Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Skinny Russian

Today we'll talk about being a skinny Russian ;-). Russian language has a lot to say about being not that fat, so let's have a look.

Basic vocabulary:
худой, тощий — slim, skinny;
толстый — fat, thick.

You can see how the words худой and толстый are conjugated here:

When people see that I eat a lot but don't gain any weight (ever), they say
не в коня корм (literally it means “not into a horse food” = a horse is fed but not gaining weight).
Usually they say it with a smile, like this :-).

Also they can say:
кожа да кости (skin and bones).
I don't really like hearing that, because I believe I have a couple of muscles too, but whatever. In Russian language you can see things that make you wonder if being slim in Russia used to be considered something unhealthy long ago.

When you get better after an illness, Russians may say:
Как хорошо, что ты поправилась /поправился!
So good that you got better!
But the thing is that поправиться also means to gain weight. You often lose weight when being ill, right? So getting some fat is healthy?

Also худой means both slim and bad. When something bad happens, you can say:
Дело худо. (Things are bad.)

Another saying with худой/худо:
Нет худа без добра. (Literally “no bad without good” = For every bad thing there's something good.)
So it doesn't feel that pleasant when they call me slim in Russian sometimes ^.^

Do you have something similar in your language? Do you think that being slim is always unhealthy? ^ Tell us in the comments below!


  1. Ekaterina-san,then this word "художник-artist" is ralated to the meanings of the word "худой"?

  2. That's an interesting question. So cool that you noticed it! I had to Google to check :)

    It seems they are not related. Художник is from an old Russian word худогъ meaning "expert, experienced". I didn't know this o_O

    I found it here:
    There's more there if you want.

    Now you, Japanese person, teach me something about my own mother tongue :)

  3. Oh,I see. Thank you,Ekaterina-san!
    By the way, I hope here will come more readers who are interested in Russian language like me. Actually, I feel myself rather guilty to monopolize such great lesson ^^
    But I'm sure that soon they'll find out this amazing blog and rush to your lesson.

  4. I hope so too ^^ For now I'm concentrated on adding material here, later I'll go hunting for readers online :-) Спасибо ;-)


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