До свадьбы заживёт/ Собачья свадьба

by Timur  

This is a very popular Russian idiom used to calm someone who has been injured in some way. The literal translation is: before (до) wedding (свадьбы) it will heal (заживёт). You are pretty much telling a physically or emotionally wounded person to stop worrying and take it easy because the injury is not permanent and will eventually heal in time for the wedding. I heard the phrase a lot as a kid, mostly from parents and doctors. I still get it now and then when I do something stupid, like cut my hand while carelessly opening a can of peaches.

Не надо плакать, твоя маленькая царапина до свадьбы заживёт. There is no need to cry. Your little scratch will heal in time for the wedding.

Now, cобачья свадьба “a dog's wedding” is an example of an idiom that has almost vanished and lost its meaning. When I heard it for the first time, uttered by an elderly gentleman in a fit of anger, I had no idea what it meant—just another ancient slang term on the brink of extinction. Собачья свадьба is used to describe a fling, a love affair, a one-night stand. You might bump into it in some old movie or novel… but in today’s world it will likely come from a crazed dog lover who actually wants to organize a real dog wedding.

Image from zoochel.ru

У Бориса опять собачья свадьба с новой женщиной. Boris is having another affair with a new woman.


Comment from: Don [Member]

I think if I were translating a Russian novel into English and came across the phrase «до свадьбы заживёт», I would substitute a standard English comfort phrase. Lingvo.ru suggests “You are going to be just fine.” I like that idea, but I would probably add a “There, there” at the beginning.

The main older meaning of собачья свадьба, if I understand correctly, is a noisy pack of dogs roaming around where one female is being serviced by multiple males. It’s easy to see how that could be applied in a derogatory sense to people.

10/21/09 @ 15:46
Comment from: Erica [Visitor]


10/21/09 @ 13:52

Form is loading...