Russians often only have one word for things that we consider totally different; for instance, we have “foot” and “leg”, whereas Russians only have “noga.” We have “hand” and “arm”, whereas Russians call both of these “ruka.” In common language, Russians also do not distinguish between siblings and cousins; there is a more technical term to be used, according to Anna, “when the distinction is really important” (isn’t it always?).

Our mushed-together word of the day is “mozg.” Depending on the (optional) adjective that may or may not precede it, it can mean “brain”, “spinal cord”, or “bone marrow”–in short, all the mushy stuff inside us. I have chosen to translate it as “brains”, as in “eww, it looks like.”   Though informal, in most cases, it’s a surprisingly accurate translation:

“That spaghetti casserole looks like brains.”

“What were you thinking in your head-brains when you said that!?”

“She fell and damaged her back-brains.”

“Suck all the bone-brains out of life!”

Thank you, Thoreau (and Robin Williams). I think I shall.

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