Voices from Russia

Sunday, 11 March 2018

11 March 2018. It’s How You Say It That Counts…

Filed under: cultural — 01varvara @ 00.00
Tags: , , , ,

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Писать is a dual-meaning word in Russian. It depends on which syllable you stress. If it’s писать (stressed syllable in bold), it means “to write”. If it’s писать, it means “to pee”. That’s QUITE a difference. In English, we have dual-meaning words and phrases that trip up foreigners. I remember a local market owned by two Greek brothers over 30 years ago. They painted on the side of the building, in BIG BOLD letters:

YOU CAN’T BEAT OUR MEAT!

That became grist for the jocular, as the phrase is slightly scatological… meaning “to play with our (male) genitalia”. The poor guys didn’t realise that and became the laughing-stock of the town. I can assure you that I’m WRITING now and not PEEING (I know what syllable to stress)…

BMD

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