinguished, was considered a loser and had to perform some stupid and sometimes unsafe task - for example, add snuff to the nasty Amalia Yakovlevna in her nightcap.

12. Grand piano in the bushes

But this phrase is actually the author's. It is taken from the famous sketch by Gorin and Arkanov "Quite by accident". In this scene, comedians depicted the principles of creating reports on Soviet television. “Let's go to the first bystander. This is pensioner Seregin, a labor drummer. In his spare time, he likes to play the piano. And just in the bushes there is a grand piano, on which Stepan Vasilyevich will play Oginsky's Polonaise for us ”.

13. Passion-Faces

The word became popular thanks to Gorky, who called one of his stories that way. But Gorky, who was not distinguished by his abilities for verbal delights, did not come up with it himself, but pulled it out of an optimistic folk lullaby, which sounds like this:

Passion-Faces will come, They will bring with them Misfortunes, They will bring Misfortunes, They will tear the heart apart!

Oh, trouble! Oh, trouble!

Where can we hide, where?

In general, if "Good night, kids!" finally decide to change their song saver, we have something to offer them.

history of the origin of words and expressions 14. Dance from the stove

And here we have a slightly sad, but instructive example of how almost nothing remained of a whole writer. Does the name of Vasily Sleptsov say anything to you? Do not be upset, you are not the only one. Sleptsov today is known only to erudite specialists in Russian literature. He was simply unlucky: he was born and lived at the same time as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and other Turgenevs. So three words remained from Sleptsov in the people's memory. In the novel “The Good Man, ” the hero recalls how, as a child, he was tortured with dance lessons - they put him to the stove and forced him to walk with a dance step across the hall. And he then skosolap, then twist the sock - and again they drive him to dance from the stove.

15. Filkin's certificate

Unlike Trishka with a caftan or Kuzka with his mysterious mother, Filka is a completely historical person. This is the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Philip II of Moscow. He was a shortsighted man who forgot that the first duty of the Moscow high priest was to diligently give Caesar the Caesar's, so he repented to his misfortune with the Tsar-Father Ivan the Terrible. He took it into his head, you know, to expose the bloody atrocities of the tsarist regime - he began to write truthful stories about how many people the tsar tortured, tortured, burned and poisoned. The tsar called the metropolitan writings "Filka's letter", swore that all Filka was lying, and imprisoned Filka in a distant monastery, where the metropolitan was almost immediately killed by the sent assassins.

16. Slowly

Sapa is a term borrowed from the French for a mine, a bomb, and any kind of explosive work in the Russian army. Silent glanders were called digging under the walls of a besieged city or fortifications of an enemy camp. The sappers conducted such a dig unnoticed, usually at night, so that the subsequent loud boom would come as a complete surprise to the enemy.

17. Bohemia

Creative intelligentsia, beautiful life, glamor and other buffets - all this has nothing to do with bohemia. The real bohemia, which the Parisians had in mind, using this word, is the lack of housing and work, a bunch of children, a drunken wife hugging guests, no regime, rubbish everywhere, chaos, lawlessness and dirty nails. Because the word "bohemian" means "gypsy", and in Russian "bohemia" is perfectly accurately translated as "gypsy".

18. Nerd

Words sometimes jump from meaning to meaning, like lions on the trainer's pedestals, and sit down in the most unexpected combinations. For example, there was a doctor in France by the name of Chretien, which means "Christian." It's not that common, but not too rare a surname (we have a whole class of peasants, that is, Christians, called). But it was this doctor who managed to formulate the diagnosis of congenital thyroid insufficiency syndrome for the first time. Henceforth, this disease began to be called by the name of the scientist "cretinism", and patients, respectively, were cretins. That is, Christians.

19. Suffer bullshit

Perhaps we will get into trouble because we have written such foul language in our pious publication. Although, if you look at it, there is nothing indecent in the word "dick". This was the name in the Church Slavonic alphabet of the letter "x", as well as any cross in the shape of the letter "x". When unnecessary places in the text were crossed out with a cross, it was called “to lose”. The old alphabet with all the basics and beeches was finally abolished at the beginning of the 20th century, and the word "dick", having gone out of use, after half a century became a synonym for a short word on "x" (you know which one). And at the same time it began to seem obscene and widespread expression with a similar root - "to suffer garbage." Hernia in Latin means "hernia", and it was this diagnosis that good military doctors most often exhibited to the children of wealthy townspeople who did not want to serve in the army.

Every fifth citizen-conscript in Russia at the end of the 19th century regularly suffered from garbage (the peasants often could not afford garbage, and they were shaved much more actively).

20. Places not so distant

In the "Code on Punishments" of 1845, the places of exile were divided into "distant" and "not so distant". By "remote" was meant the Siberian provinces and later Sakhalin, by "not so remote" - Karelia, Vologda, Arkhangelsk regions and some other places located just a few days' journey from St. Petersburg.

P.S. Know who you are quoting

A. P. Chekhov

The Volga flows into the Caspian Sea.

This cannot be, because this can never be.

A plot worthy of Aivazovsky's brush.

The sky is in diamonds.

To grandfather's village.

V. I. Lenin

Seriously and for a long time.

N.V. Gogol

Doesn't dance.

Tears invisible to the world.

The beautiful is far away.

There is life in the old dog yet.

N. A. Nekrasov

How did you come to this life?

Sow reasonable, good, eternal.

This is a glorious path for many.

Russian romances

Come back, I will forgive everything.

Shut up, sadness, shut up.

It's a shame, annoying.

M. Yu. Lermontov

All this would be funny if it were not so sad.

One, but fiery passion.