Девственник, девственница

by Don  

The Russian word for a male virgin is девственник, and a female virgin is девственница. The provenance of the word is obvious — дева means maid or maiden, one who is presumably devoid of sexual experience.

True story: on my second trip to Russia I was having a conversation with Лидия, a homely Russian instructor with a poofy hairdo whose mannerisms were the most prudish you can imagine. During the conversation I couldn't remember the word for virgin, so in the most tactful way possible I asked «Как называется мужик, который никогда не имел интимных отношений?» “What do you call a guy who has never had intimate relations?” Without a moment's hesitation she looked me straight in the eyes, batted her lashes and replied «Импотент».


Comment from: Alex [Visitor]

It’s because you said “мужик” which means a “mature man” or can even mean “macho". So no wonder :)

09/05/09 @ 01:58
Comment from: Jeff [Visitor]

When speaking do you drop any of the consonants in вств?

Don responds: the literary norm is to pronounce all four consonants in this word. Generally the first в is dropped if the verb has the root чувств- or здравств-. The first в is usually not pronounced as well in the -лвств- cluster. (All that information is garnered from Русское литературное произношение by Р. И. Аванесов, sixth edition, 1984. That’s the book by which I generally guide my pronunciation.

06/05/09 @ 11:32
Comment from: Edgar [Visitor]


03/11/09 @ 14:22

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