Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Russian roofs can be... different

  Russian word for a roof, крыша, means more than just that. It originates from крыть - to cover. Let's start with which prepositions you can use with крыша:

на крыше (plural: на крышах) — on the roof (something is there)
на крышу (на крыши) — to the roof
по крыше (по крышам) — on the roof (something is moving there)
о крыше (о крышах) — about a roof
с крыши (с крыш) — from the roof
в крыше (в крышах) — in the roof
под крышей (под крышами) — under the roof
из-за крыши (из-за крыш) from-behind the roof
нет крыши (нет крыш) — no roof
много крыш — many roofs

Дождь барабанит по крыше. - Rain is drumming on the roof.
Весна. С крыш капает. - Spring. It's dripping from the roofs.
Ласточки построили гнездо под нашей крышей. - Swallows built a nest under our roof.
Сейчас же спустись с крыши! - Get down from the roof now!

крыша над головой (a roof above one’s head) means home, a place to stay.
Хорошо, когда есть крыша над головой. - It's nice to have a place to stay.

выше крыши - a lot, too much (literally: above the roof)
Работы выше крыши. - There is a lot of work.

Крыша can also mean sanity.
крыша поехала - «roof slid off»
крыша едет - «roof is sliding off»
крыша не в порядке - «the roof is not okay»
All these things mean that someone has lost his marbles.

У меня крыша поехала. - I've gone nuts.

Тихо шифером шурша, крыша едет не спеша. - «Quietly rustling with slate, the roof is slowly sliding away.» It means to slowly go insane or to not be able to comprehend something, like after a whole night of studying for exams. Do you get Russian humour now? :)

And of course not mentioning mafia would be wrong. :) Крыша also means protection provided by criminal organizations for businesses, such as shops. You have “krysha” other criminals won't dare bothering you. (Read more about Russian criminal slang here.)

You can also read a Wikipedia article about (normal) roofs in Russian for additional practice, if you like.

Bonus song

Юрий Антонов «Крыша дома твоего»
Yuri Antonov “Your house's roof”

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