by Don  

Last month Tanya and I drove from Phoenix to Las Vegas, where we stayed at my father's house. In the morning we went to the casino around the corner to have breakfast, which has long been one of my father's daily habits. Despite having lived in the States for 13 years, Tanya had never gone out for breakfast here, so when the waitress asked, “How would you like your eggs?”, Tanya didn't really recognize the question and didn't have the vocabulary in English to answer. And when I wracked my brains for the Russian terms, only two came quickly to mind. That means it's time to blog about eggs!

Let's start with the basic declension. Notice that the й becomes a full-fledged и in the genitive plural:


Russians usually eat chicken eggs, just like Americans. That's a shame. It would be much more interesting if they ate emu eggs:

Photo of emu egg
Скорлупа яйца эму бывает зелёного цвета. Одно яйцо может весить полкило. Еmu egg shells are usually green. One egg can weigh half a kilo.

Russians in Russia never go out for breakfast. Diners that serve an early morning breakfast are standard Americana but are simply not part of the Russian milieu. Why would you get up so early and pay excessive money for what you can eat more cheaply at home? But of course even at home you prepare your ordinary chicken eggs куриные яйца a dozen ways, so how do the Russians describe them? Probably the most generic phrase is яичница, which means eggs fried in almost any fashion. Then there is омлет, which can mean either scrambled eggs or an omelet, and it may or may not include milk or flour or sugar mixed in. Other options:

Бабушка всегда варила яйца всмятку. Gramma always made soft-boiled eggs.
Сегодня утром на завтрак папа подал яйца вкрутую. This morning Dad served hard boiled eggs for breakfast.
В американских ресторанчиках часто заказывают яичницу-глазунью. In American diners people often order eggs sunny side up.
Яичница-болтунья — это одно из самых простых блюд для поваров-новичков. Scrambled eggs is one of the simplest dishes for beginning cooks.
Взбей мне пару яиц. (source) Scramble me up a couple of eggs.
Взболтай мне пару яиц.

Last but not least, there is a song called «Яйца» by Дискотека Авария, a pop-music group known for their humorous lyrics. You can view the song and a translation here. If you find yourself scratching your head about why this song is funny, it's because we've not mentioned one little fact: colloquially яйца also means testicles.


Comment from: Marina [Visitor]

Яйца “в мещочек” - когда желток жидкий, а белок уже сварился. :)

09/21/11 @ 06:08
Comment from: Константин [Visitor]

“Яйца” in spoken language mean testicles. In medical literature testicles usually called “яички". Idiom “Чесать яйца” (to scratch somebody’s own balls) means “Loose time". Very common in military surrounding. For instance “И кончай уже яйца чесать, что за манеры, поручик!” (http://artofwar.ru/r/ruban_n_j/text_0120-1.shtml).

11/28/09 @ 11:21

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