Why Russians throw pearls to pigs

Why Russians throw pearls to pigs

Why Russians throw pearls to pigs

Ilya Ogarev
The Russian language is embellished with countless sayings, expressions, and especially idioms - many of which make no sense at all until someone explains them to you.

1. To get out of your skin

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Giving it your best is not enough for Russians, so you should literally jump out of your skin to achieve your goals!

2. To eat a dog on this issue

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You have always dreamed of becoming a qualified expert in a particular field, but haven’t yet made any considerable progress? Then you should try to eat a dog as Russians do (not actually true - we hope!).

3. A mountain has fallen off your shoulders

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To experience tremendous relief - like a huge weight being lifted from your shoulders. Makes sense.

4. To lead by the nose

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In case you want to fool somebody, just take them by the nose and lead the way. Gypsies at Russian fairs led animals - usually bears - using rings in their noses, forcing them to do tricks. Luckily, this doesn’t happen anymore.

5. Let us return to the sheep

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This is a Canonical Russian appeal, asking people to get back to the point.  

Surprisingly, this phrase was thrust into the Russian language from the anonymous French farce of 15th  century “La Farce de Maître Pathelin.” In the story, a shepherd steals a few sheep from a tailor, who in turn sues the thief. In court, the two start arguing, so the judge says: “Can we return to the sheep?!”

6. To throw pearls in front of pigs

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An extremely useless pastime.

This phrase comes from the Evangel and goes something like: “Do not give holy things to the dogs, and do not throw your pearls in front of the pigs, so that they do not trample them with their feet and, turning, do not tear you apart.”

Read more: 10 Russian words impossible to translate into English

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