by Don  

The Russian word for paw is лапа. It is a perfectly regular second declension noun:


Just as in English, we can use this word when talking to a dog to make him perform tricks:

Дай лапу! Shake a paw!

Unlike English, Russian can produce a bundle of diminutive forms to say the same thing:

Дай лапку!
Дай лапочку!
Дай лапушку!
Shake a paw!

Sometimes the word is also used as a derogatory word for human hands as well. For instance, if man makes an unwanted advance, a woman might say:

Убери лапы, идиот! Я не из таких. Get your paws off me, you idiot! I'm not that kind of girl.

But the place where this word gets a lot of mileage is in the diminutive лапушка, which is roughly the equivalent of “a sweetie” or “a cutie” in American English. For instance, if your neighbor shows you a boxful of newborn kittens, you might say:

Ой, какие лапушки! Можно подержать? Oh, what little cuties! Can I hold one?

Tanya, who occasionally writes for this blog, has a little dog named Wiggles. Sometimes she will say to him:

Виглз, лапушка ты моя, иди, садись к маме. Wiggles, you little cutie pie, come over here and sit next to Mommy.

And sometimes that form is even used with people:

Ванечка, лапушка, как красиво ты сегодня выглядишь! Johnny, my little sweetie, you look so handsome today!

1 comment

Comment from: iZ [Visitor]

А еще можно сказать “дать на лапу", т.е. дать взятку.

02/23/10 @ 01:03

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