Thursday, August 16, 2012

Something I Learned Today: Хулига́нство

I've often wondered why Russian miscreants are so often charged with "Hooliganism."   I mean sure, I recognize the word, known it all my life, probably learned it from an old book of Happy Hooligan comic strips. in my childhood still hanging around the house I grew up in.   I'm not sure I ever actually used it in its unmarked sense but then I guess my life has been mercifully free of, e.g., football hooligans and whatnot.

But why the Russians?  What word is it that we keep translating back as "hooliganism?"  Turns out the word is--wait for it, folks-- "Хулига́нство,"--Hooliganstvo, i.e., Hooliganism.   When and how it made its way into Russian are matters on which I remain unenlightened but apparently it's a straight-out borrowing.

And so the world shrinks. But while I am on the subject, I should caution my Russian friends that the "pussy" in the notorious band name probably does not mean "festering."

1 comment:

Ken Houghton said...

I wanted to sign the AI petition, but posting "Free Pussy Riot" on Facebook didn't seem appropriate viewing for nieces and other adolescents/children.

And dang that short "i"; had never thought about how pus-y would really be spelt until now.