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.”

1 comment

Comment from: Edgar [Visitor]

When I was climbing a steep hill with Russian friends they liked to say that we were going “v lob” (sounds like vlop)because we were going up so steeply.

08/09/09 @ 10:31

Form is loading...