Russia is one of the world’s strongest nations. From literature to science, Russia has had a significant and lasting effect on the English language. A few decades ago, the Soviet Union was the only other superpower along with the U.S. They were rivals in business, science, and politics. This tension also brought some new ideas and words to America. Here are some adopted words for you, my tovarich:
This word is derived from the Russian word agitatsiya, meaning agitation, plus propaganda.
Agitprop generally means propaganda, but specificially refers to propaganda spread through the humanities, such as music or literature.
A sand dune that is moving and shaped like a crescent.
A strong Russian dog that is a breed of long-haired dogs, of the greyhound variety.
A cottage that is out in the country, used mainly in the summertime.
“No” in Russian. Interestingly, it has been also used in the slang word “nyetwork” to mean a dysfunctional computer network.
This word has two meanings, the first being a member of a Communist apparat, which is the government or bureaucracy. The second, more charged meaning, is an official who is a yes-man to authorities.
In Russia and in some east European nations, a doctor(surgical or medical) who practices but doesn’t have complete professional status. So, a risky doctor for people who are flexible and/or on a budget.
This is a Soviet policy of allowing more freedom of speech. Was first widely publicized by Gorbachev towards the end of the Soviet Union, and now refers to openness in politics and the media.
An edict or command set forth, especially by the Russian emperor. Sort of like a strict rule that everyone must follow.
In the former Soviet Union, prisons that were also labor camps. Also refers to the network of labor camps in the Soviet Unioin.
a peasant in Russia
This strange word means close friend or comrade.
A pastry filled with vegetables, cheese, or meat. You should try this one.
No this isn’t the past tense of what you’re thinking. Pood is a Russian unit of weight for very heavy objects, apparently. One pood is 36.11 pounds or a little over 16 kilograms.
A really ornate and very stylish urn, used to boil tea. Usually is quite large also.
Now all you need to do is to purchase a dacha, bring along a good tovarich or two(but not three), cook some piroshki, and afterward get some tea ready in a samovar.
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. CD-ROM Version 2.5. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, 2000.