ON MUZHIKS


This word has no direct translation from Russian. . . ʗ. The latter is the word for "man", with the central morpheme like "mama" in Georgian signifying masculinity, but meaning "husband" when it stands by itself ("mama" means papa in Georgian when it stands by itself). . Adjective, masculine. Muzhik is not a diminutive of "man" because ˗ is a diminutive of . In the most straightforward sense it refers to a "man" with some very informal connotations. Ex: "Some muzhik called, said he needs to talk to Natasha." Could mean, "dude", "chap". Often means about the same thing as the slang word ے, derived from Ӓ, which is "man" or "human". Historically a "muzhik" implied a peasant man, a worker. Ex: "Petr Andreevich hired about a dozen muzhiks to build that osabnyak by the Volga." Archaically the value used for a peasant or a muzhik was a dusha, or a soul, signifying identity, hence Gogol's "Dead Souls." Because of this, it carries very rough and ancient connotations with it- a muzhik is a simple man who works a lot and drinks liters of vodka with his "buddies", or . He will call his friends by that name, often instead of the weighty "comrades" which can only be used with sufficient irony in this day and age. All this and more is hidden in that name, which I wear sometimes, but most often it is used merely to distinguish a man from a gentleman, a muzhik from an intelligent.