by Tatiana  

I’ll have to admit that I can’t take credit for today’s word of the day: my kitty helped me come up with it. She woke me up this morning by tickling my nose with her tail as she lay comfortably on my pillow. Still sleepy, I tried to move the little bugger without having to get up and inevitably being forced to start my day. After a few unsuccessful attempts to redirect that fuzzy fur piece, I gave up. (It was time to get up anyway :D).) Meanwhile, I thought that the word “tail” was worth writing about.

In Russian tail is «хвост». It is a noun of masculine gender. The plural form is «хвосты» and diminutive is «хвостик».


In Russian this word has a few meanings, just like in English. The main one is an animal's body part.

Я где-то читал, что когда кошка падает с высоты, ей хвост помогает найти равновесие, чтобы приземлиться на все четыре лапы. "I read somewhere that when a cat falls from a height; her tail helps her find balance in order to land on all four paws."

Another meaning is ‘ponytail’ (the hairstyle). For example:

Ну что ты волосы опять в хвост собрала? Распусти - они у тебя такие красивые! "Why did you make a ponytail again? Let your hair down – it is so beautiful!"
Моей дочке очень нравится, когда я ей волосы в хвостик собираю. "My daughter likes when I gather her hair in a little ponytail."

Also, it could mean a tail of something very long, such as a ship or an airplane.

— Ты видел хвост самолёта Гавайских авиалиний?
— Да, видел, на нём девушка нарисована с цветком в волосах.
“Did you see the Hawaiian Airlines aircraft tail?”
“Yes, I did, there is a girl with a flower in her hair on it.”

Just like in English, this word can mean to chase or to follow someone.

— Полиция у нас на хвосте! Что делать будем?
— Поворачивай направо на следующем перекрёстке!
“The police are on our tail! What are we going to do?”
“Turn right at the next intersection!”

Also, the word «хвост» has a very interesting meaning in student life. It describes an assignment that a student has not turned in in time, and because of which his grade is pending.

Если не хотите, чтобы вас отчислили, сдайте все хвосты до первого числа! "If you don’t want to be expelled, turn in all the late assignments before the first of the month!"

The latter sounds funny and provokes lots of jokes about students literally turning in their tails... &#59;)

Here is an episode from the Russian version of Winnie the Pooh, where the donkey loses his tail!

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