February 8th, 2015

Русские "комплименты"


We all love compliments! But I've noticed something unique about the Russian blogosphere, where compliments aren't always what they seem. If you look at the TOP on a daily basis, you'll see a lot of posts full of trash, bloggers criticizing other women's appearance, lifestyle choices, bodies...the list is endless. Yes, sometimes they mention that the woman is "beautiful," but then they go on to highlight numerous flaws about the person. Even when people try to be pleasant, they often slip into "critique" mode, by throwing in an undercover insult in the process. Some examples I've noticed recently:

"You're pretty nice, for a Jew."
"You're smart, despite the fact that you're American."
"You have a beautiful face, but need to lose weight."

Compliments...Russian style. :)) Of course, people all over the world are engaged in this behavior. So, today I'll teach you the English word for this - "backhanded compliment." Maybe you already know this slang phrase, but sometimes foreigners don't learn them until they're actually living in the culture in which the phrase originates. For instance, I've taught my Russian friend the following slang words - "beaver," "joint," "Mary Jane," "midget,"...others that I can't think of right now. Collapse )