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Thread: Умри, Денис, лучше не скажешь!

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    Умри, Денис, лучше не скажешь!

    Can someone tell me what this sentence mean and in what context it is used?

    "Умри, Денис, лучше не скажешь!"

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    This is mean it is impossible to say better than it is already said even you will try hard.

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    Re: Умри, Денис, лучше не скажешь!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ilkay
    Can someone tell me what this sentence mean and in what context it is used?

    "Умри, Денис, лучше не скажешь!"
    The meaning is this: "Now you can die, Denis, you can't say it better than you did." That is, Denis has done the main work of his life, his "magnum opus," and now he cannot and shouldn't try to create anything better than that.

    This is a shortened colloquial version. The actual historic sentence was this:

    "Умри теперь, Денис, или хоть больше ничего уже не пиши! Имя твое бессмертно будет по этой одной пьесе."

    "You can die now, Denis, or at least don't write any more! Your name will be immortal thanks to this one play."

    Prince Grigoriy Potyomkin, a cortier, lover of the tsaritsa, powerful man, said this to the playwright Denis Fonvizin after he saw his play "The Minor" in 1782.
    За ночь под свинцовым градом,
    За то, что меня нет рядом,
    Ты прости, сестра моя, Югославия...
    (Лена Катина, будущая "татушка", 1999 г.)

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    So can you just say umri!, luche ne skazhesh, without the denis? Or does that make the phrase. Or is the persons name ever replaced with the person who said whatever quote?

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    Also, how would you say....

    I couldnt have said it better myself. "Ya cam luche ne mogy skazat." ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by drew881
    So can you just say umri!, luche ne skazhesh, without the denis? Or does that make the phrase.
    It does make the phrase. Kind of like "Kansas" in "I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore." You know what I mean.

    In my lifetime I haven't really heard anybody use "Умри, Денис, но лучше не скажешь" except some characters in fiction maybe. Maybe the intelligentsia (which I am not) still use it, but modern people in our country are not really in touch with the classics anymore. Most young people would be very fuzzy about who Потёмкин or Фонвизин were. Most young Russians don't care about their culture.
    За ночь под свинцовым градом,
    За то, что меня нет рядом,
    Ты прости, сестра моя, Югославия...
    (Лена Катина, будущая "татушка", 1999 г.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by drew881
    Also, how would you say....

    I couldnt have said it better myself. "Ya cam luche ne mogy skazat." ?
    Something like "Я и сам(а) бы не смог(ла) сказать лучше".

    But if it's about that YOU said, I 'd say "Я бы уже не смог(ла) сказать лучше".
    За ночь под свинцовым градом,
    За то, что меня нет рядом,
    Ты прости, сестра моя, Югославия...
    (Лена Катина, будущая "татушка", 1999 г.)

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