Vladimir Ivanovich was fond of many things, but he entered the history of Russia as an outstanding linguist.  In addition to Russian, he knew 11 more languages!

Vladimir Ivanovich was fond of many things, but he entered the history of Russia as an outstanding linguist. In addition to Russian, he knew 11 more languages!

Photo: wikimedia.org

The main connoisseur of the “living Great Russian language” by nationality was … Well, the easiest way to say, “Western European”. His father came to Russia from Denmark, and his mother was from a French Huguenot clan (with additional German and Swiss roots). And Dal received his education on the territory of present-day Estonia – at the University of Dorpat (Tartu). In this regard, he was sometimes asked who he felt himself to be. Dal answered firmly: “Whoever thinks in what language belongs to that people. I think in Russian. “

He practically as no one has mastered Russian and at least 11 other languages. He worked as a physician. He served in the navy, took part in the Russian-Turkish war, together with Pushkin collected materials about the history of the Pugachev revolt. He wrote textbooks on botany and zoology. He became one of the founders of the Russian Geographical Society, the author of the ethnographic study “On the beliefs, superstitions and prejudices of the Russian people.” He was fond of playing musical instruments. He actively dabbled in prose, becoming the author of novellas (“Warrant Officer Kisses, or Die Hard Look Back”) and many fairy tales (however, he basically did not compose them, but collected and processed them). He was passionately fond of spiritualism (once he managed to get in touch with the spirit of the poet Zhukovsky) and homeopathy …

In general, an extremely versatile personality. But 220 years later, the general public knows him exclusively as a linguist (despite the fact that Dahl was not a professional linguist).

They say that today a third of the words from Dahl’s dictionary have died: they can no longer be found anywhere except in this book. But other words literally blossomed, acquiring new, fresh meanings. See for yourself!

Lifetime edition of the “Explanatory Dictionary of the Living Great Russian Language” (1863).


BATH… Old. south. app. wash, clean with water; in the Don they say “to ban linen”, “to ban floors, dishes”; in general: “ban feet”, wash, bathe in warm water; “Ban indigenous (salted) fish”, soak and rinse; “Ban the gun”, clean it inside with a bannik.


1. Get off the hands, get rid of, get rid of, finish, get loose. “I downloaded the case from my shoulders!”

2. Download, roll the floor, shelves, deck, douse with water, rinse, wash it, dumping.

Call… Call your wallet, in church, go around, to collect offerings. “The sexton went to call or ring up, and there the headman will go, there is the sexton.”


1. Action from “pinning”. A joke of firewood, an increase in the planted measure, from the split of blocks and blocks, from a smaller stick. “I had 4 vershok jokes per fathom.” “The sellers are letting the planted increase in firewood for a hitch.”

2. Hammered stake, for strengthening what.


1. Everything that is not whole, that is broken off, and the very place is; “Stone breakage”; “Bummer horse” – broken off in dray work.

2. Zodcheskoe, profile (cross-section) of the cornice.

3. Old. bummer, or bummer, regiment, ledge on the city, Kremlin wall; all ostrozhki, and wooden, were chopped with a break, for the convenience of protection.

4. Abusive, unclean, devil, non-cat.

5. Brownie.

6. Fever.

7. A rude and clumsy, muzhik person. “Bummer those bummer!” “What an ignoramus, bummer!”

Strawberry… In general, everything is cluby, forming tangles.

PORN… Strong, reliable, hefty, durable, fast. “And not porn, but perky.”

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