Categories: "Body parts"


by Don  

The Russian word for forehead is лоб. The о is a fleeting vowel, which means that any time you add a grammatical ending to the noun, the о drops out. Notice also that the word distinguishes a locative form «на лбу» “on the forehead” from the prepositional form «о лбе» “about the forehead.”

Preо лбе, на лбулбах

Первоклассник забыл дома дневник, и честно заработанную четверку Светлана Владимировна нарисовала ему прямо на лбу. Учительницу уволили. (adapted from this source) A first-grader left his gradebook at home, so [teacher] Svetlana Vladimirovna drew his hard-earned B on his forehead. The teacher was fired.
На лбу Ленина вандалы нарисовали свастику. (source) Vandals drew a swastika on Lenin's forehead.

Of course, in that last example they have in mind a statue of Lenin, not Lenin's embalmed body.

There is a phrase «как на лбу написано» “like it was written on the forehead” that the Russians use to catch the idea that something was obvious by the expression of a person's face.

Зина согласилась на поездку, но у неё на лбу было написано, что ей очень не хотелось провести восемь часов в одном купе с Витей. Zina agreed to the trip, but you could see in her face that she really didn't want to spend eight hours in the same train compartment with Viktor.
— Диме не нравится Лара.
— Да, это у него на лбу написано.
“Dima doesn't like Lara.”
“Yes, that's clear from the expression on his face.”


by Don  

Have you ever wondered where the word muscle comes from? It's from Latin. In Latin mūs means mouse. The suffix -culus is a diminutive suffix. Thus mūsculus means “little mouse,” which kind of makes sense since if you look at a muscle moving on your body, it kind of looks like some critter is scurrying under your skin. In Russian the root мыш- means mouse. The suffix -ца is a diminutive suffix. One of the words for muscle in Russian is мышца. When you take the roots and suffixes of a word in one language, and you substitute the roots and suffixes of another language to make a new word in that language, we call that word a calque. Мышца is a Russian calque from a Latin word. Interestingly enough, something similar happens in Polish. The Polish root for mouse is myš-, and -ca is a diminutive suffix. The Polish word myšca is also a calque from Latin and means muscle. Here are some sample sentences:

Дельтовидная мышца — поверхностная мышца плеча. (adapted from source) The deltoid muscle is a superfical muscle of the shoulder.
Полузащитник "Ростова" Хон Ён Чо надорвал икроножную мышцу. (source) Rostov midfielder Hong Yong-Jo tore his calf muscle.
Желание накачать мышцы у мужчин, недовольных своей физической формой, возникает чаще, чем это можно себе представить. (source) Men who are dissatisfied with the physical form have the desire to pump up their muscles pop up more often than you can imagine.
Переварачиваю различные предметы мышцами живота. (dopey video) I flip various objects over with the muscles of my belly.

deder Muskel
frmuscle (masc)


by Don  

Подмышка is a fun word. The prefix под- means under, and the root мыш- means mouse. Thus подмышка means armpit, and doesn't that little bit of hair under your arm kind of look like a mouse? Sample sentences:

Зачем нужна подмышка? Почему она потеет? (source) Why do you need an armpit? Why does it sweat?
У меня под левой подмышкой какое-то воспаление ввиде шарика. (source) I have some kind of ball-shaped inflamation under my left armpit.
А ну-ка, давай подмышку, будем мерить температуру! (adapted from this source) Well, now, give me your armpit. We're going to measure your temperature!
— Можно я посмотрю на твою подмышку?
— На мою подмышку?
— Это моя любимая часть женского тела.
“Do you mind if I look at your armpit?”
“My armpit?”
“It's my favorite part of a woman's body.”¹

¹ From the movie “Flirting with Disaster.”

Икра, часть третья

by Don  

Okay, brace yourself, this one is freaky. In addition to meaning caviar and vegetable pâté, икра also means calf in the sense of the gastrocnemius muscle on the back of your lower legs. In that sense it is mostly used in the plural, although the singular also exists:

Sg Pl
Nom икра икры
Acc икру икры
Gen икры икр
Pre икре икрах
Dat икре икрам
Ins икрой икрами

Sample sentences:

Жутко болят икры ног при ходьбе. My calves hurt terribly when I walk.
Хождение по воде (ноги погружаются до икр) способствует закаливанию тела. (source) Wading in water (the legs are immersed up to the calves) helps strengthen the body.
Поднимайтесь на носочки. Это хорошее упражнение для укрепления мышц ступней и икр, а также для того, чтобы разогнать скопившуюся в венах кровь. (source) Stand on your tiptoes. This is a good exercise for strengthening the muscles of the feet and calves, as well as for dispersing blood that has accumulated in the veins.
Работа над икрами и предплечьями не так изнурительна, как работа с основными мышечными группами. (source) Working on the calves and forearms is not as exhausting as working with the primary muscle groups.

Силиконовая грудь

by Don  

The phrase силиконовая грудь means silicon breast [implant]. You are not likely to need one of these in Russia, but I had to blog about it because I came across this headline and story the other day:
Силиконовая грудь лопается при ДТП.¹ Silicon breast bursts during auto accident.
Как отметили в полиции, грудь Елены сработала во время аварии подобно подушке безопасности. As the police department noted, Elena's breasts worked like an airbag during the accident.
В отличие от водителя другой машины, Елена Маринова не получила серьезных травм. In contrast to the driver of the other car, Elena Marinova did not receive serious injuries.
Однако, во время аварии силиконовые имплантанты в ее груди не выдержали нагрузки и лопнули. (source | mirror) During the accident, however, the silicon implants in her breasts could not withstand the load, and they burst.

Another headline reveals that silicon breast implants may also protect you from terrorism:

Силиконовая грудь спасла израильтянку от ракеты "Хезболла". (source | mirror) A silicon breast implant has saved an Israeli woman from a Hezbollah rocket.
Имплантант, вне всякого сомнения, остановил осколок и не дал ему продвинуться вглубь тела девушки. There is no doubt that the implant stopped the shrapnel and prevented it from proceeding more deeply into the woman's body.

Perhaps if our previous President George W. Bush had known this, he could have set up a breast implant division of the Depart­ment of Homeland Security. Really, ladies, get your implants now: it's just another way you can participate in making America safe.

The one downside, I suppose, is that the implant will prevent you from going into outer space:

Эксперты не исключают, что искусственный бюст может просто взорваться в полёте из-за перепадов давления. Experts do not discount the possibility that an articifical bust might explode in flight due to falling pressure.
Это обстоятельство уже стало предметом для шуток. This situation has already become the subject of jokes.
Как заявил один из специалистов, полёты в космос могут стать проверкой на натуральность груди. (source | mirror) As one of the specialists declared, space flights could become a way to prove that one's bust is natural.

¹ ДТП = дорожно-транспортное происшествие traffic accident (lit. road-transportation incident)

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