Туфли (часть вторая)

by Don  

One of the Russian words for shoe is туфля. Note the genitive plural:


The word is mostly used in the plural:

Где мои туфли? Where are my shoes?
После свержения Саддама Хусейна в 2003 году, было снято, как иракцы избивали его упавшую статую своими туфлями. (source) After the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003, Iraqis were caught on film beating his fallen statue with their shoes.
Ты собираешься пойти на работу в этих туфлях? Они такие старые, ты будешь очень непрофессионально выглядеть. Are you planning on going to work in those shoes? They are so old. You are going to look very unprofessional.

Of course, it is possible to use the word in the singular:

Ёлки-палки, я потеряла туфлю. Crud, I've misplaced a shoe.
Всё же позвали и Золушку. Примерили туфельку и — о, чудо! туфелька пришлась впору. Тогда Золушка достала из кармана вторую и надела ее, не говоря ни слова. (source) Nonetheless they summoned Cinderella as well. They tried the shoe on her and — miraculously — it fight just right. Then Cinderella took the second one out of her pocket and put it on without saying a word.
Когда я сегодня обувался, в туфле был скорпион. Он меня больно укусил. When I was putting on my shoes this moring, one of the shoes had a scorpion in it, and I got a nasty sting.
Какой туфлей (левой или правой) Хрущёв бил по столу в Америке? (source) Which shoe (the left one or the right one) did Khrushchev pound the table with in America?

Young women in Russia are much more likely to wear high-heeled shoes than their US counterparts. If a woman is young and sexy in Russia, then by heaven she is going to dress to kill. The picture below captures a commonplace: here are the feet of a lovely young woman next to the feet of her boyfriend.

It's funny, really. If ever there was a country where sensible shoes would be... well... sensible, it is Russia. There are cobblestone streets, dirt streets, uneven asphalt streets, and potholes the size of Kilauea, all of which can twist your ankle and break your leg at a moment's notice. Young Russian women conquer them all in high-heeled shoes.

1 comment

Comment from: Andrey [Visitor]

Хрущев, according to that urban legend, pounded not a table but по трибуне :) You can see that on the photo, although it’s a fake.

Don responds: Good point about the podium/table distinction.

For discussion of the incident, see the Wikipedia article and also the July 26, 2003 New York Times article. The NYT article is interesting. It states that Khrushchev’s interpreter, Viktor Sukhodrev, confirms the incident. If this is correct, I’m inclined to think that it actually took place. There was a Nixon-Kennedy presidential debate shortly afterwards in which Nixon mentions pounding on the “table” (should be “podium") and waving a shoe (see Youtube video around time index 2:50). Though the video proves nothing about the incident itself, it certainly shows how fresh it was in the American mind.

06/23/10 @ 03:45

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