Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Word of the day – мыло

What do soap and email have in common? In English language probably nothing, but in Russian language they share a word. They both are called мыло.

Мыло originally meant only soap, but then the era on internet came, and with it, a need for a short, colloquial word for email. Of course you could use электронная почта (but it's so long!) or имейл (too foreign perhaps?), but apparently that wasn't enough. So someone started using similarly sounding мыло instead of имейл. Both мыло and имейл are very informal and colloquial and are often used in everyday speech.

I'll give you some examples of how this word мыло is used. Let's start from soapy stuff:

мыть мылом — to wash something with soap
мыться мылом — to wash oneself with soap
мыльная вода — soapy water
весь в мыле — (literally «all in lather»), lathery, in a lather
натуральное мыло — natural soap
мыльница — a soapbox, a soap dish

Я отмыла то пятно простым мылом. - I washed that stain off with just soap.
У Евгения тяжёлая работа, он приходит домой весь в мыле. - Eugene has a hard job, he comes home in lather.
Мыло прилипло к мыльнице. - A bar of soap is stuck to a soap dish.
Ему нужно немного мыла. - He needs some soap.

As for words for email, here are examples with them:

скинуть по почте/ на почту/ на мыло — drop (a message, a picture, etc.) by email
прислать по почте/ на почту / на мыло — send by email
Скинь мне это на электронную почту, пожалуйста. - Send this to me by email please.
Отправьте ваши работы на мою электронную почту. - Send your works to my email.
Вот моё мыло: blahblahblah@blah.com. - Here's my email: blahblahblah@blah.com.
Мне на мыло пришло столько спама! - I got so much spam on my email!
Можно я напишу тебе по мылу? - Can I contact you by email?
Какой у тебя имейл? - What's your email?
Я никак не могу запомнить его имейл. - I can't remember his email anyhow.
Странное письмо пришло Анне по имейлу. - Ann received a strange email.

Are there any funny words for email in your language? Let us know in the comments below!


  1. Thanks a lot for your interesting information.
    In Japan, young people love to shorten the words. They are creating buddy language every day. Languages are alive and evolving!
    Best wishes,

  2. Thank you for your comment, Keiko! You're right - they are alive and also mixing with each other, like when English words creep into other languages :)


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