The most popular Russian words – part 1

We all know that every language has a fair share of loan words we use every day. A few past decades English has been the biggest supplier for loan words for many world languages. What about Russian? What Russian words have made their way into English, French, German and other languages? Here are a few of them:


  1. Vodka

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The name of the most famous Russian drink could be traced back to mid-16th century when it was used to define berry and herbs infused liquor. The term in its today’s meaning (an alcoholic beverage made of water and ethanol) spread internationally in the 19th century.


  1. Babushka


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If a Russian asks you to name a few Russian words you know the chances you are going to mention babushka are very high. Foreigners usually use babushka to describe an elderly woman (as Russians do) as well as a certain dress style (a la babushka) that includes some typical items babushkas wear, like a certain handkerchief or galoshes.


  1. Sputnik

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After 1957 when the Soviets launched the first satellite or sputnik the word spread around and stuck in many languages. Although only a few know about the first definition of the word sputnik in Russian where it also means a companion, a friend, a follower. And it makes the space sputnik sound so much warmer and gives a certain romantic undertone to it!


  1. Pirogi or pirozhki

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Famous Russian pirogi – a symbol for national Russian cuisine – could be now found abroad, and not only in Russian restaurants. Foreigners usually put pirogi on the list of starters preferring to satiate their appetite with this meal. In this case, pirogi are usually filled with meat, fish or different vegetables. Although you could find sweet pirogi as well, very often filled with apples and cinnamon, and served as a dessert with a cup of tea, so that you could enjoy them as Russians always do!

Stay tuned for the second part of the most popular Russian words coming up!



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