chapter  8
7 Pages

Literal and figurative meanings and translation

However, what is more important than the problem of literal and figurative meaning is establishing the intended and appropriate meaning of a term in the context in which it occurs in the ST. Contemporary standard Russian makes a habit of extending the semantic fields of simple lexemes (especially nominal and verbal forms) in a variety of ways that are tied both to form and meaning. Consider the following examples:

лимонка – grenade, “lemon” (лимон – lemon) совок – dust bin, “Soviet” person (derogatory term) собака – dog, sign used in e-mail addresses (@) хрен – horse radish, slang for penis (and used in a large number of set


блин – pancake, weight (on a bar bell), semi-euphemistic expletive (Oh, rats!) восьмёрка – the number 8 bus, trolley, or tram, the number 8 of the tele-

phone dial pad, the university cafeteria at St Petersburg University, the BIG 8 (political group of European nations – Большая восьмерка), etc.