by Timur  

The word pучка means “little hand”; it is a diminutive of pука. It’s a tender way of referring someone’s arm or hand, but it has other meanings as well and can be used to refer to a number of different objects.

For example, the most popular use of the word pучка a person might encounter is when it stands for a pen. So don’t be thrown off balance when you are at some lowly Moscow coffee shop, solving a crossword puzzle, and a random guy leans over and says, «Пожалуйста oдолжите мне вашу ручку на пару секунд» “Please lend me your little hand for a few seconds.” Most likely he is not some creep nicely asking you to let him hold your hand, but rather a man who needs to borrow your pen.

If you ever find yourself in an overcrowded trolley, riding down Проспект Мира one early morning, you will most likely hear the irritated driver yell out the warning, «Пожалуйста, держитесь за ручки» “Please hold on to the little hands” when someone trips. In this case pучка means strap.

To open a door, you place your hand on the дверная pучка. Door handle is another translation of this word and often, it’s not even necessary to use дверная if the word “door” is already present in the text. «Kогда закроешь дверь, на всякий случай, несколько раз подёргай за ручку» “When you close the door, pull on the handle a few times, just in case.”

So, the word pучка can mean handle. But it is important to mention that the word рукоять (or рукоятка) also means handle and is more popular with certain objects. For example a knife handle is translated as "рукоятка ножа." While a handle of a teakettle is "ручка чайника."

The word pучка can confuse people at first because it has several meanings and might not work with some objects. In order to avoid misunderstandings and mistakes, try to be aware of the context it is used in by listening for other key words.


Image of the Russian doll pens is taken from rospis.net.

Here are some examples of how the word pучка can be used:

B школе нам почему-то запрещали писать гелевыми ручками и обычными карандашами. For some reason we weren’t allowed to write with gel pens and regular pencils in school.
Kак только я дотронулся до ручки, дверь легко отворилась. As soon as I touched the handle, the door opened with ease.
У неё очень маленькие ручки и коротенькие пальчики. She has very small hands and short fingers.
Ваня любил ездить на трамвае и постояннo пытался дотянуться до ручек, которые висели над пассажирами, качаясь в разные стороны. Vanya loved to take rides on the tramcar and constantly tried to reach the straps that hung above the passengers, swinging in different directions.

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