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Thread: Oregano - душица, материнка, и ладанка

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    Почётный участник bobert's Avatar
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    Oregano - душица, материнка, и ладанка

    What we seem to have here is basically a bunch of folk names which refer to oregano in Russia. Apparently the most standard word for oregano is "душица". However, the most common folk name for oregano that I come across is "материнка" and Google wants to translate this to motherboard.
    Какие только другие «имена» не имеет душица: зеновка, ладанка, материнка, мацердушка, душмянка, пчелолюб, мята лесная и даже костоломка, а известная на весь мир пряность под названием «орегано» — это та же душица. Материнкой эту траву называют потому, что она излечивает женские недуги.
    source: Полезные свойства душицы: противопоказания, отзывы

    Do any of the folk names in this list have logical correlates in English? I know that "ладанка" means amulet, but the others don't seem to translate to an English equivalent. In particular "материнка" is of interest. The fact that it translates to motherboard, but not something related to oregano suggests that the word might have an interesting background, history, etymology. Any interesting insights or plausible theories?

  2. #2
    Властелин iCake's Avatar
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    Материнка - is derived from "mother". Motherboard - материнка or материнская плата if you want to be official. Материнка is kind of slang, although almost everyone would know of this word and use it.

    Why use матерника for the herb? As the sentence you provided mentions this herb has the capacity to heal specifically female deseases. That would mostly mean things related to giving birth. So the herb helps become a mother.

    Ладанка is not really about an amulet, it's about "ладан" or "incense" in English. So it's logical to assume that the herb smells somewhat like incense.

    Душища, мацердушка, душмянка are the same as ладанка because it also relates to the herbs smell. Дух is archaic for "smell" in Russian. There is a well used word derived from "дух". It's душистый. It's mostly used to describe something with a pleasant smell. E.g. душистая сирень, душистое мыло, кофе etc.

    Пчелолюб - this one is obvious, it says that bees like (love) this herb.

    Мята лесная - it's either the herb looks like mint but grows in forests or smells/tastes like mint and grows in forests.

    Костоломка - Hmm, hard to say. It's either the herb can relieve pain in your bones or that it can be the cause of it.

    Зеновка - no idea here.
    fortheether and bobert like this.
    I do not claim that my opinion is absolutely true.
    If you've spotted any mistake in my English, please, correct it. I want to be aware of any mistakes to efficiently eliminate them before they become a habit.

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