Russian in EnglishThe impact of Russian on English has been slight in comparison with that of French or Spanish, but many of its loanwords stand out because of their exotic spellings and connotations. BORROWINGS fall into two broad categories: (1) Traditional cultural expressions: bors(c)h a soup based on beetroot, borzoi (swift) a kind of hound, czar/tsar (from Russian tsar′, from Latin caesar) emperor, king, dros(h)ky (from drozhki) an open, four-wheeled carriage, r(o)uble the unit of Russian currency, steppe (from setp′ lowland) a prairie, troika (threesome) a carriage drawn by three horses side by side, a group of three acting together, a triumvirate, vodka (diminutive of voda water) an alcoholic drink. (2) Soviet and Communist usage: gulag (acronym of Glávnoe upravlénie ispravítel′no-trudovȳkh lagereǐ Main Directorate of Corrective Labour Camps) a labour camp, especially for political prisoners, kolkhoz (from kollektívnoe khozyáǐstvo collective household) a collective farm. This group contains many expressions, including acronyms, coined in Russian from Latin and Greek: commissar (from komissár) a political officer; agitprop political agitation and propaganda (from the organization title Agitpropbyuro, from agitatsiya and propaganda), apparat party organization, Comintern/Komintern (from Kommunistícheskǐ Internatsionál) the Communist International organization (1919–43), cosmonaut (from kosmonávt ‘universe sailor’) a Soviet astronaut, intelligentisia intellectuals considered as a group or class.
English in RussianThe impact of English on Russian has been largely lexical, especially in the following areas, and has been increasing in recent years: (1) Sport and entertainment, etc.: basketbol, chempion, futbol, kemping, khobbi (hobby), khokkey, kloun, klub, match, nokaut, ralli, rekord, sport, sportsmen, sprinter, striptiz, tent, yumor. (2) Politics, management, etc.: boykot, interv′yu, lider, miting, pamflet. (3) Food and drink: bifshteks, dzhin, grog, keks, puding. (4) Transport, commerce, and travel: konteyner, motel′, tanker, tonnel′ or tunnel′, trauler, trolleybus. (5) Culture and technology: bitnik (beatnik), detektiv (meaning also detective novel), komfort, komp′yuter, lift, poni, radar, servis, toster. See INDO-EUROPEAN LANGUAGES, SLAV(ON)IC LANGUAGES.
Rus·sian / ˈrəshən/ • adj. of or relating to Russia, its people, or their language. • n. 1. a native or national of Russia. ∎ a person of Russian descent. ∎ hist. (in general use) a national of the former Soviet Union. 2. the East Slavic language of Russia. DERIVATIVES: Rus·sian·i·za·tion / ˌrəshənəˈzāshən/ n. Rus·sian·ize / -ˌnīz/ v. Rus·sian·ness n.
Russian doll each of a set of brightly painted hollow wooden dolls of varying sizes, designed to fit inside each other.
Russian Orthodox Church the national Church of Russia, a branch of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Russian Revolution the revolution in the Russian empire in 1917, in which the tsarist regime was overthrown and replaced by Bolshevik rule under Lenin. The Russian Revolution of 1905 is the name given to a demonstration in St Petersburg of that year, which was fired on by troops. The crew of the battleship Potemkin mutinied and a soviet was formed in St Petersburg, prompting Tsar Nicholas II to make a number of short-lived concessions including the formation of an elected legislative body or Duma.
Russian roulette the practice of loading a bullet into one chamber of a revolver, spinning the cylinder, and then pulling the trigger while pointing the gun at one's own head, said to have originated among Russian officers in the early 20th century.