Божья коровка

by Tatiana  

Bugs gross out many people. However, very rarely you can find a person who is afraid of ladybugs. There is something so cute about them that even when their little legs touch your skin you don’t want to shake them off. Well, at least I wouldn’t. I remember playing with my friends as a kid, trying to get ladybugs to land on our palms. However, the bugs were smart enough to choose flower tops over us… I guess I shouldn’t take it personally; they were probably just hungry :D

Interestingly enough, in Russian a ladybug is called «божья коровка», which is literally “God’s little cow”. I guess the “little cow” part is plausible because of the black spots on the bug’s back. Also, it turns out that ladybugs secrete special orange milk that comes from the insect’s joints when they are in danger. It has a bitter unpleasant taste, which makes animals and other insects change their mind about eating a ladybug. But what about «божья», what does this bug have to do with God? One possible reason is that the word «божий» used to be used as “nice”, “peaceful”, and “harmless”. This bug is traditionally considered an herbivore, whereas in reality it feeds on plant lice (source). So I bet the latter would not be too fast to call a ladybug cute or harmless… :roll:

— Смотри, я поймал божью коровку!
— Молодец, а теперь отпусти её!
“Look, I caught a ladybug!”
“Well done, now let it go!”
На Хэллоуин я буду божьей коровкой. I am going to be a ladybug for Halloween.
— Как тебе это платье?
— Так себе, ты выглядишь, как божья коровка!
“How do you like this dress?”
“So-so, you look like a ladybug!”
Трёхлетний Вася решил покормить божью коровку и принёс ей цветочек. Three-year-old Vasya decided to feed a ladybug and brought it a little flower.

Also, there is a band in Russia called «Божья коровка». It was formed in the 90's and and still active today. They don't really have a single style, so for lack of a better word we might call it soft pop; however they also sing блатные песни (a style of songs based on prison camp themes and criminal life), and sometimes they do little parodies. Here, I would like to share one that they did in response to Mambo Number 5 by Lou Bega. They called it «Мамбо по-русски», "Russian Mambo".

I wouldn't be surprised if there aren't many people who have heard of this band. I came across their name only when doing my research on ladybug. But I hope that this video will make you smile, just like it did me! :)

PS. If you would like to see the video along with words & translation, simply click here.

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