by Natasha  

The Russian word вишня means 'cherry'. It declines like so:


Photo credit: Spurzem at de.wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-2.0-d], from Wikimedia Commons

In English we usually discuss cherries in the plural, but in Russia one usually discusses them with a singular noun that indicates a mass of berries, so in the following examples you will notice that the English plural always corresponds to a Russian singular.

— Ты любишь вишню?
— А кто её не любит??
“Do you like cherries?”
“Who doesn’t??”
— Сколько вишни ты купила?
— Полтора кило.
“How many kilos of cherries did you buy?”
“A kilo and a half.”
Фу, вишня протухла! Yuck, the cherries have gone bad.
— Что ты делаешь?
— Варю компот из вишни.
— Правда? Я обожаю вишнёвый компот!
“What are you doing?”
“I’m making fresh cherry punch.”
“Really? I love cherry punch!”

In the last example we saw two ways of saying ‘cherry punch.’ The first way used a noun followed by a prepositional phrase: компот из вишни. The second turns the word вишня into the adjective вишнёвый, thus we get «вишнёвый компот».

Interestingly enough, the New Russians were known for sometimes wearing maroon-colored suits with lots of gold chains. To describe those suits the Russians often used the phrase вишнёвый костюм ‘a maroon-colored suit.’ For instance, you might hear something like this:

— Что у тебя с лицом?
— Меня вчера избил какой-то «новый русский» в вишнёвом костюме и золотых цепях.
— А я думал что «новые русские» остались в девяностых, но, судя по твоему описанию, это был типичный новый русский.
“What happened to your face?”
“I got beat up by some New Russian in a maroon-suit and a bunch of gold chains.”
“I had thought that the New Russians were a 90s thing, but judging by your description, that was a typical New Russian.”

By the way, if you would like a little introduction to the generaly style of the New Russians, I recommended this page and this page.

Don's addition: Those suits were often called малиновые костюмы ‘raspberry-colored suits’ as well.

1 comment

Comment from: Shady_arc [Visitor]

I’d say the most typical expression for suits is “малиновый пиджак” (crimson jacket). In early 90s New Russians were famous for wearing these. However, in the late 90s it has already become bad taste in clothing, so, in reality, I have never seen one. “Вишнёвый костюм” does not sound familiar.

That’s why it is important to know them as “малиновые пиджаки” since they only exist in jokes now. Not for long, probably.

10/10/14 @ 03:16

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