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I'm back in Russia and I have a new language partner, Alan.¹ The first day we got together, we ended up walking 13 km around Kazan; call it 8 miles. Now mind you, I've hardly gotten any exercise at all this last year. So what happens when you have hardly walked at all and suddenly you walk mucho? You get blisters. The Russian word for blister is мозоль.
Of course you often find this word in contexts about walking.
|Я вчера ходил столько, что стёр ноги до мозолей.||I walked so much yesterday that I got blisters on my feet.|
|Я вчера ходил столько, что натёр ноги до мозолей.|
|В Париже моя сестра находила мозоли на ногах.||My sister walked until she got blisters in Paris.|
So why do these things pop up?
|Мозоли образуются от сильного трения кожи.||Blisters are caused by excessive friction on the skin.|
I was actually embarrassed to get blisters, but it looks like I'm in good company.
|После пятидневных полевых учений, в программу которых входил десятимильный забег через лес с рюкзаком и винтовкой, Принц Гарри обратился в медпункт академии для лечения мозолей на ногах. Увидев, насколько сильно натер себе ноги молодой принц, врачи решили выдать ему специальное разрешение не носить армейские ботинки до тех пор, пока не заживут мозоли. (adapted from this source)||After a five days of field training that included a ten-mile run through the forest with backpack and and rifle, Prince Harry went to the academy's first-aid station to get treatment for blisters on his feet. Having seen the extent to which the prince had abraded his feet, the doctors decided to give him special permission not to wear army boots until the blisters heal.|
Nowadays what is the standard advice if you get a blister?
|Если мозоль созрела, не протыкайте ее (за исключением случая острой боли). Вскрыв мозоль, вы рискуете занести инфекцию. (adapted from this source)||If the blister has already formed, don't lance it (except in cases of sharp pain). When you slit open a blister, you risk introducting an infection.|
That's sort of the standard advice from both Russian and American sources. I consider it hogwash. Let's say you take a needle and sterilize it and the surface of your skin decently with alcohol. If you lance dead skin, your skin is not likely to be infected. When the liquid squeezes out, most likely infection isn't going to be sucked in. In any case, that's what I've done, and I promise to post here if I get infected.
One last comment. If you look up the word blister in the dictionary, you are likely to find it translated as волдырь. Dictionaries really need to give better guidance on this issue. If a blister forms from exposure to intense heat or cold or caustic chemicals or insect bites, then the Russians usually call that a волдырь. One that forms on your foot from friction is a мозоль. But a мозоль can also just be a plain old callus on your foot as well. If you need to distinguish the two in Russian, you can call a callus «кожная мозоль» and a blister «мокрая мозоль».
¹ No, that is not a Russian name, but if the singer Prince (not Prince Harry) can change his name to an unpronounceable symbol, then why can't a Russian/Tatar kid go by Alan?
Don responds: Sloppy of me. I had cut and pasted and adpated it from a source that discussed волдырь (masculine), and did do a proper edit. Thanks! The text is corrected.
Don responds: Спасибо! Текст поправлен.