Here are some of my most favorite Russian idioms, which make little to no sense when translated word for word.

Russians do not snack.
They starve a worm (заморить червячка).

Russians never beat around the bush.
They prefer to pull the cat by its balls (тянуть кота за яйца).

Russians never cook a hare before catching him.
Instead, they divide the skin of living bear (делить шкуру неубитого медведя).

A Russian never gapes like a stuck pig.
He stares like a sheep at new gates (уставиться как баран на новые ворота).

Russians never mess things up.
They break firewood (наломать дров).

Russians never go crazy.
They crash from an oak (с дуба рухнуть).

A rich Russian does not live in clover.
He is rolling like cheese in butter (кататься как сыр в масле).

Russians do not simply grin and bear it.
They put on a good face for a bad game (делать хорошую мину при плохой игре).

Russians do not just run away.
They do legs (делать ноги).

A bad Russian journalist does not waffle.
He pours water (лить воду).

Russians will never pull your leg.
Instead, they will hang noodles on your ears (вешать лапшу на уши).

Russians do not just mark it well.
They make a notch on their nose (зарубить на носу).

Russians do not annoy you.
They blister your eyes (мозолить кому-либо глаза).

Russians will never make a mountain out of a molehill.
But they will make an elephant out of a fly (делать из мухи слона).

A Russian never bites more than he can chew.
Instead, he does not say “Hop!” until he jumps over (не говори гоп, пока не перепрыгнешь).

Russians never draw the wool over your eyes.
They guide you by your nose (водить кого-либо за нос).

Russians are never busy like a bee.
Instead, they turn like a squirrel in a wheel (Вертеться как белка в колесе).

A Russian spy does not keep mum.
He prefers to fill his mouth with water (набрать в рот воды).

Russians never roll in dough.
Their hens do not peck money (денег куры не клюют).

Russians never let the grass grow under their feet.
They would rather wait by the sea for the weather (ждать у моря погоды).

A Russian fool will not set the Thames on fire.
Neither will he snatch stars from the sky (звёзд с неба не хватать).

Russians are never broke.
They whistle in a fist (свистеть в кулак).

Russians will never twist you around their little finger.
But they will plait ropes out of you (вить верёвки из кого-либо).

Russians do not just blame you.
They hang all dogs on you (вешать всех собак).

Finally, Russians never say never.
They prefer after a small rain on Thursday (после дождичка в четверг) or when a crayfish whistles on a mountain (когда рак на горе свистнет).

Posted in ENG

2 thoughts on “ Things Russians never do ”

  1. Haha this was an interesting read, it’s always funny reading the literal translations of one language into English.

  2. Idioms are my favourite when it comes to learning new languages. I am always fascinated how differently the same ideas are imprinted into each language depending on cultural and historical background.

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