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Thread: Please explain this dictionary entry!

  1. #1
    Увлечённый спикер Lindsay's Avatar
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    Please explain this dictionary entry!

    I'm still getting to grips with using my Russian/English dictionary. Today I looked to see if there's a Russian word for "Greyhound", and sure enough, there is:

    Greyhound n борзая f adj

    I don't understand the f adj part. Is it saying that борзая is both a noun and a feminine adjective?

    So if I was describing my dog, would I say;

    Он борзая - or - Он борзая собака ... or are both correct?

    Thanks,
    Lindsay

  2. #2
    Подающий надежды оратор
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    There are a select few words that are adjectives alone and decline as such. (Stolovaya gostinaya vannaya) They generally aren't accompanied by a noun, but I suspect that for those mentioned above, "komnata" did follow but was eventually dropped. For борзая I think the same applies since for most of the hits on google nothing follows. However the first link includes sobaki so...

  3. #3
    Почтенный гражданин Dmitry Khomichuk's Avatar
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    "Борзая" is an adjective that became noun. It is a short form of "борзая собака" expression.
    Like bathroom - "ванная комната". "Ванная" is an adjective, that describes room. With time people began to skip "room" word and "ванная" started to mean "bathroom".
    This is a special category noun-from-an-adjective in Russian. A word looks like an adjective and grammatically changes as an adjective (because it is an adjective in fact); but it is a noun and plays a role of a noun in the sentence. For example it doesn't change gender as an adjective; it is always feminine.

    борзая is feminine, because it means a dog, that is feminine in Russian.
    So if you are speaking about a type of dogs, then "Она - борзАя" is equal to "Она - борзАя собака".

    Also there is an jargon adjective бОрзый; it can change gender. "Он - борзый. Она - борзая."
    Means swift + impudent. Usually describes such people as chavs )
    Yulia65 likes this.

  4. #4
    Завсегдатай maxmixiv's Avatar
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    Общеизвестный пример употребления (в качестве прилагательного):
    Толкование фраз и крылатых выражений: Борзыми щенками брать - letter.com.ua

    А также глаголы (в разговорной речи): борзеть, оборзеть, приборзеть, ...
    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

  5. #5
    Старший оракул
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    I think the dictionary entry says that "greyhound" is a noun. It's translation ("борзая") is obviously a noun too. It happen to be derived from a femenine adjective.

    That is n describes the word "greyhound" and the "f adj." part belongs to the word "борзая". "f adj." doesn't necessary mean that "борзая" can be used as an adjective, it just explains that it is feminine and derived from an adjective
    Налево пойдёшь - коня потеряешь, направо пойдёшь - сам голову сложишь.
    Прямой путь не предлагать!

  6. #6
    Увлечённый спикер Lindsay's Avatar
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    "Борзая" is an adjective that became noun. It is a short form of "борзая собака" expression.
    That's what I suspected, but it's the first time I'd come across a word of this nature.

    Thanks to everyone for the replies

    ~ Lindsay

  7. #7
    Властелин
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    Lindsay, here is another link about this word.

    http://masterrussian.net/f15/%D0%B1%...-%D0%BB-21188/

    but it deals mostly with its slang meaning
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  8. #8
    Почтенный гражданин
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    The translation of greyhound isn't very precise. Borzoi is a specific breed and usually transliterated in English.

  9. #9
    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_Douglas View Post
    The translation of greyhound isn't very precise. Borzoi is a specific breed and usually transliterated in English.
    Ru.wikipedia translates "greyhound" as (are you ready for this?) грейхаунд -- and lists this breed as a sub-category within the larger group "Борзые". (The "уиппет" breed is also treated as "a type of borzoi dog").

  10. #10
    Увлечённый спикер Lindsay's Avatar
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    Ru.wikipedia translates "greyhound" as (are you ready for this?) грейхаунд
    Interesting! I asked this because we just adopted a greyhound and I want to tell my penfriends about it, and I write as much to them in Russian as I can manage (right now, not much!).

    Thanks,
    Lindsay

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