by Timur  

Having a good крыша over one’s head is one of the core necessities in life. Without a real крыша, people seem to be vulnerable and weak, stripped of basic protection from the unpredictable weather and exposed in every way to the dangers of the suddenly harsh, surrounding world. Anyway, enough with the obvious… the word крыша is translated as roof.

If you do something outrageously dumb, like smoke a cigarette at a gas station, your shocked Russian friend might yell out at you: “У тебя что, крыша поехала?!” The idiom крыша поехала (roof is moving) is an abrupt way of saying that you’re not thinking right at the moment, that you’re out of your mind and have gone crazy.

The term крыша can also be associated with the criminal world. A couple of low-tempered brutes dressed in tracksuits come into a private shop, declare that they are the proprietor’s new крыша and threaten to bring havoc to the place, unless they start receiving a certain amount of money on a regular bases. To put it simply, the thugs are muscling the owner into paying protection money. So крыша can refer to “protection” by a crime organization, and hopefully you'll never have to encounter this word in that particular context.

Photo of roof of Охотный ряд
Image from 4rent.ru

The roof of the Охотный ряд (Hunter's Row) underground shopping mall located in the heart of Moscow, on the Red Square.

Каждую субботнюю ночь кто-то ходит по крыше моего дома. Every Saturday night someone walks on the roof of my house.
Эдвард Р. Мэроу вещал с крыш Лондонских зданий во время воздушных нападений. Edward R. Murrow would broadcast from the roofs of London buildings during air raids.
K Андрею в бар зашел подозрительный господин в черном костюме и заявил, что он будет его новой «крышей». A suspicious looking man walked into Andrei's bar and declared that he will be his new "roof."
Mы должны были встретиться на крыше этой гостиницы в семь часов утра, но она не пришла. We were supposed to meet on the roof of this hotel at seven o'clock in the morning, but she didn't show.


Comment from: Konstantin [Visitor]

In Russian “Новояз” (modern language) there is also a verb formed from this word - крышевать. The meaning is “to provide criminal protection” for a person, business, etc (racketeering).

12/06/09 @ 05:22
Comment from: Andrey [Visitor]  

You could also mention “Жить под одной крышей” which means living together and knowing each other.

12/04/09 @ 01:06

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