by Don  

The Russian word for vodka is водка, and the dimunitive is водочка. So when when he offers you a bit of vodka, a Russian might say «Не хочешь водочки?» Vodka is so associated with Russian culture that doubtless we will blog on the subject many times.

There are many jokes about Russians and vodka. Here is a representative one:

— Папа, Папа, говорят, водка подорожала, теперь ты бросишь пить?

— Нет, сынок, теперь ты бросишь есть.
"Daddy, they say that vodka has gotten real expensive. Are you gonna stop drinking?"

"No, sonny. You're gonna stop eating."

The Russians have an amusing tradition of making rhymes about all sorts of things. I remember in 1986 when I first went to Russia, Gorbachev raised the price of vodka in order to dissuade Russians from drinking excessively. (In this he was following the example of the short-lived Andropov.) I remember my buddy Алёша quoting the following to me:

Если будет двадцать пять If [vodka] gets to twenty-five [rubles per liter]
Будем Зимний опять брать We will storm the Winter Palace again.
Если будет больше If it gets to more,
Сделаем как в Польше. We will do the same thing they did in Poland.

By "the same thing they did in Poland," they meant the uprising by Solidarity.

The Russians have a thousand stories about the power of vodka. One of them is that vodka foot baths can help eliminate foot odor. The MythBusters tested this hypothesis, and to my great surprise pronounced it true. Mind you, they were washing the feet in vodka, not drinking it. There have been a couple episodes where they explore other vodka stories as well.


Comment from: Don [Member]

I just came across this little gem:

‎"‘Водку надо пить в мeру,’ - сказал Джавахарлал Нeру.
‘А у нас пьют водку досыта,’ - сказал Хрущeв Никита.
‘В водкe eсть витамин,’ - сказал Хо Ши Мин.
‘Шикарно,’ -сказал Сукарно.
‘Так наливай!” - сказал Джоу Ен-лай.

11/12/10 @ 04:08
Comment from: Oleg [Visitor]

Surely, the diminutive is “водочка”

Don responds: Thank you for catching the typo! It has been corrected.

12/03/08 @ 19:13

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