Sep 16

Russian words of non-Russian origin

I think the number of Russian words which in fact are not Russian is surprisingly huge. I shall try to post here my own notices (in shape of list) about Russian lexicon which origins from other languages but which Russian speaking people use to think to be a Russian lexicon! Note: in no way it is scientific research and I might be mistaken in my conclusions, these are just personal observations, no more.

  • фонарь–الفنار Al Fanar means in Arabic lighthouse
  • персик–אפרסק in Hebrew means peach, pronounced “afarsek” or its Latin definition Prunus persica, actually name persica refers to its widespread cultivation in Persia
  • поле–means in English field; плуг means in English “plough” and both words (in Russian and English) have almost same, just slightly modified set of consonants as field, both correspond to Russian “pole”-поле and “plug” плуг; Arabic word: فلاح; fellah-means farmer or ploughman in English
  • сад–means in English garden but might derive from Hebrew שדה pronounced “sadeh”–field in English
  • ковёр, покрывать, крыть + крышка, крыша–comes from English cover but I believe the word could come to English from Hebrew לקבור what means bury, in extended meaning: when a gone is buried, he actually is covered by shroud and soil
  • кадка–means in English tub, jug and probably derives from Hebrew כד, pronounced “kad” what means in English vase, jug, jar
  • упал, пал–past tense of verb падать means in English fall, fell, fallen and likely derives from Hebrew words ליפול, נְפִילָה, pronounced “lip’ol, nefila”, translation is identical in all three languages
  • склонен, склоняюсь–inclined in English–same set of consonants
  • гора–means mount in English but likely derives from Hebrew הר, pronounced “har”, in Russian tradition it would rather be pronounced “gar”–like “Gofman” instead of “Hoffman” or “Gitler” instead of “Hitler”
  • споткнуться, заткнуться, преткновение–has meaning of stuck (obstacle) in English, obviously it is same set of consonants in both languages but likely has more ancient root–תקוע in Hebrew (pronounced “takua”) means absolutely the same