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Thread: бусурманам

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    бусурманам

    what does this word mean - is it a country?

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    Re: бусурманам

    It's a dative plural from бусурман / басурман - stranger, foreigner, usually who is not christian (most likely muslim). The word is almost abusive, but since it's old-fashioned, it could sound ironical, too. I find this word very funny
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Бусурманин.

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    Here are two interesting explanations:
    Basurman, or Bursurman, mutilated from Mussulman, is an archaic and contemptuous designation for Mohammedans and in general for all who do not profess the Greek Orthodox faith.
    Dubnow, Simon and Friedlaender, Israel, History of the Jews in Russia and Poland 35 n.2 (1916) Link
    The term Bursurman for Muslims in the old Russian annals was from the language of Khwarazm in the Arabo-Persian script current until the Mongol conquest of the Volga region in the 13th century.
    Rahul, Ram, March of Central Asia 156 (2002) Link

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    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    This word nowadays can be used to refer to any foreigner not just muslim. And in the past, any person that belonged to non-orthodox confession could be called with this word.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

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    Завсегдатай BappaBa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    This word nowadays can be used to refer to any foreigner not just muslim. And in the past, any person that belonged to non-orthodox confession could be called with this word.
    Это точно.
    "Вот затрещали барабаны -
    И отступили бусурманы." (с) Лермонтов

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    Бусурманин - иноземец ... А вообще исторически бусурманин это искаженное от мусульманин
    "Национализм во мне столь естественный, что никогда никаким интернационалистам меня из него не выбить".
    Дмитрий Менделеев. "К познанию России" .1906

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    kid
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    What would be a cutting remark, in Russian, in response to someone who has used that word to me?

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    kid
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    ...and I am not a Muslim btw, not that it makes this remark from this prudish imbecile any less infuriating...

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    Quote Originally Posted by randir
    Бусурман_ - иноземец ...
    The plural is бусурмане, and the singular is бусурман, not бусурманин.

    Quote Originally Posted by kid
    What would be a cutting remark, in Russian, in response to someone who has used that word to me?
    This word is not so much offensive, and depending on context, it could be even a joke.
    But if you want, you can tell him, for example: Поскреби себя, и найдешь татарина. Although this answer maybe too clever.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Завсегдатай BappaBa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kid
    What would be a cutting remark, in Russian, in response to someone who has used that word to me?
    По крайней мере, я знаю кто мой отец.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kid
    ...and I am not a Muslim btw, not that it makes this remark from this prudish imbecile any less infuriating...
    I wouldn't fret over that too much. While it does mean Muslim, it's often used ironically to denote any foreigner. This word is very archaic and thus has a funny ring to it, and Russians like using funny sounding words.

    Some people use it jokingly, and even if they are somewhat serious, it's just mildly offensive. There are much more offensive words in Russian, I assure you.

    PS. My Grandma used to call me and my brother like that, when we were naughty. I have no idea why.


    Quote Originally Posted by BappaBa
    По крайней мере, я знаю кто мой отец.
    Sorry, it's pathetic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    Поскреби себя, и найдешь татарина.
    Cool! But probably you're right. It's too clever for the random bickering.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    Quote Originally Posted by randir
    Бусурман_ - иноземец ...
    The plural is бусурмане, and the singular is бусурман, not бусурманин.
    В словарях, к моему удивлению, басурман.
    БАСУРМАН. pl. -ане. В старину: иноземец, иноверец (преимущественно о мусульманине).
    ж. басурманка.
    прил. басурманский.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yul'a
    В словарях, к моему удивлению, басурман.
    All four versions are correct: басурман, басурманин, бусурман, бусурманин. In Dahl's dictionary you can see even the fifth one: бусорман (!).

    There's no point in arguing over spelling, when the word itself is a distorted and colloquial archaic version of the 'foreign' word Muslim ("мусульман"/"мусульманин").

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    Завсегдатай Crocodile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    Поскреби себя, и найдешь татарина.
    Nice!! Never heard that expression, but it sounds very sharp. I guess, you could probably make use of it since the person using the word "бусурман" is probably educated enough to get offended by the above.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodile
    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    Поскреби себя, и найдешь татарина.
    Nice!! Never heard that expression, but it sounds very sharp. I guess, you could probably make use of it since the person using the word "бусурман" is probably educated enough to get offended by the above.
    Come on, guys! The phrase itself is clever and ironic and is a perfect answer, but I doubt you can offend anybody with it. It's famous and Russians use it about themselves freely, mostly in it's original form - "Поскреби русского - найдешь татарина" (Scrape off a Russian and you'll find a Tatar).

    It's a quote from some French Russophobe treatise, which was so often mentioned by Russian XIX century writers, that it became almost a proverb. Many Russian humorists use it too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka
    All four versions are correct: басурман, басурманин, бусурман, бусурманин.
    Gramota.ru offers only бусурман / басурман. No бу(а)сурманин.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodile
    Never heard that expression
    Are you kidding?
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka
    Scrape off a Russian and you'll find a Tatar.
    It would probably be more like "scratch off" but other than that I totally accept what you're saying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodile
    Never heard that expression
    Are you kidding?
    Да ладно... я же не ходячая энциклопедия!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    Gramota.ru offers only бусурман / басурман. No бу(а)сурманин
    .
    Gramota.ru is not an ultimate authority.
    Словарь Ушакова в 4 т. (1935 г.), а также словарь Ефремовой (2006 г.):
    "БАСУРМА'НИН, а, мн. ане, ан, м. (нар.-поэт.). То же, что басурман."

    Через "У" в современных словарях не нашла, но не раз видела в книгах. Вполне очевидно, что по аналогии с мусульманином, иногда добавляли окончание -ин.

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