by Don  

The Russian word for ring is кольцо. In the genitive plural the soft sign expends into a full-fledged vowel. Note also the stress shifts:


The word can indicate almost any ring, so even a basketball hoop can be called кольцо:

В последнюю секунду он бросил мяч в кольцо и выграл матч. In the last second he threw the ball through the hoop and won the game.

But of course the most common ring of all is the wedding ring:

Американцы носят обручальные кольца на левой руке. Americans wear their wedding rings on the left hand.
Европейцы, в том числе и русские, носят обручальные кольца на правой руке. Europeans, including Russians, wear their wedding rings on the right hand.


Comment from: Olivier [Visitor]

You’re right. I just had a discussion with my wife which is czech. Czech people wear their ring on the left hand while the Poles on the right hand.
She wears it on the left hand because it prevents the ring from wearing (typical czech explanation :-)

Anyway, keep up the good job.

09/24/11 @ 13:49
Comment from: Olivier [Visitor]

Спасибо за этот интересный блог но я хотел заметить что православные носят обручальные кольца на правой руке. Не Европейцы.
Salutations de France!

Don responds: Thanks, Olivier! It turns out the wedding ring issue is more complex than I realized. A quick internet search suggests that Americans, the English, the French and the Swedes wear the rings on their left hands. (That was a great surprise to me. I had thought all Europeans who were not of English descent wore them on their left.) Germans, Norwegians and Spaniards (who are not typically Russian Orthodox) seem to wear them on the right. All the Russians I know wear them on the right. If I remember right, Tatars in Kazan (definitely not Orthodox) wear them on the right.

09/24/11 @ 06:14

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