7 Russian insults
Russian people are keen on the language. For a word, as they say, does not fit into your pocket. However, once again acquiring a dirty word from the “lexical pocket”, it will not be superfluous to learn about its original meaning. Why did it actually become abusive?
Perhaps the most common (along with the "female" option - a fool) from domestic curses. It must be said that “fools” in Russia appeared relatively recently: this word entered into wide use in the second half of the 17th century with the light hand of Avvakum, the Archpriest. The leader of the Old Believers in hearts so called admirers of "demonic wisdom": rhetoric, philosophy, logic, etc. Interestingly, the advocates of the old faith then came to be called “fools” by the defenders of the correction of liturgical books during the reform of Patriarch Nikon.
It is interesting that Avvakum spied on this word from the common culture: it was probably the name of one of the buffoons. Linguists believe that the "fool" comes from the Indo-European dur (bite, sting) and literally translates as "bitten", "stung".Perhaps the “title” of the fool was associated with the ritual of initiation into the buffoon - according to one version, the person should have survived the viper's bite. By the way, based on this hypothesis, the adage "a fool of a fool sees from afar," most likely, it was originally related to buffoon. Fools, in their current sense, are hardly able to identify their own kind.
The word comes from the verb "drag", "drag". Initially, "bastard" meant "bastard somewhere garbage." Then this concept began to be transferred to vagrants and other "worthless people."
We learned this curse from the Lithuanians, who used the term "mean" in relation to people with a parentage. As early as the 18th century, the word “vile people” was an official term, which in government documents meant the so-called “irregular” citizens who were not part of petty bourgeois. As a rule, these were unskilled workers, migrant workers from the villages, living in a semi-legal situation in the city (like the “limitchikas” of the Soviet era). And only at the end of the XVIII century the words "scoundrel", "padla" filled up the dictionary of petty-bourgeois intolerance
This word (admittedly, in the plural - “scum”) peacefully existed in the Russian lexicon for several centuries, meaning only the remnants of liquid at the bottom of the vessel. In the XIX century, with someone's light, sophisticated, hands, it was transferred to the inhabitants of pubs, preferring to drink up a drop of alcohol from their foreign glasses. Then the phrase “scum of society” appeared: the so-called asocial elements of the city were called.
The exact meaning of the word today cannot be explained by any scientist. True, almost all linguists agree that the “bastard” (aka “scum”) is related to the “frost”. Of course, it is unlikely that a “bastard” can be deciphered as a “frosty person.” Even a “scumbag”, as a translation option, also doesn’t really fit in - too much expression, contempt, usually invested when they say “scum”. There is a hypothesis that the bastards called criminals who were executed by drowning under the ice. In the Russian tradition, it was believed that a person who accepted such a death becomes a “mortal hostage”, that is, doomed to everlasting wanderings on earth in a ghost or even a ghoul.
Probably, it was originally used in the meaning of “something that was torn off” - the bark of a tree, the skin of an animal, etc. Then, as the linguists came to the conclusion, “rubbish” began to call something that does not represent value. True, there are exotic versions that claim that the word is somehow connected with the execution by skinning. In other words, “rubbish” called people “worthy” of such an execution.
Everything is simple here: “cattle” is translated from Polish as cattle. Arrogant gentry prefer to call agricultural workers. Then the bad habit passed on to the Russian nobles, and from them went for a walk through the philistine environment. Interestingly, the Czechs, the neighbors of the Poles use the word "cattle" in the meaning of "shelter", "dwelling". Therefore, if you become a victim of insult with this word, try on the Czech version.