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Russian Words You Should Know

A few of my favorite books are rooted in Russian lore (The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye and Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan), and I have always loved the 1997 animated film, Anastasia. However, I really didn’t know anything about the Russian language until I started making this list. I found so many beautiful words, and it was hard to choose just ten!


1. Toska— At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness


2. Pochemuchka- a curious kid who wants to know everything in the world and keeps asking ‘why?’


3. Nedoperepil- someone who drank more than they should have, but less than they could have


4. Perepodvypodvert- something done in a complex, incomprehensible way


5. Glazomercan-- someone who can estimate weight and distances without making use of any tools other than his or her eyes


6. Ekranizatsiya-- a screen adaptation of a film based on a book, theatre, song or other work of art (personal note: the book is ALWAYS better than the movie)


7. Porosha— fresh powdery snow that fell at night and is untouched by wind, people or animals


8. Poputchik— is a complete stranger who happens to travel in the same direction and share your coupe on a train. You are free to open up completely to your best friend pro tempore, because you know that the person will get off at a far away stop, never to be seen again, taking your secrets safely with them


9. Avos— blind trust in sheer luck


10. Zavodila— someonewho often starts up something, and motivates others through pure goodwill (personal note: we need more of these)




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